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Like learning to ride a bike... Before you get the bike Antenatal classes make all the difference

Happy Father's Day! Two special dads share their parenting journey

All they need is you What secure children need is your attention

Eat for immunity Try these powerful immunity boosters

Moving with the times Managing multiple bedroom transitions

The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc


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Subscribe or renew your subscription to Kiwiparent and go in the draw to WIN a Philips AVENT 4-in-1 Healthy Baby Food Maker valued at RRP $329.99! 1 years subscription to Kiwiparent (6 issues) is only $45 delivered to your door.

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Effortlessly steam, blend and serve healthy homemade baby meals with the Philips Avent 4-in-1 Healthy Baby Food Maker. Terms & conditions Subscribers must be New Zealand Residents. Offer ends midnight 31 September 2019. Only one The magazine of Parents Centre entry to prize draw per subscriber. Gift not redeemable for cash. Random winner drawn and contacted by Parents 1 Centre NZ Inc. Kiwiparent is the magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc.

Photo © Sarah Nutt – Milk Photography Studio www.milkphotography.co.nz Dad Leni Sulusi pictured with daughter Azlyn

Special Features


Have your hug on the cover

Letters to the Editor....................................................... 4

Huggies coverstar competition.................................. 8–11

Like learning to ride a bicycle Childbirth education....................................................12–17

Dads key to breastfeeding success................34–38

Don’t become a pelvic floor statistic

Parents Centre pages............................................39–43

Liz Childs.........................................................................18–23

A wee chat Incontinence awareness...................................................24

Inspiring future Kiwi game changers Luke Tiller.......................................................................26–29

Great news for dads Kidz Need Dadz............................................................30–31

Fun activities for Father’s Day........................32–33 An anxious time

Find a Centre...................................................................44 Find out about Parents Centre..............................45 No baby is naughty...............................................58–59 Books with heart on issues that matter EK Books.........................................................................60–61

Moving with the times Resene creative team.................................................62–65

Winners from the last issue.....................................77

Leora Noy.......................................................................46–51

Our partners..............................................................78–79

All they need is you


Dr Joanna North............................................................52–57

Birth story: An opportunity for growth and understanding Billy Powell.....................................................................66–71

Eat for immunity Hannah Gilbert..............................................................72–74

Banking on the future.................................................76


Product pages................................................................6–7





You’ve got this! As we get ready to celebrate Father’s Day in September, I have been thinking of what it means to be a father figure living in this time and in this place.

Don’t become a statistic | pages 18–23 For most women, having a baby is a wonderful experience. The reality, though, is that as time goes on many women struggle to regain strength and function of the pelvic floor. This can affect the ability to participate in exercise and recreational activities and can cause significant distress. If you learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor and you know what activities to be careful with, you may well be able to prevent symptoms from developing.

Dads – inspiring future Kiwi game changers | pages 26–29 No matter how important you think your job is, being a father and a husband is the most important job you will have in life, and it’s really important to look after ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually.

All they need is you | pages 52–57 What your child really needs is you and your attention. There is nothing on this planet you can buy that will replace that. A secure child will have a pervasive feeling that their world is going to be held together and managed, in a fashion that keeps them safe and well, and that they can get on with the task of exploring life and relationships. This is what your children really want from you.

Kiwiparent. Since 1954. The magazine of Parents Centre New Zealand Inc Editor


Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e–borne.co.nz PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (04) 233 2022

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–borne.co.nz

Advertising Sales Catherine Short Ph (04) 233 2022 x8805 c.short@parentscentre.org.nz

Design Hannah Faulke edendesign.nz

Proofing Megan Kelly

Subscriptions info@parentscentre.org.nz

Opinions expressed in the magazine do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher. Advertising in this magazine does not imply endorsement by Parents Centres. Generally material in this publication may be reproduced provided it is used for non-commercial purposes and the source is acknowledged. However, written permission must be sought from the editor. Kiwiparent is proud to support the WHO/UNICEF International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1981.

ISSN 1173–7638

Printer Caxton Design and Print


Every age has its own stresses and challenges – and parents today face plenty of these. While we are fortunate to live in a part of the world where war and violence is less likely and many of our daily needs are adequately met – food, shelter, medical care, education, etc – there are still plenty of stressors around. These days, pressure on maternal space in hospitals around the country means women are frequently discharged too early after giving birth – often before they are ready to go home and transition into parenthood. And if they do become unwell, maternal mental health wards are at capacity and they cannot always access the resources and help they need at the time they are most desperate. This puts huge pressure on dads as they are the ones who need to be strong for their partner. It is too easy for mums and dads to feel isolated and cut adrift when they should be surrounded with aroha and support. While we have access to unlimited information in this digital age, we are also deluged with data to the point where it can be paralysing. Advice is coming out our ears! And not all of it is helpful. Misinformation is as prevalent as information and it isn’t always easy to tell the difference. Social media is a place where parents can find support and friendship, but it can also make mums and dads feel inadequate and isolated, even bullied and judged. Two dads have shared their stories with us in this issue – Luke Tiller writes about his struggles with anxiety and depression when he moved from a pressure career to the different pressures of being a stay-at-home dad. Billy Powell writes about the two very different births he and his wife experienced and how he worked to hold his family together through challenge after challenge. They share their experiences to help break down the stigma and stereotyping that can get in the way of men being able to access support – or even having the courage to speak about their feelings and fears. Father’s Day is a time to celebrate all the wonderful men who are dads, stepfathers, sons, brothers, partners and friends. Maybe you aren’t perfect, but maybe you don’t have to be. There is no such thing as a perfect mother or father or child or relationship. Letting go of perfection can be difficult, but letting go of this unrealistic ideal will make it easier to appreciate the chaos and messiness of parenting. Then you will be more likely to appreciate the very real beauty and joy of imperfection. You’ve got this! Whangaia ka tupu, ka puawai. That which is nurtured, blossoms then grows. Leigh Bredenkamp

The magazine of Parents Centre



to the editor

Top Letter

Congratulations to the Top Letter winner Lily Chan from Papakura who will win a prize pack from Natural Instinct.

Top letter prize The winning letter receives the complete Natural Instinct face care range, truly natural skincare products with active anti-ageing plant-based ingredients and 100% free from over 400 potentially harmful ingredients to you and the environment. Available from leading pharmacies. RRP $102.

Fantastic fun for Auckland families The Great Auckland Duck Race is a fantastic family and community fun event which is now in its fourth year. It draws a crowd of about 5,000 people which includes families from all over Auckland. With thousands of ducks racing down the white-water rapids in three races (a school race, a business race plus an everybody race) everyone can get involved: Business race ducks sell for $200, but every school in Auckland is offered a free duck to decorate and race. 5,000 numbered tickets are sold prior to the day and at the event that correlate to 5,000 little numbered ducks that compete in the everybody race. There are great prizes for ducks that come first, second and third in each race. Families are welcome to come along and enjoy a range of fun events on race day:

The right initiative at the right time In the past ten years, there’s been a surge in migration to New Zealand – especially in the Asian community. With the shortage of midwives, I am delighted that Parents Centre has started delivering childbirth education classes to the Hamilton Chinese community. This initiative has come at the right time. It will help to bridge not only the cultural aspects but also form a good trust between the midwives and clients as they understand the New Zealand maternity system too. Lily Chan, Papakura Parents Centre

„„ free photo-booth, basketball game, face-painting and bouncy castle „„ $2 games to play and win prizes „„ great live music „„ a wide range of food and drink carts „„ kayaking and paddle boarding action on the water The event is jointly held by the Rotary Club of Manurewa-Takanini and Life Education Trust Counties Manukau – all the funds raised go directly into funding Rotary's local projects and Life Education's health and wellbeing programme in local schools. The Great Auckland Duck Race will take place at the Vector Wero Whitewater Park in Manukau, Auckland on Sunday Oct 20th 9am. Find out more on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/GreatAKLDDuckRace Sarah Nuttall, Auckland

Mandarin-Cantonese-English Antenatal Classes | Hamilton

At no charge to you! Antenatal classes expertly led by Chinese midwives to prepare you for childbirth & early parenting. These classes will integrate Chinese culture & birthing traditions. For more information & to book email: info@parentscentre.org.nz 4



Nappy Disposal System

14–22 September 2019 Celebrating 50 years of Conservation Week Conservation Week is a nationwide celebration of Kiwis pitching in to help our native plants and animals. With more than 4,000 species threatened or at risk, we need to take action now. Doing something for Conservation Week is easy – here are a few ideas. Trap and monitor predators in your own backyard Achieving the goal of a predator-free New Zealand by 2050 requires a massive team effort. You can make a difference by setting traps in your garden and catching pests like mice, rats, possums and stoats.

Reduce your plastic use Plastic is one of the most pressing threats to seabirds globally. It gets into the ocean by the millions of tonnes a year, breaks down into bite-sized chunks, and ends up smelling just like an albatross feast. 90% of seabirds have been found to consume plastic. Follow the five Rs – reduce, refuse, reuse, recycle and remove.

Help wildlife to thrive Attract native birds to your garden by planting native flowering trees, hanging water baths and enticing them with sugar water. Entice lizards to your back yard by creating an inviting home. Lizards can thrive in suburban gardens and rural properties if they can have food and shelter. Untidy gardens are great for lizards as they need places to hide and cover – they also need shelter when it's hot or cold.

Get rid of pest plants Help stop the spread of weeds and garden pest plants – find out things you can do to reduce the spread of invasive weeds from your garden. Take a good look at what’s growing in your garden and in local areas around you – don’t be seduced by good looks, even pretty plants can be problem weeds!

Proven protection from germs & odours ^

100 times more effective at odour prevention than nappy sacks Unique twist and lock system wraps each nappy in a fresh portion of film Multi-layer film provides an exceptional barrier to lock away odour Anti-bacterial protection is present in the film and not the other components of this product.

Get outside Take the family on one of the many family-friendly walks and tramps that are accessible throughout the country. Short day walks or overnight tramps are great options for getting outside with children of all ages. www.doc.govt.nz 

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The magazine of Parents Centre




Bio-Oil’s Skincare Oil Dry, scaly or chapped skin this winter? Bio-Oil’s Skincare Oil is ideal for nourishing weather-affected skin. Your whole body, the whole year. RRP from $18.99 for 60mL. bio-oil.com

Honeywrap partners with Project Jonah Honeywraps are a reusable alternative to plasticwrap, made with all natural and organic ingredients. Perfect for all your kitchen needs and last a year plus! Honeywrap have been lucky enough to collaborate with Project Jonah, who are a NZ marine mammal welfare charity, working hard to protect and rescue our beautiful whales and dolphins. At Honeywrap, we love what Project Jonah does so much that we have chosen to collaborate with them again and donate 50c from every 2019 Moana charity wrap to them! www.honeywrap.co.nz

Beco Gemini – Cool Mesh carrier with Lemons print The fabulous light, easy-to-wear Beco Gemini carrier is the carrier we use in our CBE classes. Available in a range of colours the just-released navy and white stripe with lemons is super cute! The Cool Mesh Beco Gemini available from The Sleep Store is the perfect carrier for active families on the go. Made from a moisturewicking microfibre fabric, along with a light 3D mesh panel and liner for a fresh take on breathable comfort. Compact and light to carry, an ideal carrier to take with you on adventures and travel. www.thesleepstore.co.nz



New on the inside, new on the outside Johnson’s never stops raising the bar when it comes to what’s best for baby – our unwavering commitment to safety and innovation is the foundation for everything we do. That’s why we listened to parents from around the world and reformulated our products inside and out to set a new standard for gentle. The results reflect our fundamental mission: Creating a world where every baby can thrive. „„ Made with no parabens „„ Made with no phthalates „„ Made with no dyes „„ Hypoallergenic www.jnjnz.co.nz

Breast pads are a breastfeeding mums must-have item! Philips Avent new range of breast pads are ultra-thin, breathable and ultra-absorbent with a triple layer, leakproof design to keep you dry and comfortable day and night. The honeycombed textured top sheet is silky soft and comfortable against your skin. The thinner contoured shape of the breast pad helps make them invisible under clothes and they are individually wrapped for your hygiene so perfect for on-the-go. Available in packs of 24, 60 and 100, grab a box today from leading pharmacies and baby retailers. www.philips.co.nz/Avent

Reducing our footprint We at Baby On The Move are very mindful of our effect on the environment, so hiring a product that you only need for a short time rather than buying it will help reduce our country's footprint. We make sure that the product you are hiring is fit for purpose (especially with car seats). We’ve been hiring for over 20 years, always using wellknown quality brands. Not only do we hire car seats, we hire bassinets, wooden cots, portacots, strollers, buggies, highchairs, breast pumps, safety gates and so much more! www.babyonthemove.co.nz 0800 222 966 / www.babyonthemove.co.nz

The magazine of Parents Centre


Worth capturing, because there’s nothing like a hug



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Entries have closed and the photos are being judged in the 2019 Huggies coverstar competition. We have been really touched by all the precious entries we have received. Not only are there beautiful photos of mums and bubs hugging, but we have also received lovely pics of dads and children as well as great sibling photos. It has been wonderful to see our community getting involved in the competition. We’ve been delighted with the response with around 1,000 entries received. We are looking out for those images that show loving connections – parents, children, siblings, grandparents, pets – those special moments that illustrate closeness and attachment. We are so very impressed by the high quality of entries we have received and it’s also been a bonus to read all the comments made with the photos. The parents sharing their photos are amazing.

„„ Wardrobe styling „„ Professional photo shoot in Auckland „„ Lunch and snacks And, at the end of this magical day, the winner will receive all the images from the photo shoot on a memory stick. As if all this was not enough, the winner will also receive a six months' supply of Huggies products including:

24 packs of Huggies nappies bulk packs

The winning entry will receive a photo shoot with a professional photographer, with an image to appear on the cover of Kiwiparent, and potentially within the October/November issue as well. The photo shoot will take place in Auckland the week commencing 22 July 2019. The lucky winner will be a star for a day with:

Huggies Baby Wipes (four pop-up tubs and six 240s refill packs)

10 packs of Huggies change mats

8 packs of Little Swimmers Swim Pants.

„„ Flights to and from Auckland (if necessary) „„ Transfers to and from the airport „„ Hair and make-up by a professional stylist

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Why do

hugs matter It’s a universal language and the first one that humans learn. The very act of hugging releases oxytocin (known as “the bonding hormone”), a process beginning immediately after birth. But, the benefits of touch are not just for baby. Skin-to-skin contact reduces the stress level for Mum too, allowing her to be more attentive and receptive to her baby’s needs. As babies begin to grasp their surroundings moment by moment, a hug alone can literally make them feel more comfortable in their own skin. An affectionate hug aids in the development of interpersonal relationships and can promote feelings of devotion to and trust in Mum. Newborn’s are neurologically wired to stop crying when held, and particularly in infancy, a hug induced reduction of stress hormone, cortisol, can even encourage more restful sleep.



Hugs have been part of Huggies® Nappies’ DNA since 1978 when Kimberly-Clark employee Boyd Tracy thought to combine the words ‘hugs’ and ‘babies’, and came up with a brand name that communicated how the nappy “hugged” the baby’s shape. 

Look out for the winner of the Huggies coverstar competition on the cover of the next issue of Kiwiparent!

Winners of the 2018 Coverstar photo competition

The magazine of Parents Centre


Like learning to ride a bike

...before you get the bike

Childbirth education classes are an essential way of preparing for the new arrival – whether it is your first baby or you are welcoming a new sibling to your expanding family. Three special childbirth educators talk about their involvement with families at this – life-changing time.

I went to Mana Parents Centre antenatal classes exactly 21 years ago; it’s hard to believe that my baby is about to turn 21! What I loved about my classes was the relaxed atmosphere, the opportunities to discuss options, gain knowledge and make some awesome friends who became, and still are, my lifeline. Learning how to look after a baby when you’re still pregnant is like learning to ride a bike before you’ve got the bike; it gave us great grounding and afterward when we had the specific questions related to our own situations, Parents Centre’s postnatal Baby and You programme was a life-saver. Parents Centre set up our first coffee group – some brought their newborn baby along, others were still waiting for baby to arrive. I remember it clearly; seeing the other babies, seeing the glow and feeling the excitement and buzz in the room. That excitement was also coupled with a sense of fear, trepidation and the unknown! Thank goodness I had this coffee group, where we could be real, we could be honest about expectations,



sleepless nights and the struggles that new parenting can bring. Our coffee group was also an amazing time to share in each other’s parental pride, achievements, and to see the babies start to interact with each other and start their own friendships. I was so grateful to Parents Centre for the way in which these programmes were structured and the support it gave me transitioning into parenthood, that I decided to join the committee to volunteer and ‘give back’. Later on, I retrained and became a Childbirth Educator (CBE) and have been facilitating antenatal classes for over 18 years now. It is a privilege to share in a special part of this amazing journey with new parents and I absolutely love working with adults in this way. Parents Centre has 46 of these Centres around the country, all run by volunteers and supported nationally by our National Support Centre. I still teach antenatal classes two nights a week, but it is at the National Support Centre where I spend my days. My role is Parent Education and Operations Manager, overseeing, guiding and supporting our Centres and our Childbirth Educators who facilitate the classes across New Zealand. The role Parents Centre has in educating and supporting parents to shape our future generation is critical and essential, and it starts from conception. I am proud to have an influence in this. It has always amazed me how this tiny seed of interest in childbirth education all those years ago has grown to become an all-encompassing career that I love.

Liz Pearce, CBE, Parent Education and Operations Manager

A privilege to be part of the journey Around 14 years ago I was pregnant with my first baby. Off we went to our antenatal class run by Manukau Parents Centre. Here started my journey into volunteering with Parents Centre then studying to become a Childbirth Educator (CBE). Fourteen years after our first class I am still in touch with the CBE who took this class. It was her knowledge, understanding, passion and sense of humour that eased my fears about my upcoming birth. I wanted to do that! I wanted to give back and offer this same experience to parents-to-be and parents having more children. For me it is a privilege to be a small part of an amazing journey these mums and dads are on. Three children later, and after eight years facilitating antenatal classes for Parents Centre, I am still as passionate and excited about it as I was with the first class I took. Although all the topics we touch on in each class are the same, every class is different. Every person in the class has a different journey to this point. Every class offers me new questions and teaches me something new. One of many highlights of taking these classes are of dads approaching me at the end of the course and saying, “I didn’t want to come to these classes – but I am so glad I did.” Without attending an antenatal class, it is hard to know “What they are about?” “What will we be doing?” People generally only have an idea of what they see on TV shows and movies about classes. But there is more to an antenatal education than blue yoga mats on the floor with Mum down on the ground practising her breathing. In class we cover everything from last stages of pregnancy, labour and birth and first few months

Tania is photographed with Jo Wyeth and her daughter Bella. “Jo did my first ever antenatal class as a new CBE eight years ago,” Tania says. “She is on the Papakura Parents Centre Committee and we are still friends.”

of life with baby. It is also a great way to connect with other parents – from those Coffee Groups, friendships can grow that can last a lifetime. I believe every pregnant woman and partner should have access to childbirth education. All the information in these classes are there to help “make informed decisions”. Although predominantly those that attend antenatal classes are first-time parents, these classes offer something for everyone. Every birth is different. Every baby is different. I have couples come to classes who are having their second or third child – they are there to refresh the information they have forgotten. They want to keep up to date with what’s new, and again form a new coffee group with others on the same journey. Being part of Parents Centre doesn’t just end with antenatal classes. I have the pleasure of seeing the parents and babies (oohhh those snuggles) at Baby and You classes. Giving new parents support in those first few months of parenting is so important – plus for me to be part of the follow-on support is something that the parents appreciate. I often get asked what the one piece of advice would be I would give to new parents. I take it from the piece of advice I went by as a parent. “The best book to read / listen to with raising a child is YOUR CHILD – they will tell you everything you need to know.” Tania North Winner Parents Centre CBE of the Year award 2019

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Flexible, challenging and rewarding I have been teaching antenatal classes for around 25 years. Writing that makes me feel very old and incredulous that I'm still 'doing it'! Teaching of some kind has been a large part of my life since I was a teenager. In my early 20s, after gaining a teaching qualification in England, I came to New Zealand to take up a 12-month teaching contract. Thirty or so years later I'm still here. During this time, I gave birth to my two beautiful daughters. I am often asked how and why I became a childbirth educator (CBE). The idea came after experiencing the birth of my first daughter and realising that what I’d been told birth would be like from a variety of ‘friends’ could actually be very different (in a good way). As a teacher of many years, this experience led me to thinking how information pertaining to birth and the weeks following could be presented. I felt that discussions should and could be positive whilst still providing a truthful overview of the birthing process. Some people would suggest “positive” and “truthful” don’t go together when talking birth, but after over 25 years I’m convinced that it’s not about how long the birthing process takes or how much additional support you choose or require, but rather, it’s the way in which you are able to approach the birth. I take my role as a CBE seriously in the sense that I know I’m often in the presence of parents who are, on a regular basis, exposed to picking up snippets of sometimes incorrect information. They often have to listen to over-dramatisations of birth and are understandably concerned about looking after a precious baby without any real understanding of how to carry out such an important role. As such, although my role is to provide information about pregnancy, birth and beyond, I believe more importantly that my role is to provide them with confidence, attempt to de-myth the copious amounts of conflicting information, and create an environment of support, encouragement and openness. For most women, the birth of their first child is a challenging time and one that can leave them wanting a different experience second or third time around. As such, some parents attend classes again and I aim to help them work towards their goals.



I’m often asked why I choose to teach as a CBE in my evenings in addition to my fulltime job as a university lecturer. Whilst it may appear that I’m going from one teaching role to another, I find it energising meeting great parents in such a positive environment. It’s this energy that drives my continued enthusiasm. If I can help in the transition of people into parenthood, then I feel I have made a valid contribution to the start of the roller coaster that is parenthood. If I could wish anything for parents-to-be, it wouldn’t revolve around the process of birth. Rather, I would wish for them to remove themselves from an environment of information overload and give them the confidence to trust in their ability to know their own baby best. If I’m able to reduce the anxiety of birth and parenting and assist new parents towards gaining confidence in their new role in life, I feel I’ve reached my own personal goals. I keep thinking as each year passes that it will be my last, but the passion just doesn’t die so I think I’ll carry on for just a little longer…

Nicola Power Winner Parents Centre CBE of the Year award 2019

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Are Parents Centre Childbirth Education classes right for you? At the time of attending antenatal classes, parents are making some of the most important decisions they will ever make in their lives. Parents Centre are the leading provider of antenatal education in New Zealand and we’ve been doing so since June 1952 when Parents Centre started the very first antenatal classes in New Zealand – 67 years ago! Parents Centre established the only recognised New Zealand Diploma in Childbirth Education. Why does that matter? Well, in today’s busy world, information can easily be accessed through social media, Dr Google, blogs, etc. If you’re lucky you might stumble across useful advice that is relevant, but most of the time it is a minefield, can be incredibly confusing, confidenceshattering and wrong.

those lifesaving support networks – a.k.a. Parents Centre’s famous coffee groups! We take our role seriously and parents can be sure they will be getting the best when they come to a Parents Centre antenatal class! These decisions impact on the health and wellbeing of their baby, themselves and their relationships. As such, Parents Centre take pride in providing and supporting our facilitators to be the very best; we have a strong evaluation and measurement procedure, we expect a level of quality assurance through regular professional development, we have an online evaluation process and are developing a practising certificate. 

Because of this, it is critical to Parents Centre that our classes are delivered by a diploma-qualified facilitator. We can assure you that by coming to a Parents Centre antenatal class you will receive quality, relevant and upto-date information. Not only are the classes jam-packed full of information to help you make the right decisions for your maternity and parenting journey, but they are interactive, engaging and fun. In a nutshell, this means the classes aren’t boring and you’re not sitting for hours listening to a lecture, but you are involved in the learning – this is so much more fun, so much easier for retaining the information, and before you know it, you start to build



Find out more www.parentscentre.org.nz

New CBE diploma announced Ara Institute of Canterbury was established in 2016 when CPIT and Aoraki Polytechnic merged, and the Diploma in Childbirth Education programme was disestablished. This created a huge gap as this had been the only programme in Aotearoa to produce CBE facilitators. It became increasingly apparent that a programme to prepare educators for childbirth and parenting was essential so that expectant families could access quality childbirth and parenting education. The staff at the School of Midwifery at Ara in the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health began to pursue the possibility of taking on the programme alongside midwifery education. Several midwifery lecturers are also accredited CBEs who understand firsthand the educational and practical requirements of this field as a result of their own experience. The opportunity to redesign and deliver a new updated version of the programme is an exciting development. The midwifery team has considerable experience in blended programme delivery. The lecturers already produce quality learning materials for online learning and supplement this with virtual classroom sessions, face-to-face large group lectures and small group tutorials. This means students can interact and engage with each other and the lecturers no matter where they live, and study at home without the isolation experienced by those using ‘distance learning’. Local placements with existing CBEs would be used for practice-related experiences. The new programme will align with governmental recommendations relating to the impact of the first 1,000 days on human development by focusing on attachment theory and its association with children’s cognitive and emotional development in infancy, which impact on health and wellbeing. This will be presented in a series of courses that introduce pregnancy, childbirth and the postnatal period as a continuum rather than as compartmentalised episodes. There will also be a communications course and another with

Parents Centre prides itself on providing quality antenatal classes by having qualified CBEs facilitate the programmes. When CPIT/Aoraki Polytechnic determined they were no longer going to offer the qualification, Parents Centre worked hard alongside several tertiary institutes to find one with the right fit for this programme that also had the capacity to roll it out successfully. We are delighted that Ara has taken up this challenge and we will soon be able to offer this qualification once again. Parents Centre have a vested interest in this diploma as it underpins all the work we do, and, as a major stakeholder, we will have a significant influence in its development. Liz Pearce Parent Education and Operations Manager

a focus on the social and cultural aspects of life and the impact on maternity care. Two courses will enable students to understand how adults learn and to develop facilitation skills which will incorporate practice placements with experienced CBEs. The New Zealand Diploma in Pregnancy, Childbirth and Early Parenting Education will be delivered as a Level 5, part-time programme over two years. It will be accessible from anywhere in New Zealand, although students would attend a couple of days each year in Christchurch with the other students. The qualification is pending approval from NZQA, but we hope it will be ready for semester one of 2020. Parents Centre often receives enquiries from those interested in starting this career. We have kept a list of these people and are excited to be able to announce that the qualification is now available!

Find out more Please contact Lorna Davies at lorna.davies@ara.ac.nz

The magazine of Parents Centre


Don't become a

pelvic floor statistic!



For most women, having a baby is a wonderful experience, and in New Zealand we are lucky to have good support through pregnancy and during the first weeks after childbirth. The reality though, is that as time goes on many women struggle to regain strength and function of the pelvic floor. This can affect the ability to participate in exercise and recreational activities, and it can cause significant distress. One in three women who have had a baby wet themselves. Half of all women have prolapse. Around 20% of women experience painful sex at some stage in their lives. These symptoms are common but they are not normal. You don’t need to put up with them!

Damage during vaginal delivery Some women experience tearing of the perineum or need an episiotomy during labour. Some may experience trauma to the pelvic floor muscles or anal sphincter. For some, healing occurs with time and there are no ongoing issues. For others, unfortunately, this is not the case. Trauma to this area is not always evident at the time of delivery, but symptoms can develop over time – weeks, months or even years later. But there is good news! If you learn how to strengthen your pelvic floor and you know what activities to be careful with during your daily life, you may well be able to prevent symptoms from developing, even if there has been some damage … and you won’t become a pelvic floor statistic! It is never too late to start. Even if it is many years since you had a baby, you can still make a difference – reducing symptoms, or even preventing them from occurring in the first place.

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We expect a lot from the pelvic floor muscles. They need to be strong enough to hold everything in, coordinated enough to let go in the right sequence at the right time for emptying the bladder and bowel, and flexible enough to allow penetration (to enable use of tampons, sexual activity and vaginal examinations).

How do I know if I have a problem? Symptoms of pelvic floor dysfunction include: „„ wet pants e.g. with coughing and sneezing „„ not quite making it to the toilet in time „„ p roblems with control of the bowel (including control of wind) „„ p ain with sex (seek help if this is happening as pelvic floor muscle relaxation or release may be required, not strengthening) „„ f eelings of heaviness or dragging around the vagina (possible prolapse)

What is the pelvic floor? The pelvic floor muscles are a group of muscles that form a sling from your pubic bone at the front to your tailbone at the back. These muscles help with: „„ control of your bladder and bowel „„ emptying of your bladder and bowel „„ k eeping your pelvic organs in the right place (bladder, bowel, uterus) „„ sexual function „„ c ontrol and stability of your pelvis and trunk (core strength)



What can I do about it? There is good evidence that pelvic floor muscle training and advice on lifestyle modifications can help reduce leakage of urine, and improve symptoms of prolapse. International guidelines now recommend that all women during pregnancy and after birth should be doing pelvic floor muscle exercises. Ideally, an experienced health professional would check that you are doing these correctly. Unfortunately there are financial barriers and lack of resources that prevent this from being standard practice in New Zealand, however you can teach yourself these exercises.

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you got

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Online resources: Continence NZ – list of continence providers www.continence.org.nz Physiotherapy NZ – find a physio physio.org.nz Pelvic floor first – advice on pelvic floor safe exercise www.pelvicfloorfirst.org.au

How do I do pelvic floor exercises? „„ S it up straight in a comfortable chair with shoulders, tummy and inner thighs relaxed. Try crossing your ankles to help with this. „„ S queeze and lift around your vagina as though you were holding around a tampon and trying to pull it further in. You should also feel a sensation of squeezing around the anus, and a lifting of the perineum (the skin between the vagina and the anus). „„ T here should also be a gentle drawing in of your lower abdominal muscles as you tighten your pelvic floor. „„ Y ou should not be feeling buttock squeezing, sucking in of your breath or flattening of your lower back. „„ Y ou should be able to feel the muscles relax when you let go. „„ I nitially try to hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Have a rest of 10 seconds in between and repeat this 5 to 6 times. „„ B uild up over time to 10 holds of 10 seconds each. Do this three times a day. „„ I f you are having trouble knowing whether or not you are doing this correctly, try using a mirror



and look for the “squeeze and lift” action. If you are still unsure, get in touch with a pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Lifestyle modifications that reduce pressure on your pelvic floor „„ Coughing and sneezing – try to tighten your pelvic floor and lower abdominal muscles each time you do this. „„ Heavy lifting – try to limit the weight, and use correct technique. „„ C onstipation and straining – ensure you have adequate fibre and fluid in your diet. Moderate exercise e.g. brisk walking, helps to keep things moving. „„ O besity – take care with weight gain as this affects your pelvic floor. Even a small loss of weight can make a big difference to bladder control. „„ S afe exercise – women with pelvic floor muscle dysfunction need to take care with certain types of exercise. See pelvicfloorfirst.org.au for more information, or contact an experienced pelvic floor physiotherapist.

Long-term care Once you have strengthened your pelvic floor muscles, you should continue to do a set of exercises every day for maintenance, for the rest of your life. Together with care during daily activities, this will make a big difference to your pelvic health.

Seeking help If you are unsure about how to do pelvic floor exercises, or want to check how strong and functional your pelvic floor is, please seek help. Most larger hospitals have women’s health physios, or you can seek help privately with an experienced pelvic floor physiotherapist. In many cases, you may only need two or three sessions spread over a few months, and this could change your life. A pelvic floor physiotherapist will also be able to provide other treatment and advice on urgency control for the bladder, bowel control, pelvic pain, and pain with sexual activity. They can also assist with post-caesarean section recovery, and general strengthening, including abdominal work. ď Ž

Liz Childs I have worked as a pelvic floor physiotherapist since 2005. I had my first baby in 1998 and was lucky to have the support of Parents Centre in Wellington for antenatal classes and later for parenting seminars. It is nice to be able to give something back now. I am passionate about informing and empowering women, so that they can help themselves with their pelvic health, and know when and where to seek help if needed. My ultimate goal is to help prevent long-term issues with pelvic floor dysfunction. Pelvic Health Physiotherapist, Wellington e: info@pelvicphysio.co.nz w: pelvicphysio.co.nz p: 04 8910595

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“You deserve to live a full life. If a bladder issue is stopping you, then get it sorted.” – Emma Cherrington


wee chat

Incontinence isn’t the usual topic of conversation, but Continence NZ is encouraging Kiwis to get together and have a wee chat. One in four Kiwis live with some bladder or bowel incontinence – that’s over 1.1 million. Bladder control problems are common in mums – one in three women have suffered urinary incontinence after having a baby. Auckland mum and grandmother Emma Cherrington speaks out about her own incontinence journey to encourage others to overcome the taboo and have a wee chat of their own. Emma spent two decades living with incontinence and received several misdiagnoses before she found out the real problem. Emma first noticed she had an issue when she returned to indoor netball two months after her son was born. She recalls she came off the court an absolute mess after wetting herself through the game. “I was really, really embarrassed. I didn’t talk to anybody about it at first, not even my mum,” says Emma. When she eventually sought medical help, she was told it was a result of a weak core, and later, her weight.



It wasn’t until recently, more than 20 years after having her son, Emma found out she has a pelvic support structure issue. The turning point for her was attending a community continence talk put on by Waitemata DHB. “Sometimes personal issues like this are too hard to talk about and you can feel very isolated,” Emma explains. “However, when you’re sitting in a room full of women who have exactly the same issue that you do – and some have suffered far more than you have – it puts things into perspective.” Emma’s among 1 million New Zealanders living with incontinence. Many are just doing their best to get on with everyday life and are too afraid or embarrassed to ask for help.

Emma encourages those suffering in silence to get quality help and support. “You deserve to live a full life. If a bladder issue is stopping you, then get it sorted. Don’t miss out on the things you enjoy because of this issue. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t let the shame of the issue get the better of you.” “Kiwis could have a wee chat with a family member, a friend, their midwife, a GP, a physio, a carer, by attending a continence talk, or simply start by calling our helpline,” says Continence NZ CEO Louise Judd. “Anyone with a concern, no matter how big or small, shouldn’t hesitate to get in touch.”  www.continence.org.nz

Need help installing your child restraint? We know installing a child restraint isn’t the easiest thing to do, so we’ve created a series of videos to show you how to correctly install your child restraint and fit your child in it properly. Videos are FREE and available online: www.nzta.govt.nz/installing-child-restraints

DID YOU KNOW – Child under 7 years old? Must legally be in a child restraint – Child under 2 years old? Best practice says keep them in a rear-facing child restraint – Child over the age of 7 but under 148cm tall? Best practice says keep them in a child restraint – The type of child restraint to be used depends on the age, height and weight of your child.

FOR MORE HELP Always follow the instruction manual that came with your child restraint Contact a child restraint technician. You can find a list of registered technicians in your area here 25 The magazine of Parents Centre www.nzta.govt.nz/childrestraints




– inspiring future Kiwi game changers

If there is one thing I learned through this whole experience it is this… No matter how important you think your job is, being a father and a husband is the most important job you will have in this life and it’s really important to look after ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. In my previous life I was a senior advisor working in government service as part of our National Security workforce. I resigned to become a full-time ‘stay-athome dad’ around the birth of my second daughter in 2017. After a seven-year career journey into and out of intelligence work, I was pretty burned out and I decided that it was probably a good idea to rebalance, put family first and support my wife’s return to her career. So, I resigned to become a stay at home dad. It was going to be a good change. It was going to be awesome. I had no idea just how tough an assignment I had signed up for! So yeah, my former colleagues and team mates were surprised, but at farewell drinks they were all like “Yeah, this is going to be awesome! Go stay-at-home dads! I’m so jealous! I wish I could leave and do that!” (I had a reputation for taking on the tough assignments!) What I didn’t realise at the time, when my second daughter was born, I was already on a downward trajectory quickly becoming massively depressed after years of suppressing my emotions in my old job… and all of that was now catching up with me. I found it really hard to bond with my new baby girl and I was becoming this disengaged, oftentimes angry and frustrated dad who hated himself, having these random

Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi engari he toa takimano My strength is not that of an individual, but that of the collective – Ma-ori Proverb

violent anger outbursts when I occasionally emerged from depression and emotional exhaustion.

Looking back instead of forward Six months went by in a hazy blur. I struggled with my self-esteem and mental state. I constantly stumbled looking back instead of forward. Inevitably, I grieved for my previous work-life balance and rewarding career. Having left ‘such an important job’ so us spooks were constantly told, I now genuinely felt I had failed and given up achieving anything remotely equal in value in the eyes of a modern society that celebrated the ‘career dad who has it all’. My marriage and family life were under incredible strain and I felt the intense shame and guilt of my depression

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Photos: Luke Tiller, stay-at-home dad.

and random angry outbursts. I believed I was letting my family down and I felt like I was failing at the one very important job I didn’t want to screw up: fatherhood. I wanted to quit everything because my family, my girls, even my in-laws were seeing me at my absolute worst. I thought I was screwing my daughters up.

“I had no idea just how tough an assignment I had signed up for!” – Luke tiller

At my worst, I believed the lie that they would be better off without me… guilt and social isolation was the final straw. Finally, I sought help. The community of specialists and counsellors were always there ready to pick me up. In my previous career, I took for granted the wrap-around support of experienced colleagues and counsellors to call on during times of incredible stress where we needed additional support for our thankless work in the shadows. Having left that close-knit community behind, I would now have to forge new networks of friends, other young families, and tap into local community support providers. I would need them now more than ever…

Battling the ‘man box’ Initially, to deal with my anger outbursts, I confided in a friend who was a family violence counsellor who quickly identified my battle with the ‘man box’ and



the incredibly high expectations I had put on myself. Also noticing my obvious depression, he wisely referred me to mental health services, and I began a recovery process with a psychologist. Signing up to group therapy sessions with other men struggling with anger also really helped me gain understanding and a newfound perspective on my struggle with the false expectation that men shouldn’t cry, shouldn’t express emotion or admit to a season of weakness. I realised that even though (before marriage and kids) I had been physically and mentally broken, now it seemed as a stay-at-home dad with two girls under five I was really just mentally exhausted and spiritually broken. I realised I needed to start again, be rebuilt, made stronger and re-constructed with the true identity of

ultimately who God says I am, and NOT what I was comparing myself to… (other working career dads who still ‘had it all’). I rediscovered my true spiritual identity: I am not the ashamed broken-down father, I’m called to care for my family all the while being very careful with my health and wellbeing so as to be strong for my family and community. I started a local dads' coffee group, Wai Dadz, and then organised a massive bonfire and BBQ in a paddock just for the dads without their kids. It was epic. Men sharing just as men. The older dads encouraging us younger dads. It was the space we needed to create. We all realised as fathers we can’t put our mental or physical health on the back-burner, we need to look after ourselves for our families and for the wellbeing of future generations. If you’re going through a rough parenting season don’t give up! Keep going but do speak up, reach out and keep seeking help. As a father you hold incredible value, the work may be thankless and at times unrecognised, but know that you are an essential asset for your community and an inspiration for future generations of Kiwi world-changers.

Father support websites and contact numbers PADA: www.pada.nz Kidz need Dadz: www.kidzneeddadz.org.nz Depression.org.nz Plunketline: 0800 9330922 Need to talk? 0800 111 757 txt 4202

Luke Tiller Luke, a former senior intelligence professional, left government service to become a full-time stay-athome dad in 2017. Luke is now dedicated to ensuring new fathers have access to the information and support they need to lead incredible families. He lives with wife Amanda and their two daughters in rural Carterton district, New Zealand.

Your best years as a father are always ahead of you. 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Great news

for dads

Make the most of Father’s Day “During the week before Father’s Day in Auckland Kidz Need Dadz will host a series of events,” Brendon says. “A movies night, a dads’ group testimonial night and an expo for professionals. On the Saturday before Father’s Day, tide and weather permitting, we offer free fishing on the old Mangere Bridge. We will celebrate Father’s Day in Auckland at Ambury Farm with BBQ/bouncy castle and plenty of family-friendly activities. Other activities are planned in Wellington, Tauranga and Christchurch – check our website for details.”



Two of New Zealand’s leading father advocacy groups have decided to combine to become more effective together. Kidz Need Dadz have been strong in Tauranga and Wellington, whereas the Father and Child Trust was strong in Auckland and Christchurch. Kidz Need Dadz was strong in separation, court and IRD issues, whereas Father and Child Trust was strong in producing resources and courses. Support worker Brendon Smith says the Working Together More fund backed an investigation into getting the two organisations together. “We decided that we make a great team,” says Brendon. “During June we met in Christchurch, Wellington, Auckland and Tauranga and agreed to go ahead under the name of Kidz Need Dadz!”

Kidz Need Dadz aims to strengthen father-child relationships with support, education and fun. “Dads need support in a range of ways,” says Brendon. “Information before baby arrives, support after a tricky birth or help with anxiety and depression. Parenting problems and separation issues are often the result of prior or undetected/unresolved mental health issues and many dads say ’If only I had known’.” Kidz Need Dadz is a safe place where dads can ask any questions and get information. They can access group support, make personal appointments or simply drop in to our offices in Auckland and Christchurch. “We also offer ‘Why dads?’ booklets for expecting or new parents,” Brendon says. “Dads can also take a correspondence course called Discovering Fatherhood, which contains background information for parenting 0–15 year olds. There are so many ways dads play that are developmentally good for babies. Mums need dads and families need dads to be safe, happy and balanced – it is best for the health of the whole family.” 

Find out more www.kidzneeddadz.org.nz Crisis Phone 0800 KND 123 (0800 563 123)

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Father's Day activities

Father's Day is celebrated across the world to recognise and honour the contribution of fathers in society. The day is meant to recall, recognise and remember the efforts, initiatives and contributions of all dads and is an occasion to honour all fatherly figures – like stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, close family friends and big brothers.

him will be welcomed. It's not about what you spend – it's about saying, “We love how much you love us.”

Sometimes being a dad can be tough, so don't miss this chance to tell him how much he means to your family – after all, everyone likes to hear that their kids love them.

Help children to prepare a handmade gift certificate giving Dad free hugs, a car wash or help with a household chore.

Some fathers might say they don't want any fuss, but everyone needs a bit of recognition, so a thoughtful gift that shows you really appreciate



Something handmade Something drawn, coloured or handcrafted is a great way for little ones to show their love – so get out the craft glue, felt tips, macaroni and paint and let your kids create something amazing. Don’t forget to include a handmade card telling him all the reasons why you think he is the best dad in the world.

Father’s Day brunch The perfect start to the day, even the smallest person in the family can help put together a special breakfast

for Dad! If Dad is a confirmed carnivore, cook him a big breakfast at home or at a local park – bacon, sausage, eggs and even pancakes taste better cooked on a barbecue. For a healthier option, put together a fruit salad with yoghurt, add toast and a glass of fresh juice.

Just spend time hanging out Ditch the devices and do some family activities together – and if you can’t think of any, start a few new family traditions. Go for a walk or treasure hunt together, go fishing, walk on the beach, take a family bike ride or explore a local park or nature reserve. You could also do something like visit the zoo, have a movie treat or go to an amusement park. Check out your local city council website, as most areas have free family-oriented activities in their community.

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A difficult day for some While most Kiwi families will have no trouble finding special ways to celebrate the great dads in their lives, it can be a tricky day to navigate for those who do not have fathers. Some children don’t have dads, some parents haven't known their own fathers or were not close to their dads, and some men would love to have the experience of being a father but life doesn't always go to plan. If there is no father in your family’s life, find another role model that has a big impact on your child and celebrate them – it could be another relative, a friend or a teacher.

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It might be worth taking a break from social media if endless posts of happy Father’s Day activities distress you. The best thing you can do on Father’s Day is celebrate the family you have and practise good self-care.

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Spend time doing his favourite thing What does Dad love to do to unwind? It could be playing a board game, fishing, playing rugby, football, cricket, riding bikes, doing extreme frisbee – or getting down and dancing to his favourite music. There are so many options. Make it all about learning to share his interests.

Specialist range of carriers & accessories

Getting the right gift There is no shortage of ideas and the range of gifts being marketed in time for Father’s Day is huge. You can spend as little (nothing other than your time and creativity) or as much as you like. Some of the more interesting ideas include beard bibs, personalised face cushions or an LED beanie… or what about a scratch and sniff bacon cookbook?

Award-winning bedding & sheets

Happy Father’s Day from the Kiwiparent team! 

GET YOUR FREE eBOOK Get our 68-page Guide to Newborn Sleep free, use code FREESLEEP. Just one of our Parents Centre members exclusive discounts available now. Go to www.thesleepstore.co.nz/content/parentscentre to sign up for our latest savings.

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Dads key

to breastfeeding success

Mums who feel supported by their partners have better milk production and their breastfeeding success increases, University of Waikato master’s student Angga Rahadian's research has found. Stress is known to dry up breast milk, so happy mothers are key when it comes to feeding their children. Originally from Jakarta, Angga based her research around Indonesian parents but her findings are also relevant in New Zealand. Angga studied at the University of Waikato’s National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis that has expertise in population health. Angga focussed on social policy in Indonesia relating to supporting the role that fathers play in breastfeeding, such as paternity leave, and improvements that would contribute to higher rates of breastfeeding success. Her research centred on improving exclusive breastfeeding rates, where babies

are supported only by breast milk for the first six months of life. Even though the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life are well understood, there is a lot of room for improvement in exclusive breastfeeding rates in Indonesia as well as in New Zealand. “I have two young daughters and was successful in exclusive breastfeeding thanks to the support of my husband,” Angga says, “but some of my friends weren’t as lucky.” Indonesia currently legislates for three months’ leave

Only 16% of Kiwi mums are exclusively breastfeeding for the six-month period recommended by the World Health Organisation. Based on the University of Auckland's Growing Up in New Zealand study, researchers found that 97% of Kiwi babies are breastfed initially. But the number of infants exclusively breastfed drops to 53.4% at age four months and again to just 15.7% at six months.

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More comfort, more milk When you are comfortable and relaxed your milk flows more easily. Our breast pumps are designed so you can sit comfortably, with no need to lean forward. Our silky, soft massage cushion stimulates your milk flow mimicking baby’s suckling.

www.philips.co.nz/avent www.facebook.com/Philips.Avent.NewZealand

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for new mothers, but there is no specific paternity leave available in Indonesian regulations.

breastfeeding and helping to protect the mother from any negative comments from family and friends.

“Every company in Indonesia has a different policy on paternity leave,” Angga says. “In some companies, paternal leave is given for only one day. Fathers wanting to take time off to support their partner and baby commonly have to take annual leave and are reliant on their employers to grant this."

When her thesis is complete, Angga will return to Indonesia where she plans to present her findings to relevant policy and programme development agencies, as well as breastfeeding supporting communities, with recommendations for policy change.

Angga’s research found that when mothers feel well-supported and calm, milk production and breastfeeding success increases. Two areas of support from the father were vital to breastfeeding success: physical support and psychological support. Physical support included assisting with housework, cooking and other household tasks to allow the mother to rest and give her time to focus on feeding her baby. Psychological support included fathers educating themselves on



She and her husband have previously been involved in a breastfeeding community just for fathers (and founded by men), which aims to increase awareness of the importance of exclusive breastfeeding, and to inform and empower dads to play an active role in what is a traditionally viewed as a female-only domain.

The state of play in New Zealand Research released in 2017 based on the University of Auckland's Growing Up in New Zealand study found 97

per cent of Kiwi babies are breastfed initially. But the number of infants exclusively breastfed drops sharply to 53.4 per cent at age four months and drops again to just 15.7 per cent at six months. The study followed 6,685 singleborn children from birth until the age of two. Paediatrician and report co-author Cameron Grant said many Kiwi mothers wanted to breastfeed but had trouble, and healthcare professionals were keen to help those women. "Some mums said they didn't have enough milk, some said the baby wasn't satisfied, some said the baby weaned itself, and some mums went back to work and it became too difficult," he said. Breastfeeding has many health benefits. "Here in New Zealand it prevents infections, helps dental development in children and potentially has an effect on their intelligence," Cameron says. The research also showed breastfeeding promoted higher



intelligence quotient scores in children, healthy weight ranges, lower infectious morbidity, and reduced rates of diabetes. "Breastfeeding is the best option. But there certainly are some mums who are unable to do that, and we do have good alternatives that are very safe. We will always work to ensure every child is well-nourished." Research co-author Teresa Castro said duration of breastfeeding was associated with the mother's age, ethnicity, education, number of children and whether the pregnancy was planned.

Support makes all the difference Special things happen when a baby is born and the early bond between father and baby is vital for a child’s long-term health and wellbeing. Breastfeeding can be challenging and tiring so a supportive environment can make all the difference to mum and baby.

Dads, partners and the wider wha-nau play a very important role in the success of breastfeeding. Sometimes fathers don’t always realise how important they are when it comes to infant feeding – they may even feel a bit left out since the mum is the only one who can breastfeed. But the loving encouragement of a partner is one of the most important factors in a woman’s decision to breastfeed. As a partner, there are many things you can do to be part of the breastfeeding experience. Read up about the benefits and challenges of breastfeeding and chat with your midwife, doctor or childbirth educator if you have any questions. The more you know, the more you will be able to help. Be supportive of mum’s decision to breastfeed – your loving encouragement will make all the difference and give her confidence, especially in the early days.

Introducing making life simple for mums who express Our Express and Go range makes everything easier. By using a single pouch to EXPRESS, STORE, WARM and FEED, there’s no need to transfer breastmilk between bottles so you’ll never lose a precious drop!

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There are also some breastfeeding advantages you may not have thought about: „„ B reastfeeding saves you money. You do not have to spend up large on infant formula, bottles, nipples, warmers, etc. „„ G oing out requires less effort. There is less to pack and carry when you leave the house with your family. Breast milk is always available and at the perfect temperature. „„ N ight feedings are less of a drama. You won’t have to prepare bottles in the middle of the night, and there won’t be any emergency trips to the store because you're out of formula. By taking an active part in breastfeeding and your child’s everyday care, you are showing support for your partner and encouraging her to be successful at breastfeeding. You’ll also get to spend more time bonding with your baby, building your own special relationship and gaining more confidence in your role as a parent. 



Here are some practical ways you can support your partner to breastfeed „„ O ffer to help with the other children to give mum alone time with the new baby – read them a story, bath them, go for a walk or play a game together. „„ H elp around the house – do the dishes, make dinner or take care of the grocery shopping. Hang out the washing, do some cleaning or make the school lunches. „„ I f mum is finding breastfeeding hard going, encourage her to keep it up. It may not be easy for every mother at first, but it’s worth the effort! „„ H elp mum to get the rest she needs by spending time with the baby. Helping care for your new baby gives dads, partners and support people a chance to bond with baby. You could bath baby, burp them after a feed, or cuddle and soothe them. Skin-on-skin contact is a great way to connect with your new baby. And don’t forget to help with nappy changing – always a popular job! „„ I f it is possible, aim to make at least the first ten days after the birth a ‘babymoon’ for the new mother – time free from cooking, cleaning and childcare (unless she chooses to do these things). Bring baby to mum when it’s time to feed – get her a glass of water and a snack. Feeling comfortable and relaxed will help her milk to let down.

In this section Volunteers making a difference – Gemma Todd and the team at Gore Parents Centre Chinese language antenatal classes begin in Waikato

Volunteers – the lifeblood of Parents Centre What is a volunteer? Basically, it is someone who is socially conscious.

Childbirth education classes Photo: Alexandra Parents Centre members.

It takes an exceptional person to recognise the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time, sharing their skills, without needing payment as a reward. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We simply wouldn’t exist without the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy of so many generous and proactive people nationwide. Volunteering is rewarding, skill-building, good for communities and, let’s not forget, it can be great fun! It fosters a strong sense of belonging and community connection. Time and again we hear that our volunteers are people who are full-time parents, have paid jobs as well as other commitments yet who still manage to find the time to volunteer for their local Centre.

Photo: Balclutha celebrates.

It’s heartening to see the wide number of benefits that volunteering brings. These include career opportunities, the ability to expand a CV for returning to the paid workforce, friendships, personal and professional growth and, often, the overall satisfaction that comes from being able to contribute to other parents and their families. Read the stories on the following pages of inspirational volunteers who are making a huge contribution to their communities in Dunedin and Auckland. If you are not already enjoying the benefits of volunteering – why don’t you have a go? Your local Centre will welcome you with open arms! To all our volunteers who have been before, who are with us now and will join us in the future, Parents Centres New Zealand is thankful for your input and honoured to work alongside you to support parents throughout New Zealand.

www.parentscentre.org.nz 

To locate a Centre near you and to find out more about volunteering with Parents Centre visit:

The magazine of Parents Centre


A close-knit community I began my Parents Centre volunteer journey in December 2014 when my son Ryan was just five months old. I had moved to Dunedin a few years prior and didn’t know any mum friends or have family support down here, apart from my amazing husband. Joining Parents Centre helped me to connect with other mums who had similar-aged children to me. I initially went to the Bums and Tums session which focuses on babies under one, and once Ryan was older, we changed to the mixed-aged play groups. The first role I took on was the childbirth education coordinator, which involved looking after the bookings, organising classes with hostesses and liaising with the childbirth educators, and I helped out at the Toy Library. In 2016 I gave birth to my second child, Hayden, and later that year I went onto the executive committee and then took up the role of president the following AGM. I am still the president and work part-time as a phlebotomist at our local hospital. There are so many rewarding moments as a volunteer but the best one is seeing our wee Centre thrive. I see the same families week after week – and they often



have positive comments about how welcoming we are. We also have booked out childbirth education classes due to the good reputation we have with our community. This makes me stay motivated as I want our Centre and committee to achieve the best for our community. We are soon looking at a huge renovation to modernise our indoor play area and to have a better indoor/ outdoor flow – it will be a massive project but I can’t wait to see the finished result. Being on the committee has helped my self-esteem dramatically, helped me be a better mum by being able to talk to others about any ‘mum problems’, I've made lifelong friends, and we have watched our children grow up together, been pregnant together and still meet almost weekly to catch up. It’s also a great way to keep my mind active when I’ve not been working. So, if you are thinking about becoming a volunteer in your community you should do it! I love our committee. We are an amazing team and we work hard together to continue to keep our centre open and offering services that are needed. Gemma Todd Dunedin Parents Centre Volunteer of the year 2019 

A little Centre with a big heart Gore Parents Centre – winner of the Cheryl Macaulay Award This Centre is from a small rural area, but this is an area with a BIG heart. The Centre have a small but capable committee who work tirelessly to be proactive in their community. In fact, they are so dynamic that people travel up to an hour from rural areas with young babies to be there. The committee is full of praise President Casey Easton, “She has lifted our Centre to a whole new level, while growing her own family in the process. She has passion and commitment and she is the reason why this Centre is so successful.” Some of their activities include giving every baby born at their local birthing unit a newborn pack, they offer Music & Movement classes, car seat and baby gear hire, provide kids’ triathlons and children’s days, put on family events and host Christmas functions. And it doesn’t stop there! They have organised flower arrangement, cake making and photography information nights, and stage regular evenings where parents can just get out, chat and enjoy themselves. They provide additional education sessions on babywearing, dental health, pelvic health, toilet learning, the list goes on.

Gore Parents Centre is part of a purpose-built facility with like-minded organisations such as Toy Library, Playcentre, Barnardos, local midwives and a chiropractor. This hub is pivotal to their community; it is a base for parents to drop in, to attend classes, to feel supported. This Centre worked extremely hard following the loss of DHB funding to provide free antenatal classes. They were determined to be able to continue offering classes at no cost, and they do some amazing fundraising events to enable this to happen. One example is their ‘stock-grazing scheme’, where a committee member would graze a calf until the right age to go to the butcher, the proceeds then going to the Centre activities. Their Monster Market was transformed into a Winter Fete and now successfully raises more money than they need to keep their antenatal classes running. They are an amazing representation of what a Parents Centre is in the community. 

This award commemorates our late Chairperson, Cheryl Macaulay. It is given to either a person or a Centre showing determination, leadership and recognising that “failure is never an option”.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Chinese antenatal classes in Waikato Parents Centre is delivering antenatal classes (childbirth education) to the Chinese community in Hamilton. This came about due to this growing demographic in the Waikato, and through Parents Centre's strength, ability and desire to meet all needs in the community. We recognise that this diverse and growing community aren’t having their maternity education and support provided. It is important to allow opportunities for women and their families to understand the New Zealand maternity system, to allow for cultural practices to be incorporated and to foster support groups, which are critical to the parenting journey. It is imperative that all women have the right to make an informed decision about their birth, about their choices and about their care. Where English-speaking skills are limited, or English is the second language, women can have difficulty understanding these choices and the information they’re being offered, due to language barriers. This in turn can make a woman particularly vulnerable, and vulnerability can lead to challenges, complications and mental health issues. These classes will be facilitated by two local Chinese midwives with adult teaching abilities and we’re offering both evening classes and weekend programmes. Thanks to funding from Waikato DHB, we can offer these free of charge. 



Empowering Chinese families in Aotearoa Waikato, like many other regions in Aotearoa, has a strong Chinese community. We are becoming better at recognising that other cultures and communities are important facets of New Zealand. However, if your English is limited it isn’t always easy to get access to the advice and information. This exciting initiative is about empowering our Chinese families to be better informed, to understand opportunities and to build relationships and friendships that will last a lifetime. We at Parents Centre respect that when it comes to parenting, culture paves our birth journey. I candidly recall the food that arrived into the maternity ward hours after the birth of each of my daughters! This initiative is just the beginning and a wonderful example of how this organisation is truly built for Kiwi families! Win Mitchell Parents Centre Board member Email info@parentscentre.org.nz for further information.

Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centres renowned parent education programmes.

This month the spotlight is on:

Childbirth education (antenatal) programmes Many incredible changes occur to a woman’s body when she becomes pregnant. The wonderful thing is that it all happens without conscious thought. For example, the baby’s fingernails begin forming without mum looking up developmental stages and thinking, ‘This week it’s nails!’ How incredible is that? So, why attend pregnancy and childbirth programmes or classes if a growing baby happens without a textbook or instructions? Surely birthing and breastfeeding will be the same? The answer is, “Yes, it is”. Giving birth is a natural physiological event, as is breastfeeding. In this modern world, however, we are no longer surrounded by birth and breastfeeding in the course of our lives. For many women, the first experience they have of birthing is when they give birth themselves. This is not helped by the media’s widespread portrayal of birth, which is often far from reality. Sadly, this leaves some people lacking in confidence and the mother lacking in the knowledge required to trust her own body. This is where antenatal – or childbirth education – programmes can be a lifeline for couples who want well-researched, up-to-date information on the basics of childbearing.

Parents Centres childbirth education programmes cater for all situations, including when labour doesn’t go to plan, and trouble-shooting for times when breastfeeding can be challenging. Information is power and, in an often medically oriented birthing situation, this knowledge is empowering for both parents. Many parents also find it extremely rewarding to have the opportunity to take time out of their busy lives to dedicate a couple of hours a week to planning for the birth of their baby. The ‘coffee groups’ that follow on from the class series become a lifeline for some. To network with other parents at the same stage of life, experiencing similar challenges and joys, is confidenceboosting and very rewarding. The programmes are run by qualified professional Childbirth Educators who are skilled in knowledge and in facilitation, to ensure that your experience of antenatal classes is fun, interactive, valuable and informative. Go to www.parentscentre.org.nz to find out about antenatal classes running in your area. Childbirth educations classes are supported by Huggies. 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 46 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area, or go to:


North Island Auckland Region 1 Whanga-rei Waitemata Bays North Harbour Hibiscus Coast - newa O

Bay of Plenty Tauranga Whakata-ne Rotorua TaupoTaranaki

Auckland Region 2

New Plymouth

Auckland East



South Taranaki


East Coast North Island


Central Hawke's Bay

Auckland Region 3

Hawke's Bay

West Auckland

Central Districts

Central Auckland

Palmerston North

East & Bays


Waikato Cambridge

Wellington Ka-piti


Lower Hutt




Upper Hutt


Wellington North Wellington South

South Island Northern South Island Nelson Marlborough Greymouth Canterbury Region Ashburton Christchurch Timaru Oamaru Southern Region Alexandra Balclutha Dunedin Gore Taieri



Great parents

grow great kids

Arm yourself with knowledge as you grow as a parent alongside your child, by taking part in one of the Parents Centre programmes that run nationwide. Having a new baby is a time of significant change – your brain is working overtime with questions and your body is going through amazing changes. It's quite a journey. Parents Centre has been supporting parents for 65 years. Become a member of Parents Centre and we can support you too! You’ll get access to quality pregnancy, childbirth and parent education that will help you gain invaluable knowledge on your pregnancy, childbirth and early parenting journey. It’s a great way to meet other new parents who are on the same journey as you. They often become lifelong friends. You get support through coffee groups that meet on a regular basis, and ongoing education programmes to help you navigate the stages of pregnancy and parenthood. With 46 Centres nationwide, we provide many opportunities for social engagement for both parents and children. Many of our Centres offer playgroups and music classes, and these are a great way to learn with your children while you get to socialise with other parents at the same time.

You also gain skills and experience that will be a real asset when you decide to rejoin the workforce. We look forward to having you join our Parents Centre family and supporting you on your parenting journey! Early Pregnancy – a special programme tailored for your 12th to 24th week of pregnancy. Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parent Education (Antenatal) – essential information to prepare you for childbirth and early parenting. Baby and You – practical and sensible tips and advice for enjoying and making the most of those first months with your newborn. Parenting with Purpose – consciously focusing on how you want to parent and how your child ticks. Return to Work – advice for preparing and returning to the paid workforce. Magic Moments – strategies for positive communication and discipline with your child. Moving and Munching – exploring baby's first foods and developmental stages.

As a Parents Centre member you will receive loads of free giveaways and samples, as well as special discount shopping days, and discounted products and services exclusive to Parents Centre members. Who doesn’t love freebies and discounts!

Music and Movement – stimulating music activities for your baby and toddler.

Many of our members gain so much from being a Parents Centre member that they want to ‘give back’ and become volunteers for their local Centre, ensuring that new parents can continue to benefit from the skills, knowledge, friendships and support they’ve received.

www.parentscentre.org.nz 

Tinies to Tots – positively encouraging your emerging adventurous toddler.

The magazine of Parents Centre





anxious time Both partners can experience anxiety when they are expecting a new baby

I thought I would be over the moon to be pregnant, but I think there is something wrong with me. I am worried all the time, I am so scared I won’t be a good mum, or that I won’t love my baby as much as my partner will or that something horrible will happen at the birth. I find myself crying on and off through the day – and I am not usually a weepy person. I don’t want to tell my partner how I feel because he is so happy, and I can’t confide in my family or friends because they know how much we wanted this baby. I know I should be loving this pregnancy, but all I feel is anxious… Pregnancy can be difficult for some couples. There can be so many different emotions associated with this journey long before the pregnancy test is positive. And when those magic lines finally do appear on the pregnancy test, they can set off an avalanche of even more emotions; excitement, anticipation, disappointment, panic and delight are common reactions. That snowball can get bigger and roll faster as birth approaches. There is a lot to take in and your body is coping with all sorts of hormone surges. It is no wonder expectant parents can be overwhelmed with so many different emotions – though strangely we are still hesitant as a society to talk about them. Anxiety is the topic of this article. Some anxiety during pregnancy is normal, but for 15–35% of expecting mums, symptoms are severe enough to impact on day-to-day lives.

It could be anxiety about your health or your baby’s health, fears about the birth, recurrent thoughts and fears of things that could happen to you or baby, worries about your impending lifestyle change and finances, or the feeling you are not fit to be a good parent. You could also have physical symptoms such as a racing heart, breathlessness, dizziness or difficulties sleeping. Although a range of emotions are very normal during pregnancy, it is important to seek support if you are excessively worried. You might be surprised by how many other women experience the same sort of emotions as you. Talking to others in similar situations can be very useful. You might find that your partner has anxieties too and is hesitant to mention it for the same reasons that you don’t want to share your feelings – so making the first step can really pay off there.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


All the thinking you are doing is proof that you are preparing yourself for being the best parent you can be for your baby.

Why does anxiety matter? Research shows that the emotional state of the pregnant mother might affect her unborn child. Maternal stress and anxiety during pregnancy can have both immediate and longterm effects on her fetus.

How does this work? When we are stressed, a series of chemical changes is set off in our bodies and brains, such as the release of cortisol and adrenaline. Normally, these chemicals help prepare us for danger and are important for our survival. However, if we are chronically stressed and anxious, these stress-related hormones can remain high for too long and create havoc in our bodies. When a pregnant woman is chronically stressed or anxious, the baby may be exposed to



unhealthy levels of stress hormones, which can at times impact the baby’s brain development. Chronic or extreme maternal stress may also cause changes in the blood flow to the baby, making it difficult to carry oxygen and other important nutrients to the baby’s developing organs. Chronically stressed mothers may feel overwhelmed and fatigued which might impact their diet and sleep habits and consistency of prenatal care.

What will help? Most importantly, self-awareness and talking about your feelings. Take an honest look at yourself and how much you have on your plate. How much of your day and especially time when you are not occupied do you spend worrying? Reading about or talking to others about their experiences can be helpful, and talking to health professionals like your midwife, GP, CBE or Plunketline can also be helpful. Research shows that one important factor influencing maternal anxiety is the mother’s

level of social support. Take time to look for other expecting mums that share your values, and invest time in your friendship. Other protective factors may include consistent prenatal care, regular light exercise, adequate rest, healthy eating habits, as well as avoiding alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. If you are used to caring for others rather than yourself, making yourself a priority may seem unnatural or even selfish. But taking care of yourself is an essential part of taking care of your baby. Cutting down on stress – or learning how to manage it – makes for a healthier pregnancy and many times a more settled baby in the future. You could start by sharing your fears with your partner – even if they are about them. Chances are they are harbouring concerns of their own. Communicating openly about your anxiety can help you both feel better. Turn to friends or family members for support, too. Other mothers-to-be can be another source of support, as they are probably experiencing similar worries themselves. And if you

Tips for managing anxiety „„ P ractice saying no. Make slowing down a priority and get used to the idea of asking your friends and loved ones for help. „„ C ut back on chores – and use that time to put your feet up, nap, or read a book. „„ T ake advantage of sick days or take a short holiday whenever possible. „„ Try deep-breathing exercises, yoga, or stretching. „„ Get regular exercise such as swimming or walking. „„ D o your best to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet so you have the physical and emotional energy you need. „„ G o to bed early. Your body is working overtime to nourish your growing baby and needs all the sleep it can get. „„ L imit "information overload". Reading pregnancy books, surfing pregnancy websites, and listening to your friends' pregnancy stories are fine – but don’t wallow in all the scary things that might happen. Recent research points to the fact the parents who read the most books and social media information, end up the most anxious.

find you are still extremely anxious or have a specific reason to be concerned about your baby's health, make sure you talk to your midwife or GP who will know about support services in your community. There are professionals who can support you through this time – counsellors, psychologists, support groups, and maternal mental health teams are skilled at helping women at this vulnerable time. They are trained to be a confidential, knowledgeable, and non-judgemental source of support, and you do not have to worry about unloading your anxieties with them. But you have to reach out to them, that is the first step. If you feel you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your baby.

It’s not always easy for partners I attended the birth of our first child a few months ago. Everything went well, my wife was brilliant, and the baby is healthy and is developing well. I cut the cord

and held him while the midwife looked after my wife. I looked into his eyes and felt… nothing. I found the whole birth process alienating and a bit gross to be honest. I was expecting to feel overwhelming love for my son, but all I felt was trapped into something I wasn’t prepared for. I can’t talk to my wife as she doesn’t have time to do anything other than look after the baby. And I can’t talk to my mates – it’s not the kind of thing you share with others… Experiencing a range of emotions is as common for dads as it is for mums. While a dad-to-be will not experience the same hormonal surge flowing through their bodies as the mum-to-be, the life changes that occur during pregnancy and when baby arrives can put a real spin on a man's emotional and hormonal life. Sometimes partners can go into a bit of shock once the heightened

emotional excitement of birth is over. The hormonal system may well be so depleted through all that adrenalin flow, that the oxytocin (otherwise known as the bonding hormone) has not yet found its way to kick in and this can feel like emotional numbness. The first three months can be a confusing time and for about 10% of dads this can lead to a lot of sadness which, in turn, can result in postnatal depression – a condition also experienced by men.

Don’t beat yourself up It’s normal to feel your newborn is actually not very interesting or exciting… Take your time to slowly fall in love with your new child. Discovering what they look like, what they feel like, and what they can do are the best love ingredients. Talk heaps to your baby; if you interact with them, they will respond to you, which will help you to bond. Tell him what you are doing when you change the nappy, describe the lounge when you are holding her for a burp.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Take over at least one daily task (something like bath time) that allows you to have close time with your baby without being in a rush. You could also have some skin-toskin time before they have a bath – lie down comfortably and undress your baby then undo your shirt and let your baby lie skin-to-skin on your chest. If the weather is chilly, drape a blanket over yourself and baby but together you will generate warmth. Your baby will hear your heart beating and feel safe and protected.

you can contact the Mental Health Foundation. And don’t forget to talk to your partner. Sharing this journey can make your relationship even stronger. 

Talk, talk, talk Find someone you trust to talk to. A supportive and non-judgmental friend who is a dad can sometimes be just as helpful as a professional. If you feel more comfortable consulting a professional, then your GP can put you in touch with a counsellor or local support groups. If you feel more comfortable talking to someone anonymously,

Find out more Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa www.pada.nz Mental Health Foundation www.mentalhealth.org.nz Anxiety New Zealand Trust www.anxiety.org.nz 0800 ANXIETY (0800 269 4389)

Liora Noy Liora is a registered nurse and lactation consultant with a Master’s in Public Health Education, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. Liora runs breastfeeding support clinics and teaches antenatal breastfeeding classes, as well as a PND class she developed three years ago. Originally from Mexico, Liora has lived in Israel, California and Hawaii, and has worked with a variety of ethnic populations and with refugees. She is passionate about supporting parents affected by postnatal distress, having been deeply affected herself. She has a been a peer counsellor for Little Shadow (formerly PND Wellington) for seven years, facilitated SPACE groups for mums with PND, and is the Educator/Relationship Manager for PADA.





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All they need is


Help your child feel loved, safe and accepted

Extracted from Mind Kind – a new book from psychotherapist Dr Joanna North What your child really needs is you and your attention. There is nothing on this planet you can buy that will replace that. The thing that children want to feel most is that their parents feel secure and safe and that this feeling then transfers to them. With a felt sense of security, a child will have a pervasive feeling that their world is going to be held together and managed, in a fashion that keeps them safe and well, and that they can get on with the task of exploring life and relationships. This is what your children really want from you. They might think they need lots of other things like computer games and the latest toy, though the truth is that they can grow and develop quite well without these things. But they will not grow and develop without learning from you that you are coping and that life is a safe place to be. If you put effort into anything, put it into helping your child feel loved, safe and accepted.

Distinguish positive from negative Secure children feel they have permission to comment on life as they see it without judgmental responses from defensive parents. So, when a child says, ‘I don’t like this’, the parent might not be able to change anything, but it becomes a matter for parental attention to which they try to give meaning. This kind of emotional literacy relating to good and bad gives a child a way to describe their experience and help others understand them. The child feels that their conversation is worthy of attention and they will bother to make a narrative about life because life is full of good and bad things that are interesting.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


Label and express emotions Our emotions help us understand where we are inside ourselves and we should not ignore these communications. Children being emotional is to be expected and respected and is worthy of our attention rather than being viewed as something that makes us cross. Children are born to communicate through emotions and use sound so that they draw our attention to themselves. Eventually those sounds will become communication. When we accept the sounds of childhood as vital to their wellbeing, we accept children as they are and they, again, have that felt sense of us being there for them.

Feeling accepted A sense of acceptance is big currency in life. It is worth more than money. A sense of acceptance and belonging in our primary family of care is the deepest gift and nothing can replace the sense of wellbeing or contentment that this will give to children. The opposite of acceptance is rejection, and if you have lived with even minor rejection you know how painful this feels and how it disturbs your sense of wellbeing. It is very easy to think we are giving children a sense of acceptance by giving them a material need, when



Emotions are beautiful aspects of our humanity that keep us informed about the state of our children and ourselves.

in fact we could be doing exactly the opposite if we think that objects will replace our presence and emotional availability to our children. They really want to feel we have time for them, that we can hear them, receive their communications and make sense of them.

Developing a coherent self Coherence in self refers to the way we experience ourselves as well as the way others experience us. As a body, a mind and a self, living in a world depending on our relationships, we need to be able to rely on ourselves working in a coherent and orderly fashion.

A typical example would be when children are ill – you’ll see their little show fall off the rails and they cannot hold on to their self-organising skills. You have probably noticed that the same happens to you: everything that was easy when you were well is so difficult when you are ill. With children, for a few days before you realise they are ill you might be baffled by their behaviour. Then suddenly their temperature breaks out and they collapse into a heap and need to be cared for while the body restores itself. Once all is well, the mind can light up again and begin to behave in an organised way. Your child can cope again. You don’t have to be perfect as a parent, but you do have to try to be as coherent and as organised, functional and meaningful as you can be.

Becoming alert to information about relationships In the rush of our everyday lives, along with our bid to cope and survive, be more effective and hold a family together, parents may forget the underlying basis of relationships. You may feel worn out by trying to give your children everything, only to find that they still want something else.

When your baby was born, they will have searched through the shapes that surrounded them and found one thing upon which their eyes could rest and provoke their curiosity. That one thing was your face, and from that moment your baby began learning about all the information in your face, about you and the things going on around you. In turn, parents search their child’s face because faces are an important register of how we are, both inside and out. While babies are born to connect with you, we have understood for some time that the way that they connect varies according to their temperament. They may be easy or fractious but this doesn’t matter; it’s all behaviour to survive combined with their inherited temperament and it’s all there for a parent or carer to interpret and cope with. This is the start of a basic question in life: how are you and how does it show? The more adept we are at reading social cues through people’s faces and body language, the more we are likely to get social cues correct and respond in the right way. Secure children will never go around thinking, ‘Lucky me, I got top marks in reading faces’ – they will take this for granted and get on with their busy lives, using this information to keep them in relationships.

Continued overleaf... The magazine of Parents Centre


I think it is helpful that parents should know that below the surface there is some busy activity going on around being alert to relationships. Your child will be reading your face – are you reading theirs?

Help them deal with issues If you are available to deal with your child’s issues as they arise, it is highly likely that by the time they are adults they will have absorbed the tendency to deal with issues more effectively. There are issues and there are big issues, and secure parents will have a sense that issues fall into categories. First there are the issues such as ‘I can’t find my PE shorts’. These are practical issues in which a child can learn, with your help, about keeping their things in some kind of order. There is no point in getting cross with a child – they don’t have good memories until they are around ten years old and even then they won’t remember everything.

their behaviour. If your child is upset, it is because they are upset about something important to them, not because they wish to annoy you. If your child is angry, it is because they are angry about something important, not just because they like being angry. It is up to you to put in some time to consider these communications and help them out.

The second category includes the things that you just must organise, such as the structure of their day and the way their time runs, the issue of routine and organisation. This is your domain and responsibility, although a child between five and ten could have some input and you can help them learn to plan.

A child cannot sort out their own emotional life and they will need your help with this. It is not okay to leave them to cope on their own. As you build these patterns of continual behaviour with your child by dealing with their small problems, you are fulfilling a long-term goal of helping them towards autonomy and secure independence. You are also helping them to deal with both practical and emotional issues and not stay stuck with frustration or anger.

The third set of priorities includes attention to their inner life and information from their thoughts, feelings and emotions. This involves you listening as well as noticing


Help your child resolve negative emotions. It is a fantastic way to care for their mental health and make them feel secure. It could be said to be the first building block of good mental health.


One of the parents whom I have supported allowed me to reproduce her thoughts on learning to parent to help her child feel more secure: When I was a child, I noticed how parents used to talk with their children. By the time I was a teenager I noticed that some parents talked more to their kids than others. I was particularly interested in the way that my best friend’s mum was very interested in her life – that was so fascinating to me and somehow made me feel good inside. It also made me feel good that her mother paid attention to her friends (i.e. me). She used to say positive things to me, and I felt great. When I first became a parent, I remembered what I saw in my friends’ parents and the way they related to their children. I learnt from others that it was okay to be sensitive and supportive and interested. Sometimes I was unsure of myself as to what this meant, as it was not embedded comfortably in my memory. Sometimes I was switched off, thinking that babies could manage on their own, but then my baby would cry so much that I would think there must be something I had to do. Eventually my baby taught me to respond to her. She had a training plan for me.

You are only human, and you cannot do it all right now, but you can let your children know, ‘I will be with you as soon as I can on that – it’s important to me.’ Let them know you intend to help them. It does not matter if you did not have the perfect experience of being parented yourself. You can live and learn behaviours from others. Children are primed and programmed to demand more and more from us, and you might need help to identify the needs of the child that must be met if they are to feel secure. It is safe to say no if they ask for the latest thing they feel they need, but it is not safe to take your eye off their need for you to protect them and prioritise their care.

Secure kids express emotions, talk about negative as well as positive experiences and feel they have the right to comment on their lives. They will have problems and they will bring you those problems if they are secure. Their real hope lies in a thoughtful parent who is sensitive to what is worrying them, who takes their issues seriously and realises that what they really need is you working for them. 

Dr Joanna North An internationally recognised psychotherapist, Joanna offers a guide to rethinking the parenting mindset. Her new book ‘Mind Kind’ helps parents become more aware of the types of emotional support children may need. By following her practical advice, parents can help their child grow a strong and resilient mind, even when going through difficult times. With simple and clear advice backed by over 30 years’ professional experience, this book gives insights into how to adopt a parenting model with kindness at its core.

The magazine of Parents Centre


No baby is

naughty Just like adults, every baby is different. Your baby may be easygoing and calm, or wakeful and active. They may settle quickly into a regular routine or be more unpredictable. If they cry a lot, it doesn’t mean they’re being naughty or annoying you on purpose. Crying is their way of communicating – and although it can be hard to cope with (especially when you are tired too) this stage won’t last forever.

Whatever your baby’s personality, you can get your relationship off to a great start by: „„ Giving them lots of attention – you can’t spoil a baby with too much love. „„ Responding quickly to their crying – it makes them feel more safe and settled. „„ Singing, talking and cuddling – it all helps their brain to grow, and builds a stronger bond with mum and dad. „„ Smiling at them lots – eventually they’ll smile back! „„ Love and warmth – showing warmth and affection builds trust, positive self-esteem and strengthens your relationship.



As they grow, you will be able to build on the loving foundations that you have already put in place by: „„ Talking and listening – talking with kids and really listening to what they say makes them feel heard and builds their confidence. „„ Guidance and understanding – children are more likely to co-operate when they understand why we want them to do something. Clear, simple, explanations are the most effective. „„ A structured and secure world – safe, supportive environments provide security and reduce conflict. „„ Consistency and consequences – consistency involves predictability. From an early age, children learn that an action has consequences. „„ Limits and boundaries – rules keep things safe and fair for the whole family. They need to teach mostly ‘what we do' rather than ‘what we don't do'. They need to work for everyone – for children and parents. www.skip.org.nz 

The magazine of Parents Centre


Books with

heart on issues that matter

Five years ago, EK Books set out on a mission to publish children’s books on themes that other publishers fear to touch. Our motto is ‘Books with Heart on Issues that Matter’ and our books are crafted by authors and illustrators whose backgrounds include teaching and psychology. These creators have a knack for unpacking complex issues, making them engaging and memorable for even the youngest readers.



From entering the world of a relative with dementia to a child with autism, from overcoming anxiety to coping with the loss of a parent, from finding the courage to step outside your comfort zone to exploring new countries, and much more, EK has real life happily covered for children aged four to ten. So, it’s no surprise that our gorgeous books with their great characters and glorious illustrations have seen EK go from strength to strength. This year we were nominated for the Publisher of the Year (Oceania Region) Award at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and took out the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Book of the Year in Australia and New Zealand with our title At the End of Holyrood Lane. We invite you to discover our titles and share in our passion for giving children tools for life.

Grandpa’s Noises Gareth St John Thomas & Colin Rowe Children love laughing about body noises. In Grandpa’s Noises, a range of sounds and words coming from body and mouth are explained in a warm and funny intergenerational romp. Sometimes it takes a bit of thinking and code-breaking to work out what’s really going on. Fortunately, for this grandchild, while Grandpa’s noises might be a mystery to many, he knows just what they mean!

The Boy in the Big Blue Glasses Susanne Gervay & Marjorie Crosby-Fairall Sam doesn’t like his new glasses. His parents say he looks handsome in them. But Sam just wants to look like himself. His teacher doesn’t recognise him – she says he must be a new superhero. But Sam doesn’t want to be a superhero. He just wants to be himself. Eventually, with a bit of confidence and a lot of humour, Sam finds out that wearing glasses isn’t so bad – and people still like him just the way he is after all.

Smile Cry: Happy or Sad, Wailing or Glad – How Do You Feel Today? Tania McCartney & Jess Racklyeft An innovative flip-format picture book for young kids that showcases the full emotional range of childhood. Follow three adorable characters as they react to a variety of events from everyday life. ‘Smile’ reads from front to back, while ‘Cry’ reads from back to front, with the narratives meeting in the middle.

A Kiwi Year: Twelve Months in the Life of New Zealand’s Kids Tania McCartney & Tina Snerling Meet Charlie, Ruby, Oliver, Mason and Kaia – Kiwi kids representing a multicultural blend of culture and race that typifies our amazing country. They’ll take you through a year in the life of New Zealand's kids, from celebrations, traditions and events, to our everyday way of life and the little things that make childhood so memorable.

What Could It Be? Exploring the Imaginative World of Shapes Sally Fawcett This concept book for kids is all about unleashing creativity, thinking outside the square and opening the mind to possibility! Part picture book, part artistic inspiration, What Could It Be? is an interactive adventure for pre-primary and primary schoolaged children organised into paired double-page spreads.

Don’t Think About Purple Elephants Susan Whelan & Gwynneth Jones Sometimes Sophie worries – not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach … that might just involve an elephant or two!

The Box Cars

Peas in a Pod

Robert Vescio & Cara King

Tania McCartney & Tina Snerling

Liam and Kai are best friends. They do everything together. Each day in the park they race around in their box cars, pretending to be everything from policemen to chauffeurs driving movie stars! One day they notice a little girl watching them – they’re happy to be her friends, but with only two cars. A fun-filled story of friendship, sharing and creative problem-solving! 

Pippa, Pia, Poppy, Polly and Peg are quintuplets. Since birth, they’ve done everything the same – cry, eat, sleep, sit. But as they get a little older, things start to change. Now they want to do things differently – very differently. Can Mum and Dad keep their little girls as matching peas in a pod, or will those five very individual personalities win out in the end?

The magazine of Parents Centre


This kids’ room in Resene Eskimo grew up with a fun paint detail by masking off the mountain shape and coating the lower walls and floor in Resene Prussian Blue. The shelf adds a bit of bling in Resene Solid Gold metallic. Styling by LeeAnn Yare, image by Melanie Jenkins.




with the times Managing multiple bedroom transitions

Converting a bedroom through different stages is easy when you start from the beginning. While renovating a bedroom can be fun, not everyone wants to start from scratch every time their child matures to the next stage. But, transitioning from guest room to nursery to kids’ room to teenage hangout – and back to guest room again – can be done with ease if you follow a few handy hints.

From guest room to nursery When making the leap from a guest room or office to a nursery, it’s important to keep things simple. It’s key to consider how the room will need to evolve in ten or even twenty years’ time. A neutral colour scheme for the walls, window treatments and flooring is a great place to start. Other colours can be incorporated later through furniture, bedding and decorative pieces like artwork or wall hangings. If you do have your heart set on a particular wall colour, however, you should go for it – it only takes a day or two to repaint – but keeping the often-expensive carpet and window treatments neutral will save you in the long run. Just remember, children tend to outgrow gender-specific colours like pink and blue early, so you might find yourself painting over these choices sooner rather than later. If you’re struggling to come up with a colour scheme for your nursery, you can look to science to decide. For the first three months, babies can only see black, white and grey, so they tend to focus on contrasting colours, such as black and white, because they’re much easier to see than lighter, non-contrasting colours. Conveniently, this makes nursery renovations easy when it comes to choosing colours! Try Resene Rice Cake for a warm, neutral white and pair it with Resene Noir for a high-contrast look. If a monochrome look isn’t your thing, try contrasting grey with a splash of colour, such as a subtle yellow

like Resene Yuma, or go bold with one red feature wall. Red is one of the first colours a baby can see, at around three months of age. Try Resene Pohutukawa, Resene Poppy or Resene CodeRed.

From nursery to kids’ room When it comes to furniture, the nursery stage is a great time to take it easy, but once you hit the ‘incredible years’ – three to six years old – and beyond, you can start to get creative. Upcycling old furniture such as painting old drawers in brighter colours, or even just their handles, can instantly transform a room. Start with small projects and look for ways the kids can help you out. Framing your child’s artwork is another way to brighten things up with minimal change to the room’s main décor, and decals are an easy and affordable way to reflect special interests or favourite animated characters – they simply peel off when your child moves on and wants a change. Wooden bunk beds are perfect for freeing up floor space and can be painted to suit your child’s personality. As your child gets older, simply lose the bottom bunk and add a study nook underneath the top bunk. Children love their privacy, too, and often enjoy having their own hideout. Bunks can easily convert into forts with a few blankets and boxes. And in the transition to a teenage bedroom, they will probably appreciate that privacy all the more.

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Neutral – and gender-neutral – tones made it simple to start adding in some personality in this nursery when transitioning from baby to toddler. Resene Black White walls were the perfect blank state to add in the triangle ‘tree shelf’ in Resene Middle Earth. The chair has been painted Resene Yucca. Styling by Vanessa Nouwen, image by Bryce Carleton.



A fun stripe of Resene ASAP was added to this neutral Resene Dusted Blue wall and shows off plenty of personality. The filing cabinet and shelf crates complement in Resene Seachange, Resene True Blue and Resene Whirlwind. The chair has been painted in Resene Alabaster to play off the white lampshade, and the timber flooring grounds the look in Resene Colorwood Walnut stain. Styling by Claudia Kozub, image by Melanie Jenkins.

From kids’ room to teenage hangout In the teenage years, it becomes extremely important that bedrooms reflect identity and interests. It’s a way of breaking free of their child-like selves and embracing a more adult way of living. Don’t be afraid to let go and allow them to take the charge with decorating. Chances are your once-energetic children will stick to easier ways of expressing themselves rather than more dramatic changes, especially if you suggest they help with the process! Photo and pinboards are popular with teens and save your walls from too many holes and tack marks. To steer clear of holes altogether, paint a coat of Resene Magnetic Magic under two coats of Resene SpaceCote tinted to the same colour as the rest of your walls, and your teen can hang notes, posters, or artwork – and even write on it with chalk. To get your teen organised, incorporate shelving. Wooden crates are easy to stack and don’t take up too much room, while box or honeycomb shelves make a fun DIY painting project and can be arranged in different patterns on the wall throughout the bedroom. You can even hang on to them once your teen moves out.

A full circle – from teenage hangout to guest room By this stage, it should be easy for you to revert the room back to its original state simply by removing the furniture and perhaps giving it a fresh coat of paint. If your teen has taken off with their bed, consider replacing it with a fold-out couch. That way, you can keep the shelves from your teen’s time and have the room double as an office or library. Yes, your very own library! At the very least, it might help to ease the feeling of an empty nest. Article supplied by the creative team at habitat by Resene magazine. 

Looking for more inspiration? Visit www.habitatbyresene.co.nz for plenty of ideas to transform your home.

Let your ideas loose all over your walls with Resene Write-on Wall Paint.


! g n i t i r w

Simply apply over your existing light coloured wall paint. Then once dry and cured you can use whiteboard markers to write all over the wall without damaging the surface. And when it’s time to delete an idea just grab a soft cloth or whiteboard eraser, rub out the marker and start again. With Resene Write-on Wall Paint there’s no limit to your ideas.

The magazine of Parents Centre

0800 RESENE (737 363)




… an opportunity for growth and understanding

It was an interesting experience being asked to write an article for Kiwiparent around my experiences of fatherhood. I think partly this was due to the cascade of memories, but also, the question of where on earth do you start? Fatherhood. It’s an interesting word. It can inspire great feelings of paternal instinct and dread, all at the same time. From a young age I apparently really liked the idea of being a ‘house husband’, and with my mother being a social worker, I had strong ideas about what responsibilities were expected of parents. The idea of having children really appealed to me, and I knew exactly what ‘good’ parenting was. In reality, I was scared witless of the responsibility and, being fiercely independent, would put it off for as long as possible. Fast forward to my years after university in the UK where I had gained a Biology degree, and it was a struggle to adjust to regular 9–5 working. Research did not suit me, academia did not suit me, and relationships were a struggle. A girl I had been dating told me that she was pregnant, and that the child was mine. We were not together, and by this time she lived 800km away to be closer to her own family. This was a shock (understatement), but despite my fear, I decided to be the best person I could be. The additional stress meant I quit my job and went back to events and bar management. I drove up and down the country to visit during the pregnancy, and immediately after the birth to support as best I could. These horrible drives left my mind time to dwell; on more than one occasion I considered crashing, just to end it all. Holding a young baby was an incredible moment, but something was not right – I could not put my finger on it. I thought perhaps it was because I had no



real input with the mother. To provide clarity around the legal sides of support and access, we did a DNA test. I will never forget the text message I received from the mother one evening whilst I was working. The child was not mine; she had not told me she had been with other people. This was confirmed by the results I received in the post when I returned home. The child was not mine. There was no word of apology, nor remorse. I simply could not handle that and cut all contact soon afterwards. During that period the support of my friends, family and a counsellor brought me out of intense anxiety and depression, but it took time. Not only had it been a huge upheaval, it also felt like I had lost a child.

Moving to New Zealand Forwards again, and my independence took me across the world to Queenstown. Perhaps I was still running from my past. At the point where I was transitioning to life in New Zealand I met my wife Maria. She seemed different, she cared about me, and I cared about her. It was not the lust of previous relationships, but something else entirely. Maria was younger than I was, Brazilian, and barely spoke English. It was a turbulent time; Maria brought a lot of history including abuse, neglect, and violence, although I wasn’t aware of the details at the time. These had repercussions in how she behaved and I slowly grew to understand the extent of her trauma as she opened, little by little. I brought my own baggage too. We all do.

We were not long into our relationship when Maria became pregnant. Much to both of our surprise considering she was on the pill. I prefer to think it is because I have ‘super sperm’. This caused all kinds of heated arguments, especially as she was between jobs at the time, we were sharing flats, and visas were hard to get. I could tell our arguments left a deep scar on Maria, and I would often end up giving up as emotionally she was much more affected by what was happening. The pressure on me to support us financially, emotionally, and with visas was huge. In the end I quit the managerial role I achieved because I simply did not have the mental capacity to deal with the stress and time the job demanded. This had repercussions on money, meaning that there was no

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escape from shared renting. I took an easy job in a warehouse on $18/hr that allowed me time to think and support as best I could, and I tried to continue working as a St John ambulance volunteer to contribute to my community. Maria insisted on a home birth, and I tried my best to respect this.

Nothing went to plan Arwyn’s life was traumatic from conception, and so it should be no surprise that birth was no different. Despite our best attempts at preparation, including Calm Birth courses and plenty of reading, nothing went to plan. We began the labour at home, although for weeks we had had false alarms. It was a shared house, so we set up on the second floor in our room. Maria went into labour in the evening, we had a birthing pool I had put up and Maria spent a lot of time in it. I tried to spend time resting, knowing it was a long road ahead. It felt like Maria resented this, feeling that she was left alone, and for me this creates a feeling of guilt.


quite likely to wet myself at any time. There was nobody with me, I was alone, even though my parents were in the country for the birth at the time. The ambulance stopped in Kingston, I had no idea why and I was shit scared for my wife and daughter’s safety, but I quickly opened the door and watered the banks by the road. Soon Maria appeared and was walked across the road to use the toilet… this gave me the opportunity to notice, and use, the 24hr petrol pumps. At least now two immediate issues were dealt with. The rest of the drive was relatively uneventful, except that my mind was in overdrive, scared to lose my wife and child, and scared to meet my child. It was one of the longest, and loneliest, drives in my life, although I did not consider killing myself this time.

Late afternoon the following day, the midwife uttered the words that Maria dreaded – hospital and C-section, our daughter was deflexed and posterior. It was at this point things become intense and surreal for me.

In Invercargill I lost the ambulance at traffic lights and realised I did not know where the hospital was. Close to panic, instinct took over and I found my way. A bemused mess, I arrived at the maternity ward full of doctors and nurses all doing their best. At this point, our midwife left after handing over, which left us completely alone with strangers, and I now question this decision. Whilst I am comfortable in a medical setting, my wife is not and she had nobody to advocate for her.

My entire focus was on getting Maria ready, trying my best to make sure we had what we needed for our journey to Invercargill and the days after, as she fought panic and pain. Whilst I succeeded in packing for Maria and baby, in the end I packed myself four pairs of socks, forgot to go to the toilet, and forgot to fuel up our car (Maria was being transferred by ambulance). It was only once we were half an hour into the journey I noticed the fuel, or lack of, and the fact that I was

The main priority of the doctors was to give Maria an epidural. At this point she was close to panic. The drugs given to her had left her disorientated, she was in an alien environment full of strangers, and she was in pain. Her entire body was shaking and shuddering. This was the only time our calm birth breathing came in useful – I had to grab Maria’s face, get her attention and breathe with her in order to calm her shaking, otherwise the needle going into her spine for the


epidural could paralyse her. Once the epidural kicked in, things calmed down. Very surreally I can remember Maria asking for her make-up and a mirror; I could not really get my head around it. The obstetrician, hospital midwives and nurses monitored Maria while she rested. It was late in the evening and my parents joined us. After a while we were given some good news; Arwyn had turned enough that the obstetrician thought that an assisted birth was possible, rather than a C-section. Maria was wheeled to a delivery room, placed into stirrups and what felt like a thousand people joined us. It is strange, thinking back, about how traumatic it was, and yet at the time I tried to focus on the positive. Maria and Arwyn were alive, we were in a safe place, we were together. The obstetrician opted for a Ventouse delivery. A suction cup was placed on the baby’s head to pull the baby out. There were people holding Maria still whilst the obstetrician had her foot up on the bed, tugging. Towards the end of the birth, they also gave Maria an episiotomy. I do not remember there being any consultation around this, and from what I know now, there are questions around the practice. Arwyn was born in the early hours of the morning after 40hrs in labour. When I was asked to cut the cord, it was the last thing on my mind despite seeing it as a rite of passage prior. All I was happy about was that my wife was alive, and as soon as I heard the baby cry, my daughter too. After check-ups, wiping down, questions about the spelling of her name (to this day, I cannot remember if I replied “why”, or “Y”, when asked how to spell Arwyn and the rest is history), we were left alone to bond with the baby in the same room as the delivery, and our baby was bruised, battered and with a cone shaped head we did our best to cover with a little cotton hat. Maria was trying her best to feed Arwyn, and I was trying my best to help. I felt useless, helpless after all the events that had spiralled out of control until this moment. We stayed in Invercargill for a couple of days after the birth, and I am pleased we did. The nurses were incredible. Maria and I were wide-eyed and overwhelmed, trying our best to breastfeed, change and care for this new addition to the world. My socks were clean, but the rest of my clothes had started to take on a life of their own. None of this fazed the nurses, they’ve seen it all, and they helped us with compassion and kindness. The drive home was awful, never before had I driven with a baby in the car, and we had a two-and-a-halfhour drive to do.

A constant struggle We were totally different people when we returned. My couple of weeks of paternity leave were cut a little short because they were unpaid and we needed the

money. Soon enough it was mid-winter, the novelty of a new baby had worn off on friends, and all that was left were the exhausted parents. Whilst I battled tiredness, work, volunteering, and responsibility, Maria’s mental health suffered. Both of our mental health suffered. All our past traumas, and the trauma of birth, put barriers between us and the rest of the world. Whilst I tried my best to be supportive, I was exhausted too, and the loss of my own hobbies did not give me time to ‘fill my bucket’. They were hard times, struggling against each other, struggling to pay rent, food and travel, the loss of friends as you struggle to find the time and energy to socialise, and the complete upheaval of our lives. There were moments of joy, our marriage, our daughter Arwyn as she grew and developed, talked and walked, new friends were made, and jobs improved. This gave us the opportunity to live by ourselves. We got by, Maria had successful (although often turbulent) jobs, whilst I managed to gain a higher position at work and apply for residency. We kept striving to improve what we had. Eventually it dawned on us that we no longer suited Queenstown and we needed a fresh start. We wanted a home for our family, and this was not realistic there. We applied for jobs in Christchurch, and as soon as I got an offer, away we went. Our mental health followed us, and though moving to Christchurch presented new opportunities, it was yet another upheaval. Whilst I had a job, it was part time, and we had amassed large debt. Yet another responsibility to shoulder. I did my best to save money, cycling to work etc. whilst harbouring anger at Maria for spending money on a rental for the family, daycare for Arwyn and buying clothes for interviews. We had to share our home to save on rent. Maria got a job, earning good money although with a fair amount of responsibility and stress. It was also shift work. Suddenly I had to step into a more flexible role, trying to balance caring for our daughter, preschool drop-offs, and work responsibilities. Maria was lost in work, stressed and taking it out on me. We had horrific arguments and I had to talk Maria out of killing herself, but we were able to visit a couple’s counsellor who helped us to communicate. Whilst Maria was still reluctant to re-visit her past, it helped us to discuss our more recent, shared traumas, and create a more loving space for our relationship.

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holding her, being present with her, but keeping talk to a minimum. Then it was to manage the birth area, keeping it calm and clear and delegating tasks as necessary. In between contractions in early labour, I was busy boiling kettles and pans of hot water for the pool. An early heatwave in Spring meant that we did not have our wet-back wood burner going, plus we had been getting washing done since we could easily dry it, so we had nowhere near enough hot water. It was ready in time though for Maria to enter during the later phase of her labour.

Preparing for birth number two Another year passed and we bought a house in the countryside. A cheap home, big enough for visitors, surrounded by nature with mountains nearby. As our future looked brighter than it ever had, we decided to try for another baby. We were pregnant within the first month! This was a shock to me, as I had kind of hoped for a little more lead up. This time, though, we had decent jobs, maternity pay, our own home, and a wonderful daughter to help us out. Despite our previous experience, I was happy to try for a home birth again, although this time we were far more realistic about potential outcomes. We investigated hypnobirthing, as Maria had heard good things through a friend, and we really committed to the practice. We both meditated and undertook visualisations of the birth and prepared as best we could. It seemed to be doing Maria a world of good. There was a period of severe stress with Maria’s work prior to maternity leave, but she was able in the final months of pregnancy to focus on what she needed to do. We also had a wonderful midwife with a huge amount of homebirth experience; she was very realistic, but nothing seemed to faze her. Fern’s birth was better than we ever could have imagined. With much more flexibility around my work, I could take time off and catch up on sleep for the false alarms earlier on. With more money and time, we were better prepared. We arranged close friends and neighbours to be on standby, or to help as requested. I had five tons of topsoil delivered to try and build a lawn, I think I got halfway through it before it became clear Maria was moving into labour. We walked to the river nearby together, and both took a dip. A cleansing before the hard work ahead. There were a few hiccups on the way, but I was able to manage these whilst being able to support Maria during the birth in the way that we had agreed (this is important!). Running through how and what jobs are for people, especially partners, during birth is crucial. For me, it was being with Maria during contractions,



The next part was mind-blowing for me. Watching my wife in such a powerful state, breathing her way through contractions, letting her body do its work was incredible. We were exactly where we wanted to be, and the preparation paid off in a big way. I have a vivid memory of Maria telling me she wanted to sleep after she had vomited a few times (natural birth is not a pretty process, best I don’t mention what else was in the pool nor what my sieve was for…), and a glance at the midwife confirmed things were getting close. I suggested to Arwyn that maybe she should go to bed. This immediately focussed Maria and it was time to push. The pride I felt when Fern was crowning in the pool is indescribable. With no drugs, and no gas, my wife was talking to the midwife, asking for advice between pushes. Timing it. Biding her time. Easing our daughter finally into my waiting hands.

Love at first sight This time it was love at first sight, and simply that. Arwyn declined to join us in the pool after taking one look at the water but we were together as a family as I passed Fern to Maria and we all embraced. Although ready to step in at any moment, our midwife let Fern be, especially as soon as she heard her cry and take her first breaths. A crying baby is a healthy baby after all. This time I enjoyed cutting the cord, it felt right, and soon afterwards I sat on our couch with our new baby against me, awestruck. Watching my wife deliver the placenta, the midwives spend their time examining both her and the placenta, and finally watching my wife walk into our kitchen and make herself a bowl of food blew me away. We had done it. What a difference. It’s never the end though. The balances of the world swing each way, and although the first few weeks went by smoothly, we still had a new baby and all of life’s demands to manage. In some ways the birth lulled me into a false sense of security, and as I slipped back into my old routines, I failed to read the warning signs. Tiredness crept in as sleep was lost to crying and feeding, giving way to exhaustion. Money problems reared their head as we realised Maria could not return to her old job. Old wounds surfaced as the harassment she had experienced prior to leaving triggered memories that had never been dealt with. Arwyn broke her leg at the beginning of the summer holidays. My parents stayed for an extended period. I lost my perspective, and Maria nearly took her life again. Fern was the one thing keeping her alive. It forced me to do something that I had never wanted to do… I had to reach out for help.

A blessing in disguise In some ways, the crisis was a blessing. A friend saved Maria’s life and changed the life of our family. She was able to see how bad things were and contacted the mental health team. Whilst hard at the time, it was also a relief. A situation I had tried so hard to manage myself, but could not, was changed. There was understanding, both for me and my wife. A step had been taken that I feared would be the end of our relationship, but only led to new beginnings. Due to Maria’s history, I knew that trust was huge. The fear of losing that trust between us had held me back from outside help, but it was trusting in outside help that has saved my wife … and saved my family from losing an amazing mother. We are still finding our way back, however now we have perspective and support. Psychologists, counsellors, friends, family, even strangers, have helped us when we have trusted them with our stories. Fern’s smile is infectious. She is life itself and Maria brought her to me, for this I will forever be grateful. I do my best as a father, and that is all I can do. I can find ways to be better, but I won’t do it alone, because otherwise, how can I tell that I am doing it better? Who can I tell? And who will tell me? We are never

alone, even on our longest days, although it can certainly feel that way. Thank you for letting me share my story, putting this all on paper is a therapy in itself. Trauma is painful, and if you can share and process it, it is an opportunity for growth and understanding. Please do not suffer alone. 

William (Billy) Powell Billy and Maria are on a mission to raise money and awareness around mental health, specifically around families. Billy is training to compete in the Coast to Coast Longest Day in 2020. Any donations he receives will be split between LifeLine and Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Aotearoa. More info and training updates can be found at facebook.com/ longestday2020 which has links to Instagram. There is also a donations page running at everydayhero.com under longestday2020.

The magazine of Parents Centre


Five foods to

boost your immunity this winter

With winter well and truly rolling in, and the possibility of attracting a cold or flu being more likely than not, preparation is key! Feeding your body the right types of food will increase the strength of your immune system and help get you ready to fight off any nasties this winter. We have put together a list of powerful immune system boosters that’ll help get you through this chilly season.



Citrus fruits


After catching a cold, most people turn to vitamin C as it can help shorten the duration and severity of a cold. Fruits such as oranges, limes, lemons and grapefruit are high in vitamin C, and since your body doesn’t produce or store vitamin C, a good daily dose is required for optimum health.

There was a reason Popeye ate loads of spinach, and it wasn’t just for extra strength. Spinach is filled with vitamin C and E which helps to support the immune system. Spinach is also packed with numerous antioxidants which may help to improve our bodies' ability to fight infection. When eating spinach, aim for one cup of fresh spinach or half a cup cooked per day.

Garlic Garlic is a key flavour provider in almost all cuisines, and on top of this, it’s good for your health! Garlic contains enzymes and antioxidants to help keep you healthy. Fun fact: it was first used for its health and therapeutic benefits in Ancient Egypt. The only question is, do the health benefits outweigh the consequence of bad breath? We think so!

Ginger Used in a range of dishes and sweet desserts, ginger is an ingredient that may help reduce many symptoms of a cold, such as chills, fever and nausea. Ginger has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years. Add fresh ginger to a fresh juice, or into a curry or stir-fry where it will not only add flavour, but extra nutrients too!

Fatty fish A deficiency in zinc has been associated with a weaker immune system. Herring, mackerel, tuna and salmon are fish that are all rich in zinc. Zinc has been found to help strengthen our immunity and attack any infectious cells, so making sure you are getting enough in your diet is imperative. What’s great is that it is easy to add to your diet. You can add fatty fish to many recipes such as salads or pasta. And, if you don’t like fish, you can also get lots of zinc from nuts and seeds, including flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts! Try this fishy immunity-building recipe (overleaf) that the whole family will love. Stay warm, eat well and happy winter!

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Tip Cut the potato to the correct size so it cooks in the allocated time. Zest the lemon to get a generous pinch, then slice into wedges.

Lemon pepper salmon with warm dill and parsley potato salad Treat your taste buds with this salmon and warm potato salad combination – a classic – and for good reason! The sweet crunch from the green apples mixed into the side salad add a crisp note of interest to a simple yet satisfying dish.

Ingredients 3 large potatoes 1 pear 1 apple 1 lemon 1 tub mayonnaise 1 tsp dill finely chopped 1 tsp parsley finely chopped Fresh salmon 1 bag mixed salad leaves Olive oil ¼ tsp salt



1 tsp lemon and pepper blend 2 tsp plain flour 2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Method Bring a medium saucepan of lightly salted water to the boil. Cut the potato (unpeeled) into 2cm chunks. Add the potato to the saucepan of boiling water. Cook until easily pierced with a knife, 10–12 minutes. Drain, then return the potato to the saucepan and add the lemon juice (2 tsp for 2 people / 4 tsp for 4 people), lemon zest, the mayonnaise, salt and dill and parsley. Toss until the potato is well coated. Cover to keep warm. On a plate, combine the plain flour, lemon pepper spice blend and a pinch of salt and pepper. Pat the salmon fillets dry, add to the flour mixture and turn to coat. In a large frying pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over a medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the salmon, skin-side down, to the pan and cook until just cooked through, 2–3 minutes each side (depending on thickness). TIP: Don't worry if the

spice blend chars a little in the pan, this adds to the flavour! While the salmon is cooking, thinly slice the apple and pear. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil (1 tbs for 2 people / 2 tbs for 4 people), the balsamic vinegar, pear, apple and mixed salad leaves. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Toss to coat. TIP: Toss the salad just before serving to keep the leaves crisp! Divide the lemon pepper salmon, dill and parsley potato salad and green salad between plates. Serve with any remaining lemon wedges. Hannah Gilbert, Dietitian and Head of Culinary at HelloFresh


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Research shows that going to sleep on your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy halve your risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back.

FROM 28 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY Why should I go to sleep on my side?

Lying on your back in the last three months of pregnancy (from 28 weeks) presses on major blood vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and oxygen supply to your baby.

Research shows that going to sleep on www.sleeponside.org.nz your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy Research shows going of to sleep on halve yourthatrisk stillbirth compared with your side from 28 weeks of pregnancy sleeping your back. halve your risk ofon stillbirth compared with

Feel Childbirth confidence with your own copy of my FREE download guide to Labour and Birth

Is it best to go to sleep on my left or right side? You can settle to sleep on either the left or the right side – any side is good from 28 weeks of pregnancy.

But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on my back?

sleeping on your back.

Going to sleep on your back is not best for baby after 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping is more comfortable in pregnancy, especially in the last three months.

What if I wake up on my back? Why should I go to sleep on myto side? Why should I go sleep on my side? It’s normal to change position during sleep and many Lying on your back in the last three months of

pregnant women wake Lying back theblood last three months ofup on their back. The important pregnancy on (from your 28 weeks) presses in on major thing is to start every sleep (daytime naps and going to vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and pregnancy (from 28 weeks) presses blood bed aton night)major lying on your side and settle back to sleep oxygen supply to your baby. on your side if you wake up. vessels which can reduce blood flow to your womb and Is it best to go to sleep on my left or right side? What is the risk of stillbirth if I go to sleep on my You can settlesupply to sleep on either the left orbaby. the right side oxygen to your back? – any side is good from 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Stillbirth in the last three months of pregnancy affects

one in every 500 babies. However, research has SLEEP ONON SIDE SLEEP SIDE about that going to sleep on your side halves your Is it best WHEN to go toBABY’S sleep onINSIDE my leftconfirmed or right side? risk of stillbirth compared with sleeping on your back. BABY’S Going to sleep on your WHEN back is not best for baby after INSIDE You can settle toWEEKS sleep on either the left or the right side SLEEP ON SIDE 28 weeks of pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping FROMFROM 28 OF PREGNANCY 28 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY is more comfortable in pregnancy, especially in the last –three any side is goodINSIDE from 28 weeks For ofmore pregnancy. information please contact your midwife, WHEN BABY’S months.

But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on my back?

nurse or doctor. www.sleeponside.org.nz www.sleeponside.org.nz FROM 28 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY

www.sleeponside.org.nz It’s normal to change position during sleep and many But what if I feel more comfortable going to sleep on www.sleeponside.org.nz pregnant women wake up on their back. The important thing is to start every sleep (daytime naps and going to my back? bed at night) lying on your side and settle back to sleep What if I wake up on my back?

on your sideto if you wake up.on your back is not best for baby after Going sleep 28 weeks pregnancy. Most women find side sleeping What is the risk ofof stillbirth if I go to sleep on my

Bit unsure of the difference between correctly dressing a 1-Day-Old versus a 1-Month-Old? Own the perfect award-winning organic merino outfit for your precious brand new Baby


The magazine of Parents Centre


Banking on

the future in South Auckland

A nappy bank for the families of South Auckland was launched in 2017 with over 500,000 nappies given away in just over a year. In the Southern Initiative’s ‘Early Years Challenge Report’, data showed that South Auckland was a young population with a higher than average concentration of children aged zero to three. In 2013, 21,000 babies were born in South Auckland; 13% of the total number of babies born in New Zealand. In response almost 2,000 young families in the area have been gifted with free nappies and wipes donated by Huggies® Nappies. Plunket Nurse Rimpal Kant says that she and the other nurses in her team in South Auckland see this as a valuable form of community service. “We ask mums we can see are in need if they would like some free nappies and wipes during our normal Well-Child visits. If there is a clear need we go back to the nappy bank and make a special nappy delivery. Most mums are overwhelmed with gratitude. Some shed tears. It’s awesome to be able to help in this way,” she says. Rimpal says the nappy bank is making a real difference: “I asked one mum if she had started her six-month-old baby on solids and she told me she couldn’t afford to buy any. This indicated the need for financial help so I asked if she would like some nappies from the nappy bank to help her through the week. Mum was really happy. Another mum was struggling with the power bill and it had escalated to over $500. I offered her nappies and that meant she could chip away at the power bill and eventually pay it off.” “Some families are reluctant to tell us they are struggling financially, so being able to offer nappies helps take the mention of money out of our



conversation. It’s really great to help families who need it,” says Rimpal. Huggies® Nappies hopes to extend the successful South Auckland Nappy Bank model to other communities around New Zealand where there is a similarly high concentration of children aged zero to three. 


Congratulations to the lucky winners from issue 290

Beco Toddler Geo

$150 voucher from cadenshae

Nuala Lavin, Papakura

Karyn Kerrison, Rotorua

3 packs of Franjos Lactation Biscuits 60 pack of Breast Pads

Elle Knight, Auckland Andrea Pickens, Auckland Marike van der Merwe, Papamoa

Layla Hughes, Taupo Emma Muir, Auckland Amelia Cookson, Lower Hutt Kate Gardiner, Lower Hutt Sarah van Uden, Auckland Seren Loay, Papakura Lucy Wesley-Smith, Auckland Hannah Heslop, Blenheim

The magazine of Parents Centre


Our Partners Why do we have commercial partnerships? Commercial partnerships are essential to Parents Centre not only to help fund the work we do but also to provide resources and benefits to both our Centres and our members. Baby On The Move is a long-standing partner that supports Parents Centre both nationally and at a regional level, supporting our Centre programmes and ensuring our members car seats are fitted correctly. Many car seats in New Zealand are incorrectly fitted and Baby On The Move is working with our Centres to reduce this by providing free or heavily discounted car seat checks, also ensuring that members have the correct car seat for their car. Baby On The Move also provides member discounts on many of their products for members to both buy and hire from their extensive range. Catherine Short, Partnerships and Advertising Manager

A word from Baby On The Move Baby On The Move is a New Zealand nationwide company owned and operated by franchisees that are passionate about you, your child and their safety. Both Directors, Claire Turner, and Fena Bavastro are parents and "having children and now grandchildren of our own, we are very aware of the obstacles that new parents may face with balancing financial interests and child safety. Baby On The Move has been dealing with car seats for over 20 years either hiring or selling new and providing a fitting-and-sitting session for our customers by one of our in-store Child Restraint Technicians. We are proud to partner with Parents Centre and offer free car seat safety talks at local antenatal classes throughout New Zealand. We also offer Parent Centre member discounts on selected cots, buggies, car seat hire and installation. Supporting Baby On The Move means you are supporting families in New Zealand and hiring means you're helping reduce our carbon footprint. Claire Turner and Fena Bavastro 0800 222 966 / www.babyonthemove.co.nz

Johnson & Johnson

Philips Avent

PC member benefits: All attendees of Parents Centre CBE and Baby and You get a J&J baby bath gift pack and information on science of the skin.

PC member benefits: Supply breastpads to our members and give a $30 discount on the purchase of breast pumps.

PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE get a Huggies gift pack, attendees of Baby and You and toilet training programmes get gift packs.

Phone: 0800 104 401 www.philips.co.nz/AVENT

Phone: 0800 733 703 www.huggies.co.nz



Huggies online pregnancy and parenting


Supporting Kiwi parents

0800 222 966 / www.babyonthemove.co.nz

Baby On The Move

The Sleep Store


PC member benefits: 20% off car seat hire, selected buggies and cots for all members.

PC member benefits: 20% off selected items which are regularly updated

Phone: 0800 222 966 www.babyonthemove.co.nz

PC member benefits: Various discounts on decorating supplies and paints with Parents Centre membership card.

www.thesleepstore.co.nz content/parentscentre


Parenting Place


U by Kotex


PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE and Baby and You classes get a Poise gift pack.

PC member benefits: All attendees of CBE get a U by Kotex gift pack.



SplashSave PC member benefits: 30% discount on water safety package.

If you want to partner with Parents Centre, or would like to discuss how this may work for your business, contact Cath on:



Birthing Centre A free service to women of all ages whose pregnancy is considered low risk primary care. www.birthingcentre.co.nz

The magazine of Parents Centre


Win great giveaways

Enter online at kiwiparent.co.nz and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm, September 6, 2019. Winners will be published in issue 291.

Win a beautiful merino/possum blanket Win a duck to decorate Win one of three ducks to decorate and enter in the School Race or one of 20 ducks to enter in the Everybody Race and race down the white-water rapids at The Great Auckland Duck Race at Vector Wero Whitewater Park on Oct 20th.

“This never leaves my baby’s side!” – Stacey, possum blanket customer.

A fantastic family event!

A powerful blend of merino and possum that covers your baby in warmth and softness and weighs close to nothing. In the wool's natural colour this knitted blanket is chemical-free and perfect for covering up, whether in the pram or the cot. Knitted in New Zealand. RRP $194.95



2 Boba grey stretchy wraps to be won

Honeywrap are giving away a mix of 10 of their Honeywraps (valued at $110)! Includes sizes from small to extra-large and features their new charity-collab Moana print! Also included is a Honeywrap 'Create Your Own Kit' valued at $34.50, for all you creatives! Perfect activity to do with the kids too!

The simple design of this stretchy baby wrap, free of buckles, straps or buttons makes it perfectly comfortable for both you and your baby. The Boba stretchy wrap has a twoway stretch so perfect for getting a comfortable fit and is long enough that regardless of your size can fit perfectly. Wear your Boba wrap round the house, out and about. Available at The Sleep Store and all leading carrier stores. RRP $79.95 each.



Enter the draw to win a pack of Honeywraps

Win a 60 pack of fantastic new breast pads Breast pads are a breastfeeding mum’s must-have item and eight lucky readers can win a 60 pack of these fantastic new breast pads! Philips Avent new range of breast pads are ultra-thin, breathable and ultra-absorbent with a triple layer, leak-proof design to keep you dry and comfortable day and night. The honeycombed textured top sheet is silky soft and comfortable against your skin. The thinner contoured shape of the breast pad helps make them invisible under clothes and they are individually wrapped for your hygiene so perfect for on-the-go. Available in packs of 24, 60 and 100, grab a box today from leading pharmacies and baby retailers. www.philips.co.nz/Avent



From dot one to tot one At a time when you most need some TLC, U BY KOTEX® Maternity Pads are cotton-like, soft, flexible, longer and a fraction wider – they also provide added protection when you’re lying down. Goodness knows you need the rest. U BY KOTEX® Brand are proud to continue the journey with you. Look out for a FREE sample of U BY KOTEX® Maternity Pads as part of your Child Birth Education course.

Trademarks of Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. or its affiliates. ©KCWW

The magazine of Parents Centre




Profile for Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Kiwiparent Issue #291 August 2019 - September 2019  

Magazine from Parents Centre New Zealand

Kiwiparent Issue #291 August 2019 - September 2019  

Magazine from Parents Centre New Zealand