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FEBRUARY 2016 – MARCH 2016




Staying on top of your game



Feel calm again

Cot Case

Be sure before you buy nursery furniture

Will be we ok?

Help your child cope with stress and grief

Natural wonders

Notice the little things as well as the big


on bike with baby


The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Dad's Blog • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health




WIN YOUR SHARE OF $20,000 Purchase any Ryco Cabin Air Filter between the 1st Sept 2015 and 28th Feb 2016 for your chance to win one of 20 x $1000 VISA Debit cards

ESSENTIAL FOR CLEANER AIR IN YOUR CAR We all know that the air outside our car can be a health hazard, especially in traffic. But did you know that the air inside the cabin of your car could be potentially more contaminated. Research shows that without an effective cabin air filter installed, the air inside your car can contain over 10 times more pollutants than the air outside – pollutants that can cause headaches, nausea and fatigue, and trigger more significant health problems for people with asthma or respiratory issues.* Don’t put your family’s health at risk. Trust Ryco to ensure that the air in your vehicle is safe to breathe and protect to your family from allergies caused by pollen, dirt and soot. Next time you have your car serviced ask you mechanic about upgrading to a Ryco Cabin Air Filter. *Environmental Health Perspectives, Volume 109, Number 9, September 2001.

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Under the microscope In an endeavour to further their knowledge and solidify their standing as a leader in their field, Ryco filters recently commissioned the University of Melbourne to conduct extensive scientific research into their cabin air filters. A product that is proven to be an imperative device in any safe vehicle, the cabin air filter is estimated to be in 9.5m vehicles in Australia and 2.5m in New Zealand. “The Ryco cabin air filter is one of our fastest growing products”, explains Melissa Simpson, Ryco marketing communications manager. “Once our customers know what they are – what they do – they install them that day.” Easily fitted to any vehicle, a cabin air filter is designed to eliminate airborne allergens and pollutants from invading the interior of a car, acting as a sieve and protecting passengers from exposure to harmful microorganisms in the air. The research, undertaken by the University of Melbourne’s School of BioScience’s Associate Professor Ed Newbigin, fastidiously scrutinised exactly what the cabin air filters were trapping, including pollen grains, fungal spores and bacteria.

On the undertaking of the research, Simpson stated, “health and safety is a big focus at Ryco Filters, and if there’s one way to prove that our cabin air filters are paramount to ensuring a safe environment for our customers, it’s through employing the best scientists in Australia to prove it.”

Findings of the research were vindicating for Ryco, with results surpassing their expectations. The cabin air filters trapped an abundance of fungal spores and pollen that would otherwise fill a vehicle’s cabin, potentially triggering allergic reactions such as headaches, sneezing, watery eyes and fatigue in the driver or passengers. “We continuously test all our products”, says Simpson. “But, it’s always the cabin air filter that produces the most interesting, rewarding results.” The filter trapped common pollens that cause hay fever and asthma such as grass and cypress and the spores of Aspergillus, a common type of fungus. It also caught unknown, potentially more harmful allergens and bacterium that are still under the microscope.

To find out more about Ryco's cabin air filter, visit

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Parents Centres 2015 Photo Competition Category 1 prize winning photo from Francesca Jago, Karori, Wellington.

Special Features


15,000km on bike with baby

Cabin air filters under the microcsope..................... 1

Céline, Xavier and Nayla Pasche............................................. 8–13

Better biking Marilyn Northcote....................................................................... 14–15

Flying solo Ben Tafau....................................................................................... 16–20

How to stress less and feel calm again Sarah Laurie.................................................................................. 22–23

Letter to the Editor............................................................... 4 How bad was it?..................................................................... 5 Product page............................................................................ 6–7 Exercising during pregnancy.......................................... 24–25 Making it work Lisa Manning................................................................................ 30–33

Best for body and brain

Exploring the great outdoors

My FoodBag kitchen.................................................................. 34–35

Caraline Abbott............................................................................ 26–29

Life is precious

Sunshine celebration

AA Life............................................................................................ 36–37

Cancer Society............................................................................. 46–48

Magic in your garden ......................................................... 38

Halting the march of tooth decay

Parents Centre pages........................................................... 39–45

Katie Ayers.................................................................................... 50–53

Digest this

Capturing the birth journey

Judy Coldicott................................................................................ 58–60

Tamara Milldove.......................................................................... 54–57

In safe hands............................................................................ 61

Be sure before you buy

Creating connections

Commerce Commission............................................................ 62–65

Think like a child Baby proof your home.............................................................. 66–67

When your world turns upside down Help your child combat grief................................................... 68–71


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Sieni White.................................................................................... 72–73

Find a centre............................................................................ 74 Directory..................................................................................... 75 Shopping cart........................................................................... 76–79 Giveaways.................................................................................. 80


FEBRUARY 2016 – MARCH 2016

15,000km on bike with baby Would you consider travelling 50,000km by bike – including 15,000km with a baby? This may seem insane, but cycling adventurers Céline and Xavier Pasche introduced their baby daughter, Nayla, to their nomadic lifestyle after cycling off into the unknown when she was just five months old. Read about their adventures as they crossed altitude passes in China and the Nullarbor Desert in Australia, from the Swiss Alps to the Southern Alps, until they finally reached their destination in New Zealand five years after setting off on their journey.

Flying solo When you’re grinding it out as a solo parent, your mind can be your worst enemy. In his first year as a single dad, Ben Tafau found that dealing with so many challenges on his own can take a significant toll – mentally, physically and spiritually. In this state of heightened stress, it’s easy for negative thought patterns to creep in and start dominating your thoughts, so it’s crucial that you keep on top of your mental game to keep everything else running as smoothly as possible.

Exploring the great outdoors Frequent, positive early childhood experiences with nature have a major impact on the healthy growth of a child’s mind, body and spirit. The benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific studies, and research has proven children’s social, psychological, academic and physical health is positively impacted when they have a daily interaction with nature. Rotorua mum and Doc ranger, Caraline Abbott shares her love of the natural world.

Kiwiparent – Since 1954 the magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Editor

Leigh Bredenkamp Ph (04) 472 1193 Fax (04) 938 6242 Mobile (0274) 572 821 leighb@e– PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150

Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–

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Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mobile 021 1860 323


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Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Ph (04) 233 2022 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


We all have a breaking point. That moment when a perfect storm hits born of lack of sleep, stress, hormones, exhaustion and a baby that just won’t stop crying… It’s the moment when rational thought disappears in a haze of exhaustion, frustration and helplessness. When you are on the edge of that precipice – that is the time when even the most loving parent can lash out or loose control – or shake their baby – just to stop the crying. I remember years ago a friend telling me about the day she realised how close she had come to harming her child. As a practicing psychologist, she believed she understood what made the mind tick, had studied the impact of sleep deprivation, knew about hormones, was used to diagnosing and treating stress related disorders in others. When their first baby arrived they were overjoyed, she took time away from her practice (no maternity leave back then) and looked forward to being the perfect parent. But their son suffered from gastric reflux and colic, and rarely slept for more than an hour or two at a time. Out of desperation, she used to hop in the car to settle him to sleep. Doctors reassured them that he would grow out of his painful digestive problems. It would just take time. She recalled the day when he had been particularly unsettled – her husband was away and she had slept for only a few hours over the previous three days. In desperation, she had placed her wee boy in his carrycot in the car (no car seats back then either) and driven around for an hour waiting for him to settle. Finally, he screamed himself to sleep and she drove home. She gently removed him from the car still sleeping soundly in his carry cot, carried him quietly up the front steps, silently opened the door – then as she stepped over the threshold he began to wail. She said that was the moment she snapped. She slammed the carrycot along the passage where it skidded on the polished floor and smacked into the wall. Luckily, the baby was well padded and was fully protected against the impact, but my friend was so horrified at what she could have done at that one dreadful moment. The baby eventually grew out of his unsettled time and today is a fine man with children of his own, and his mum went back to her profession a wiser and more compassionate doctor because of her experiences. But she never forgot that time and knows how easy it is when you are pushed to act out of character. The bottom line is, when you feel you are reaching the edge of the precipice – don’t feel guilty, walk away and ask for help. I doubt there is a parent in the world that has not felt desperate, frustrated and helpless at some point. Parenting is the most wonderful job in the world – but no one says it is easy. And asking for help is not a sign of weakness but of emotional maturity and courage. Leigh Bredenkamp

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letters to the editor Top letter

Congratulations to the top letter winner Jennifer Insley from Auckland who receives a Shnuggle baby bath from Dimples.

Shnuggle, makes bath time easy with a bum bump for support and a foam backrest. The new Shnuggle baby bath has been carefully crafted to make a safe and secure place to bath your baby, making it more comfortable and enjoyable for baby and less stressful for you.

I'm writing in the hopes that you will consider running

each visit; I didn't think much of it – or rather, didn't

a story on infant / baby Hip Dysplasia in the future.

completely understand what they were checking for,

My daughter Eva is nine months old. She was diagnosed with Hip Dysplasia at about four months

until our Plunket nurse noticed uneven creases in her legs and explained that we should head to our GP to rule out Hip Dysplasia.

and has been in a Pavlik Harness (one of the odd looking contraptions used for treatment) for 16 weeks.

When our girl's x-ray came back confirming her hips were out of place I was pretty shocked. I had

Probably not the worst, but one of the many emotions

never before heard any details about other cases,

that has hit me since finding out about her hips, has

the variable nature of the condition or the different

been that of frustration at the lack of suitable clothing

treatment methods. To hear that she had a dislocated

out there (particularly in NZ) for those in harnesses.

hip and would require a harness or a cast was

Although not surprising as it's not a huge market!


Lucky for us, my mum is a seamstress and together we decided to design and make a range of clothes for my girl to wear. We wanted to provide more options for other parents out there going through this, so we started a small project / business.

I have seen a few articles in the media, focused more around prevention (advice on swaddling and baby carrying techniques), which is great for awareness, but – from my experience it seems that the majority of cases 'just happen'. Whether it's in the genes or due

I would love to bring more awareness to this condition,

to positioning in the womb – neither of which can be

if nothing else other than to hopefully lessen the blow


of the often overwhelming diagnosis, through better understanding / knowledge. I wasn't really aware of Hip Dysplasia before my girl was born, (aside from knowing that it's common for large breed dogs to get a condition

It would be nice to spread the word about treatment for this condition and let parents know about the support, advice and information that is available.

of the same name later in life?!) I had heard the name

Also to let others know that it may take a while but

but didn't really know anything about it.

the majority of bubs with Hip Dysplasia make a full

Our midwife and Plunket nurse checked her hips as part of the standard checklist they run through at


Top letter winner

kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

recovery and go on to have no more issues.

Jennifer Insley, Auckland

0800 600 998

o ur ow Y Circle r G

How bad

The Brews were expecting their second baby when Grantly DickRead’s book came their way. Helen began to prepare herself for a natural birth, certain that she would be capable of it. Her doctor was less than co-operative in the matter and the hospital sceptical, but this did not shake her confidence. She did, in fact, come very close to achieving a natural birth, frustratingly close, as she later described in Bevan-Brown’s book, The Sources of Love and Fear. In spite of being left alone on a bare bath board, without a pillow or blanket, her first stage of labour passed easily as she relaxed and breathed through contractions – so easily in fact that the nurse suggested that she should go home as she wasn’t “doing anything”. She wrote: “I experienced my first pain after the water broke with a sharp crack, because I was momentarily tense and frightened. Then, after three sharp contractions, with the nurse being utterly amazed that I was at such an advanced stage of labour, she walked me down a long passage to the delivery room. Although I was perspiring freely, breathing heavily and feeling slightly dazed, I felt confident and quite relaxed.” With her first second-stage contraction Helen felt the babies head bulge the perineum, and the nurse insisted on an anaesthetic. “She held the mask firmly over my face… The anaesthetic must have been have been heavy for the baby was not born for some time.” Two hours later she opened her eyes to a doctor rubbing his hands and saying, “You are very lucky to have a live baby.”


Helen remembered her efforts to pry away her mask away from her face with “Please nurse, please…” And the firm “There’s a good girl, there’s a good girl.” Later another nurse who had been present at the birth told her that a pad had been placed over the bulging vulva and that her thighs had been bound together to hold the pad in place until the doctor could be summoned to the hospital to complete the delivery. The baby failed to breath at birth and had to be resuscitated. Helen’s sorrow at events were shared by her sister, Grace Adams, who later wrote to a friend: All too often women who had trained and ‘educated’ themselves via Dr Read’s methods, or had learnt the exercises devised at Yale University School of Medicine, found the maternity hospital experiences unsatisfactory, to say the least, with an unequal battle of wills being fought over orthodox versus unorthodox procedures. But whatever unhappiness or exasperation resulted from such unfortunate confrontations between trained, if apprehensive, parturient women and uncomprehending staff, it was not a matter of goodies versus baddies. Everyone concerned was, of course, doing what he or she thought was best.”

Look for a short extract from this iconic book in each issue of Kiwiparent. It details the struggle women and men had to persuade hearts and minds to adopt a less medicalised approach to childbirth and child rearing in the 1950s.

fts e n e b of h t l a e rs a w h othe

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Connect with parents at your stage, discuss with others, find local babysitting and coffee groups! .


a wealth of helpful resources – TIPS, INFO, PRODUCT REVIEWS, CONTACTS, NEWS & more

Interact and ask questions, give answers, share your story or knowledge with forums.

Recieve entry to prize draws, free product samples, plus relevant info emails through each stage.

Win 0 $25ro0 c du ts



An extract from The Trouble With Women, The Story of Parents Centre New Zealand, By Mary Dobbie. Published by Cape Catley Limited.

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product information page Infant Sun Cabana – Pop up Sun Protection Tent UPF50+ The infant sun cabana is your ideal protection from the sun for your child with UPF50+protection from the sun's harsh rays. Made with a strong steel frame with insect mesh and sun curtains this tent is ideal to take to the beach or just use in your back yard. Comes with tent pegs and is so easy to set up – just pops up in seconds and folds compactly for easy transportation and storage. Comes in two colours – blue and pink. RRP $69.95. Available at the Baby Factory or a store near you.

Help baby breathe more easily with FESS Little Noses® FESS Little Noses® is a gentle saline solution that loosens and thins mucus to help clear a blocked nose so your baby can breathe easier, naturally. It’s non-medicated so you can use it as often as needed, right from the day your baby’s born. Available from all pharmacies.

Heirlooms for the nursery The Mamas and Papas Millie & Boris collection are hand-stitched, hand-quilted and hand finished. The range features luxury detailing and delicate 3D appliqués depicting the characters of Millie bunny and Boris bear. The luxurious fabrics and unique designs make the Millie & Boris collection an extra special addition to creating your perfect nursery. The range is available in neutral, rose and blue. All pieces are lovingly made in India, the home of fine woven cottons. You can shop the Millie & Boris Interiors Range at The Kids Dept.


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Perfect for night and day or home and away Folding compactly into its sleek carry bag and weighing only 1.4kg/3lbs, nest is the perfect travel companion for new parents. nest provides a comfortable home-away-from-home for infants with its included high quality bug mesh and two fitted sheets. nest is carrycot certified so you can carry baby room to room by nest's handles. nest also secures to the phil&teds carrycot stand accessory so you can be close to baby & keep them away from pets & dust on the ground. The nest travel bassinet is for night and day or home and away!

Nappy Disposal System

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15,000km on bike with baby

Would you consider travelling 50,000km by bike – including 15,000km with a baby? This may seem insane, but step-by-step, we included our daughter in our nomadic life. Diving into the unknown when she was just five months old, we crossed altitude passes in China and the Nullarbor Desert in Australia. From the Swiss Alps to the Southern Alps, we finally reached our destination in New Zealand five years later with our daughter Nayla. “You are crazy!” said our neighbour in Penang. “How are you going to cycle with a five-month-old baby?” “We really don't know,” we answered, feeling the tension in our stomach. For three years, we have been living a very simple life, a nomadic life by bike. This long journey took us through some of the most remote areas in Mongolia, Tajikistan and China and in the human movement of countries like Bangladesh and Syria. From an adventure to discover diverse cultures, it became a way of living, being nomads on bikes. We breathed at the pace of


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

life, having a powerful feeling of freedom. This is when we decided we could start a family. And just a month later, our daughter whispered her presence. Céline was pregnant. At that time we were facing Mount Everest at more than 5,000m elevation. Even if it was a conscious choice, we didn’t expect it to be a reality so soon. “When are you coming back?” asked our parents. Despite all the doubts, we knew we wanted to live this nomadic lifestyle as a family, at least try. But we had no idea how.

2.6 kg of Love When Céline arrived in Malaysia she was seven months pregnant and still cycle touring. “How could you risk it? Isn't it too much to loose?” asked a woman on the side of the road. We had no fear about the pregnancy. We fully trusted the ability of Céline's body to nurture our baby. Every time Céline cycled, the baby would be in a position

Photographs: Xavier Pasche where she looked hardly pregnant. But on our resting days, her belly doubled. The difficulty wasn't cycling, it was the intensity of the country we crossed. The population in Bangladesh illustrates an unmatched human density, like an anthill. All day long, we were escorted, accosted, surrounded, stared at. Our living space was fully dismissed. Moreover, being pregnant there is a taboo. Cycling in India was also a challenge for us. The contrast between the love and tenderness we wanted to offer to our child and the outside world was tremendous. Looking for a place where we could have a natural and water birth, everything converged towards Penang in Malaysia. And this is where our daughter Nayla was born. “We were really worried!” said our grandmother. Our family was worried but they never told us before we arrived safely in Penang. They came to welcome our child in Malaysia and understood the chance we had to be the three of us together all the time. Still, they had doubts about the future, as we did. But we asked them to trust us and our life choices.

On the road again Once again we entered a nomadic life when Nayla was five months old. We were diving into the unknown. We needed more than courage, first we had to untie the link to our little nest. Then we had to trust life, to surrender to the path and to let go of the “how?” We had no idea how we would manage to live this nomadic life by bike, pulling our baby in a trailer. “What have we done?" Nayla has a temperature of 40°C. It is 2am, we are sleeping in a tent in the middle of Eastern Thailand. Is it Dengue? Malaria? That night, we didn't sleep. In the morning, the fever went down to 38°C. Relieved, we cycled to a Buddhist temple, and discovered her first teeth. Giving birth and becoming parents is a path in itself. We had to learn to dance with our strengths and fears. The fears that emerged with a child, the ones we carried with us, and sometimes the ones that were assigned to us, like fears of dogs or strangers.

Continued overleaf...

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So we had to learn to travel at a different pace with a baby, to find a balance between her naps, breastfeeding, her need to move, her desire to learn, and the necessity that the road imposes – the meteorological changes and the need to find a place for the night.

We went swimming in tropical waters in Thailand, admired the Angkor Temples in Cambodia, met the hill tribes in Laos, followed the Ancient Tea Horse Road in China, cycled to the sacred Yushan mountains in Taiwan, crossed the Nullarbor Desert in Australia and finally reached the majestic Southern Alps.

We learned one thing throughout this journey and it is to trust life. So we just tried, and we did it. Step by step, we found a balance. Slowly we learned to be in harmony. 15,000km and two years later, we finally reached New Zealand, the ultimate destination of our journey.

Riding one day after the other, we would cycle around 60km a day. We usually rode for one to two hours. Most of the time, Nayla would be sleeping in her hammock or reading a book. Then we would stop for at least two hours in order for her to play. But it was a moving balance that changed along the way. The most important thing for us, was to follow Nayla's rhythm and needs.

“How will you keep her safe? Keep her safe from exotic diseases? Keep her safe from food or water poisoning?” inquired a family member. The reality is that the only time we had to see a doctor was when she was two months old for a check-up. After measuring and weighing, we were told she was in perfect health. Being fully breastfed ensured her a strong immune system. Céline would breastfeed her on the side of the road, sitting at a foot of a giant cypress tree or watching the powerful night sky.

10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

A typhoon will hit Taiwan tonight “You have to find a shelter!” shouted a local. We had just reached the top of a pass, tired and covered in sweat. We had to hurry. In the first village, we were welcomed by locals who offered us place to stay in

the school. The hospitality of the people was always fantastic. We slept in Buddhist temples, in schools, in police stations. If we needed help, we always found someone. We have been impressed by the generosity of the people in every country we have been to. Cycling in these countries gave us the opportunity to meet people and experience their culture, and exchange wisdom about ways of raising a child. In Thailand, children take a bath at the hottest time of the day. So we were invited to bathe Nayla in a bucket in the middle of the market. In Laos, children always walk with a hand full of sticky rice. So our daughter also walked in the middle of rice fields with sticky rice in her hand. In China, children are nappy free and wear pants with a hole. “How do you deal with hygiene and nappies?” wondered our friends back home. We washed under home-made showers. We used organic coconut oil for our skin and chose washable nappies that dried on the back of the trailer as we rode.

Continued overleaf...

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Homeschooling on the road

Spending our time in amazing landscapes, we mostly slept in a tent, listening to the sound of nature. Nayla loved to go swimming in crystal clear lakes or emerald rivers in New Zealand, or watching kangaroos jumping in front of our camp in Australia. She lived intensely through all the changes of our nomadic life. Everyday, she opened her eyes to contrasting landscapes, sometimes she breathed in the scents of exotic forests, at times she woke in the middle of a city of more than 4 millions inhabitants. She heard so many languages. She watched carefully all the insects and was frequently surrounded by a crowed staring at her. She played with children of all social backgrounds. She tasted the different flavours of traditional foods. She danced to world music. “Wait until she is walking! Wait until she turns two!” said people along the way. But, it only got better as we moved through life as a nomadic family. Nayla simply taught us to live in the here and now and reminded us of the power of mindfulness.

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Now we have arrived back in Penang, in Malaysia, for a few months. Settled, we realised we were sometimes better at following Nayla's rhythm when we were nomads, because we had to focus all our attention on her needs. Nayla is sparking with life and joy. She waves to all the people on the street, a big smile on her face. At 10 months, she was walking. At two years, she is out of nappies, can already swim and speaks French and English, as well as a few word of Chinese. Nayla dived cheerfully into a world that was always changing. As a small cocoon, our family bubble moved through the world, following our inspirations, in the wonder of discoveries and sharing. Trusting the magic of life. “Where will you settle down for the school years?” asked our friends. Now we are planning a new route. We want to continue to live this nomadic life, at least as long as we feel in balance, as long as it nurtures our soul. At the moment, we are thinking about homeschooling on the road, but we still have time and a lot of things can change. Now, we are happy in this life choice, as we can be together all the time and this is a precious gift for us. 

Céline, Xavier and Nayla Pasche Céline is an anthropologist, mountain leader and writer. Xavier is a photographer and architect. Since 2015, they have been cycling the world. In 2013, Nayla, their daughter, was born in Malaysia. Now they are living a nomadic life as a family. Photographs: Xavier Pasche •








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Better biking The outdoors and cycling are key features of a kiwi childhood, but with the number of electronic toys now in the market, it can also be something that is seen as too hard for many busy parents.

 When sat on the saddle, your child should be able to reach the ground with both of their feet flat on the ground.

As part of the build up to Bike Wise Month in February 2016, passionate cyclist and trainer, Marilyn Northcote passes on her tips for parents to make this process as easy and fun as possible.

It’s very important to teach your child the fundamentals of getting on and off their bike safely. I would recommend the following approach:

Cycling can be really fun and a great way for families to get out and about together and remember:

 When getting off the bike, remind them to keep the brakes applied.

 Build bike confidence – the more you ride, the better you are – practice makes perfect.  Give positive encouragement throughout the learning process – and stop when it’s time to stop. Try and end on a positive note.  Make it fun! Marilyn recommends learning to cycle off-street in netball courts or school playgrounds or other car–free areas. These are great for learning. Many parents make the mistake of teaching their children on grass in case they fall, however it’s best to teach them how to ride on a flat, smooth surface first, if possible, it’s easier. The children benefit from learning to ride smoothly first, before going over bumps! Marilyn suggests a simple six step process for learning to ride:

1. S et up your child’s bike correctly to give them the best possible start  Your child should be able to stand over their bike and be clear of the top tube. The bike should not be too high and they should not have to reach too far in front of them for the handlebars and more importantly the brakes.

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

2. Getting on and off your bike

 When your child gets on their bike, encourage them to apply the brakes and lean the bike towards them.

3. S triding and gliding or scooting along  Encourage your child to scoot along on their bike using their feet to push off before teaching them to pedal. This helps them to learn the feeling of balancing on two wheels.  The aim is to push themselves off and keep both their feet off the ground for as long as they can.  Children who are too big for balance bikes should aim to learn to balance on their normal bikes without training wheels by pushing off with their feet and scooting along.

4. Starting and stopping Children should be taught to use their brakes properly from the beginning even if they cannot ride yet. You can practise by having them walk along pushing the bike and using the brakes to stop. Braking is an essential skill, which ultimately will enable them to feel in control when starting out. Note: Balance bikes do not have brakes!  Your children should be taught to use both brakes evenly to assist with more control when coming to a stop.

It is worth noting that although many children’s bikes will have a front hand brake it is often very difficult for them to apply the brake as little hands are simply not strong enough to do so. In this case you can teach children to stop using the back pedal or coaster brakes. The aim is to get them to be able to stop without wobbling too much.

Some important safety tips

5. Balance and vision

 Lead by example. Teach your child the correct road rules, and ride with them if they are under the age of ten.

 To give your child the best possible start, I would recommend balance bikes over training wheels. It’s hard to progress to riding until they learn to balance on two wheels. Training wheels shift the weight of the child from side-to-side and so it’s hard for them to learn the ‘balancing instinct’.  Once the feeling of balancing is learned it doesn’t go away – it’s an internal mechanism that kicks in, hence the phrase “it’s like riding a bike”. Gaining this feeling early is invaluable as once they have it, a child will not lose it.  Anything that involves balance is helpful. Scooters are good for learning to balance for older children – if they can scooter with both feet on the platform, they can learn to balance on two wheels.

 Maintain your child’s bicycle regularly – check their brakes, tyres and chain. If you have any doubts, it's best to get their bike serviced by an expert or cycle shop. Alternatively your region may have a Big Bike Tune Up coming up. Check the dates for your region at the Bike Wise events page.

Safe biking for families with preschoolers  Learn in a safe car-free area, such as netball courts or school playgrounds.  When it’s time to have a go on public cycle ways/ shared paths, the best idea is for an adult to ride behind them and give instructions and advice as they go.  As a parent, you can ride between them and any obstacle or hazard, to help protect them. This is similar to protective riding on the road.  Helmets are a legal requirement and an essential part of any cyclist's kit – no matter what level.

 Encourage your child to look where they’re going. “Look where you go – go where you look”.

 Good, closed toe shoes should be worn so they don’t have to worry about banging their toes.

 Get them to keep their eyes up and look ahead – the eyes control their inner-balance and direction.

 Longer clothing can help when learning as this will help protect them from bumps and scrapes if they take a tumble.

 If they are looking down – it can make it harder to balance and get going.

6. Pedalling power Once your child has learned these fundamental skills and gained their balance, it’s time to start learning to pedal.  Aim to have one of the pedals in the 2 o’clock position – the pedal ready position, in line with the downtube on the frame –, which will help them get started and gain momentum.  You can run alongside them and help support from the front by holding onto the stem to help them keep their balance. You will feel it as well when this happens.  Once they get the hang of it, get them to practise riding along and riding around in areas that are free of obstacles and hazards. You can add in some gentle turns to help with steering the bike where they want it to go.  A great way to teach them to turn is to setup some cones (a friend of mine uses rubber ducks!) two to three metres apart and ride in and out with gentle turns.  They’ll soon pick up the techniques for controlling their bike.  Use any opportunity to practise stopping using both the brakes.

 Don’t let your child wear clothing that is too loose or baggy, and make sure they have tied up shoelaces that are tucked in so they don’t wrap around pedals and chains. 

ALWAYS, ALWAYS wear a helmet when riding. Helmets must be a good fit – this is something your child shouldn’t grow into!

Marilyn Northcote Marilyn is well known as one of New Zealand’s leading cycle skills trainers and consultants, having worked with kids and adults for more than 20 years to develop their cycle training skills. Marilyn runs programmes in schools and is affectionately known as the ‘bike lady’ by many past and present kiwi kids. Visit

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Flying solo When you’re grinding it out in 1 Player Mode, your mind can be your worst enemy. In my first year as a single dad, I was dealing with the fallout from the end of my relationship, working full-time and parenting on my own four nights a week (while learning how to do this on-the-job), travelling to Auckland regularly for work (where my head office was based), running a household, and trying to balance the other aspects of my life, like catching up with friends and training. Dealing with so many challenges like this on your own can take a significant toll on you mentally, physically and spiritually. In this state of heightened stress, it’s easy for negative thought patterns to creep in and start dominating your thoughts. So it’s crucial that you keep on top of your mental game to keep everything else running as smoothly as possible. If things are really running out of control, I believe in the importance of seeking professional help for your mental wellbeing, but there’s also ways that you can improve your mental wellbeing every day to keep you in a good space when you’re under the gun. The Five Ways to Wellbeing are a collection of simple, everyday activities that you can use to improve your wellbeing. They were developed by the New Economic Foundation based on research into mental wellbeing

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for the UK Government in 2008, so it’s good to know they’ve got a bit of evidence behind them. Without further ado, the Five Ways are: Connect, Learn, Take Notice, Give, and Keep Active. Here are some ideas about how you can use the Five Ways to Wellbeing when you’re in 1 Player Mode to help keep your head in the game.

Connect Talk and listen, be there, feel connected. Connecting with others is an essential part of your wellbeing, and of being human – as the saying goes, no man is an island. As a single dad, it’s likely that much of your time outside of work will be spent in 1 Player Mode looking after your child(ren), so you need to take the opportunity to connect with people as much as possible. Connecting with others increases your wellbeing in many ways, from helping you focus on other things than your difficulties, spending time out of 1 Player mode, and you’ll likely be having fun! Here’s a few ways to Connect in 1 Player Dad Mode: Schedule regular catch ups such as coffee, dinners with family and/or friends. After I became a single dad and had moved back to Wellington, one of the things I

established early on was a regular Sunday dinner with my close friends to connect with them on a regular basis. It was a great way to spend time with them, share in food and laughter, and have someone else do the dishes one night a week! Get active with mates – a two-for-one deal, as keeping active is also one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. One of the things that made a big difference to my wellbeing about a year after I entered 1 Player Mode was joining the gym, as around the same time one of my mates joined the same gym and we started training together. We only train together once a week, but it’s time that I value in connecting with my friend and others who I also see at the gym, and it’s also vital for getting out of the house – something I definitely needed to do more often. Connect online – yeah, I know. It’s not real, those people are fake electronic phantoms that will make you hate your life, blah blah blah. Ok that’s a bit extreme, but the reality is I spend at least four nights a week at home when I have my daughter, and unfortunately child services frown upon the idea of leaving her at home while I dash out for a few rounds of Tekken with the boys, so the interweb it is. Facebook is my usual weapon of choice, which I mainly use to share video

game trailers, comic book movie rumours or the latest funnies I’ve pinched off I also post up on the 1 Player Dad Facebook page on a not-regular-enough basis. Catch a show with some mates – the last movie I watched was The Avengers: Age of Ultron, and ended up rounding up 10 of my fellow comic-nerd mates. Sports events, comedy shows, theatre, live music, anything that gets you out and about with your mates.

Keep learning Learning new things is fun. Ok, this may sound a bit geeky, but I’m not suggesting you go out and sign up for a statistics class (unless that’s your thing. And if it is…you’re weird. But that’s cool). Learning a new skill, taking up a hobby you’ve always wanted to try, or delving into new knowledge can be enjoyable, opening your mind to new possibilities and ways of thinking, connect you with other like-minded people, and boost your self-esteem as you acquire and master new skills and knowledge. Here’s some tips on how to learn in 1 Player Dad Mode: Ever wanted to try a new hobby/sport/skill? If you’ve just become a single dad, why not use this new

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beginning to try something you’ve always wanted to do? After a year or so in 1 Player Mode, I started looking for a new physical activity to do. I ended up joining the gym and getting into calisthenics, which was great fun and I enjoyed learning new exercise techniques. I also tried a few free intro classes of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which I enjoyed so much that it’s next on my to-do list. Is there something you need to learn to up your Dad game? One of the big things I learned when I entered 1 Player Dad Mode is how to cook I also needed to learn how to shop for girls' clothes (see last issue of Kiwiparent), since my experience in this was about zero. Take a class – whether it’s professional development/ training opportunities through your workplace, or evening/weekend classes if your schedule allows, taking a class is a great way to learn something new and meet new people. At the end of August 2014 I participated in a Startup Weekend in Wellington, which could be described as an intense form of business education torture/accelerated learning. A room full of strangers pitch business ideas, form teams and create businesses over the course of a weekend, at the end of which they pitch their ideas to a lineup of judges. Having no business training myself but a keen interest and enthusiasm, I participated in what was one of the

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most intense weekends of my life, but also one of the most rewarding in terms of the learnings gained and connections with like-minded people. Learn from your kids – this one is on a slightly different tack, and links to the ‘Connect’ action above. My journey as a parent both in 2 and 1 Player Mode has taught me a lot about myself – my tendencies as a parent (and the things I picked up from my own parents), how I react to the numerous parenting challenges that you can only learn to address ‘on the job’, my hopes and dreams and especially my fears in becoming a father and being responsible for the future of more than just myself. But also, seeing the world through the eyes of my daughter as she grows and is able to express herself more and more as each day passes – she has such a cheeky, effervescent, inquisitive outlook that, if nothing else, makes me smile and reminds me what the important things are in life.

Take Notice Remember the simple things that give you joy. Stopping and taking note of the little things in life, which when you think about it, are really the big things, helps calm your mind when you’ve probably got a million things

running through it in 1 Player Mode. Whether it’s pausing to appreciate the wonder of your surroundings when you’re out in nature, really engaging in time with your little one(s) or friends and family without checking your phone every two minutes, or just taking a moment to appreciate the good things in your life can bring the everyday challenges of parenting in 1 Player mode into perspective. “Wherever you are, be there” – one way to take notice is to practise being in the moment in whatever you’re doing, and not thinking about anything else other than that task or activity. So if you’re playing with your child, focus on that only and not on projects at work that need doing, or all the cleaning you need to catch up on. Take pleasure in the simple things – when you’re taking care of business in 1 Player Mode, the budget can be pretty tight. Don’t worry though – you don’t need to spend money when spending time with your kids, with a little creativity and thinking you can engage in some quality time with your little ones that won’t break the bank. Go to the park, the beach, go for a walk along the water, get some boxes from the supermarket and make a fort. Think of things you used to do in your youth when there were no iPhones or super techno gadgets the kids have nowadays. Waiting for something, like the doctor or a bus, plane, etc.? Take the opportunity to notice your surroundings, rather than burying yourself in your headphones or your smart phone. Have a look at your environment and see if you can notice anything you wouldn’t normally see. Do a bit of people watching and notice those around you and their interactions with others.

Get outside on the regular – a great way to recharge during the work day is to get out of the office and go for a walk or spend your lunch break at a park. Gives your body a break from that desk-bound position a lot of workers are in for the majority of the day.

Give Sometimes this feels like one of the trickier Ways to Wellbeing to engage in as a single dad. How do you find the time, energy or resources to give to others when you’re doing the hard yards on your own? It’s not always easy, but finding ways to give is definitely worth it for the joy you can bring others, as well as the rewards you experience for helping someone. It’s also a great way to Connect with others, something that’s always valuable when you’re playing in 1 Player Mode. One of the easiest ways to give is with your words – simple to give, but it can make a huge impact on others. Giving someone a compliment or telling them that you appreciate them can really brighten up their day, and you never know when those words are needed by the recipient. Cook a meal – invite a friend or two (or three) around and cook dinner, or maybe make a big batch and take some over to someone who you know is in need. Not too flash on the cooking front? Check out my 1 Player Chef post to get started at Do you have any skills that you could use to help out others in need? Whether it’s coaching your children’s sports team, helping design a flyer for a local event, or baking a cake for a school fundraiser, offer your expertise as a way to give something valuable from your skillset.

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your work day, think of ways you can schedule physical activity into your day that don’t require you to change into gym clothes. Give it a crack – keen to start a new physical activity but not sure what to pick up? Most classes have a ‘free class/ trial’ option, so hit up your friends and social networks for suggestions – I’ve done this a few times and have come back with so many great suggestions I need more hours in the day/days in the week to do them! Be active with your kids – don’t let them have all the fun, get stuck in and show them how it’s done! Look into all the options in your area, and don’t think they have to cost the world – some free/cheap options can be:  Explore new parks and playgrounds in your area  Make a splash at the swimming pool or beach  Have a dance battle and show them your best Dad grooves  Get out in nature and go for a hike/bush walk.

Get rid of the clutter around your home by giving it to someone in need – kids are constantly outgrowing clothes, toys etc., so pass them on to someone you know who might be able to use them or donate them to a local charity.

Keep Active This is definitely one of the ways to wellbeing that I make an effort to set time aside for each week. I’ve always been involved in a physical activity of some sort since I was a child, and it’s helped keep me in relatively good shape in my later years to allow me to keep up with an increasingly active toddler. Apart from the many physical benefits, being active also helps keep your mind healthy, improves your mood, and it's fun! Oftentimes challenging and can give you a sense of accomplishment depending on what you get into, it can also be a great way to meet other people and express yourself physically. There are so many benefits that it’s probably my favourite Way to Wellbeing. Firstly, you need to make time for it. My schedule in 1 Player Mode can be full on at times, especially in my first year as a single dad where I was regularly commuting to Auckland for work every other week, but I tried to make sure I got some form of physical exercise at least twice a week. There were plenty of other things I could be doing with the time, but I’ve always prioritised my physical fitness because it’s a crucial component of my overall wellbeing. Make it part of your daily life – on the days I don’t have my daughter and I'm organised enough, I make the 30 minute walk to and from work in the mornings to add to my activity levels and save a few dollars on bus fares. From taking the stairs, getting off your bus a few stops early, walking meetings or getting out during

20 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Be active with your work colleagues – if you can’t fit in some physical activity before or after work, how about during the work day? Spend a lunch break or two playing social sport, or hit the gym for a quick workout during the day. It might even give your brain a boost and help you overcome the dreaded afternoon sleepiness that has many of us reaching for the coffee or energy drinks. Do you have experience in a sport/physical activity that you could pass on to others? Why not teach it? Keep yourself active, pass on your knowledge, meet people, maybe even make a bit of money on the side – the list goes on. So that’s some of the ways I keep my head in the game in 1 Player Dad Mode, but anyone can use these to improve or maintain their wellbeing on a regular basis. What’s some of your favourite ways to improve your wellbeing in 1 Player Dad Mode? Let us know below! 

For more ideas, check out the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand’s suggestions

Ben Tafau Ben is the author of The 1 Player Dad Strategy Guide and He’s a single dad with shared care of an amazing 3- year-old daughter, and writes about his journey playing the parenting game in ‘1 Player Mode’ in Wellington.

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Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. *Each FABFOL tablet contains folic acid 500 mcg and iodine 150 mcg. ¹Australian Medicines Handbook 2014: folic acid recommended dosage is 500 mcg once daily before and during the first 3 months of pregnancy. ²NHMRC Public Statement: Iodine Supplementation for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, 2010. ® Registered trademark of Care Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. ABN 30 009 200 604 subscribe online

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How to stress less and

feel calm again

We have four children, the youngest of whom is now 15 years old. When I recall the years of bustling mornings trying to get everyone out the door on time, spilled milk, lost pieces of school uniform, un-matching socks, forgotten lunches, trails of belongings throughout our home, kitchen benchtops forever strewn with the ‘clues’ of a busy family – I recall a sense of always trying to do better… I tried many things. I tried having Saturday mornings to myself, going to bed earlier, morning lists for everyone to follow, making lunches the night before. I tried ignoring the mess and then I tried getting everyone to be fastidious about the mess. I even thought about (and tried it)returning to work, thinking that the structure of a workday may offer me a sense of ease, compared to the busy life with my children. I think it was harder. I guess it’s easy now, to say that I have the answer – our children are older, and those days of busy toddlers are behind us – but I’m pretty sure I do. And the first thing I’ll explain is that it’s not about our life, in the first instance. We need to turn our attention from trying to take control of the myriad of factors that create the pressure in our life, and instead take control of our body’s stress response. When we are stressed and under pressure our first thoughts are often to desperately look to where we can change life. Instead we need to turn inward, and do what we can to put ourselves more at ease. It is this that helps us to cope better. This year I have partnered with a neuroscientist at The University of California, Berkeley who specialises in stress, how it impacts our brain and our stress response. I began my work with her, so that I could better help at-risk industry sectors, such as finance, law and farming. However what the work uncovered was

22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

that stress does not discriminate. Whether you are a farmer, an executive or a busy parent at home with toddlers, stress affects us in the same way. This perhaps explains that universal issue, whereby a working parent comes home to a parent who works in the home, each desperate for a break – both believing that their ‘stress’ is worse. Our stressors are different but we experience it the same. What works may appear simple and less than substantial. However what I’d love you to realise is the direct link between these activities and your brain, and further, how these put you at ease, enable you to feel more in control and enjoy your family rather than resent them (as sometimes becomes the case). It’s important that you engage these activities with the consistency I describe. What we do regularly becomes a pattern, and so the more regularly we engage them the more quickly you will feel more in control and more calm.

Pause Do you take breaks? So often we just keep going, always look for the next thing that needs doing; keep working until completion of our tasks without taking a break. Again, it is this relentless pattern that contributes to our brain deploying the stress response. Simply, a moment where you turn away from what you’re doing (60 seconds is sufficient) each 90 minutes during the day to breathe, and you feel plugged back in.

Every 90 minutes Set an alert and notice the benefit of a 60 sec pause.

Breathe Your breath is one of the first indicators to your body to deploy your stress response, if you are not breathing diaphragmatically. When your stress response deploys,

you will become wired, anxious, tired and feel rushed, and at the same time lack focus, become easily irritated, not be able to think straight – yes, these are a direct result of your stress response engaging!

to join in with your children for some things, rather than the continual focus on looking after them. Ruminate on them. Choose one or more for yourself. Engage in it regularly.



Most of us breathe incorrectly, so teach yourself how to breathe deeply, into your stomach – not your chest – and create a new habit.

This is generally the last thing we prioritise; yet it should be the first! Decide on yours – and enjoy some richness in your life.

Create Rhythms

One of the greatest things I think though, as I recall those years, is how quickly they pass by. I have loved every stage of my children’s lives, however as ours are now learning to drive, socialising in the evenings probably more than us and living away from home; I am so very aware of how precious those years are. They feel like an age as you live through them, however try as well as you can to cherish them…

Nature operates in rhythms. Tides, seasons, cycles of the sun and moon all operate with an exact precision. Similarly, your body operates, and responds to rhythms. Create patterns in your day and week where you can – morning rituals, set meal times, activities with your children, date night, sleep and wake times. Not all of these will suit you, however do what you can to establish a routine, and then as you follow it, know that it’s good for you.

The Laurie family growing up.

Plan weekly I recommend putting these ‘important’ things into your planner first – and then letting the rest of your ‘life’ flow around them.

Gratitude New neural pathways are formed in your brain when you consistently focus on positive, uplifting, or special events however big or small. Consequently, this creates a shift in how your view challenges and life in general. I can’t put it more simply; gratitude is an essential health and wellbeing tool.

Nightly Keep a journal by your bed [and a pen!] so you’re always prepared to enjoy this.

Choose optimism Worrying depletes us emotionally. The cells of your body experience worry as a negative stimuli, which causes them to reduce and separate from one another. When you worry, you are less likely to find the answer to your problem, and of more concern, your health is compromised. What are you worried about? Be still, ask yourself what you need to do about it? You’ll know.

Sarah Laurie Auckland mum Sarah is a bestselling author, international speaker and coach. Her mission is to educate and inspire people to create lives they enjoy and be the best they can be. Her passion is to be across the latest and most relevant research internationally, and bring it to the community, turning it into practical lifestyle advice. Her latest work has been to explore the neurobiology of stress.

Consistently Sometimes your worry is valid, however instead, practise thinking about what a positive outcome could be instead, and your brain will begin to re-wire for optimism.

Rekindle your Joy Most of us are not sure what truly brings us joy. And even if we are, we probably don’t prioritise it in our schedule. Think of something that makes you smile, or that you really enjoy that isn’t time-consuming. They could simply be moments spent laughing with a best friend or reading outside in the evening, even being able

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Keep moving Exercising during pregnancy

Regular exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, including during pregnancy. Many women enter pregnancy with an aerobic and strength training programme already in place, and this is a great start. Other women use pregnancy as an opportunity to improve their health by developing good exercise habits. Whatever your situation, it’s beneficial to do some regular exercise if you possibly can.

Strenuous exercise is probably best avoided, as it will reduce the blood flow to the placenta. Whether or not this adversely affects the baby depends on a number of other factors related to the placenta. There may be exceptions to this general rule if you were very fit before becoming pregnant, so discuss this with your midwife or GP. You may also want to seek advice from a sports medicine expert if you are involved in top-level competitive sport.

Exercise will help prevent loss of fitness, too much weight gain and lower back pain. It will probably also help prevent such things as pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, diabetes and varicose veins. It will make you feel better in yourself – exercise is proven to have a positive effect on people’s moods.


Mild or moderate exercise is best. Nearly all pregnant women (with the possible exception of those with very complex pregnancies or severe heart, lung or high blood pressure problems) can safely manage some exercise. If you have any particular problems, other conditions or concerns, discuss with your midwife or Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) how they might affect your ability to exercise.

24 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Try these activities while pregnant

A wonderful form of exercise. It is certainly the easiest and cheapest, and is available to everyone. Just 15 minutes of brisk walking, building up to 30 minutes three times a week, is helpful. Walking even a kilometre a day will ease aching legs and a sore back, and help maintain a degree of physical fitness. The ‘talk test’ is a good indication of whether your exercise intensity level is too high. If you can maintain a conversation while exercising, keep going; this is considered a comfortable intensity. If you cannot do this, exercise less intensely. Take it slowly, have plenty of rests if you need them, but walk.

Jogging This is less popular than walking, because it is a highimpact exercise, and as pregnancy progresses it puts extra strain on softened pelvic ligaments. If you want to run, take it more easily as your weight increases. Some women find it too uncomfortable as pregnancy progresses, and urinary incontinence may be a problem. But if you enjoy it, carry on gently as long as it’s comfortable, and then do some other form of exercise such as walking instead.

Swimming This is excellent for pregnant women and probably the perfect pregnancy exercise. It’s relaxing – provided the water is neither too hot nor too cold – and the buoyancy of the water supports your increasing body weight. It’s quite safe to swim during pregnancy, unless the amniotic sac around the baby has broken, although this is very unusual until late in pregnancy. As your expected due date approaches, swimming is also helpful to get your baby into a good position: the ‘tummy down’ position you use doing breaststroke or with a kickboard, for example, can help your baby’s back to move forward rather than lying against your back. This posterior position often causes backache in pregnancy and labour, so anything you can do to relieve it is helpful.

 The water takes some of the weight off your lower limbs, and is good for increasing the blood circulation in the legs, especially when standing and walking in the water  You can exercise quite actively in the water without overheating  Classes are a good way to meet other women who are pregnant, and those who already have children.

Exercise programmes A variety of exercise programmes tailored specifically for pregnant women are available in some centres in New Zealand, and many commercial gyms now offer courses that take pregnancy requirements into account. Check out suitable classes offered in your area – yoga centres and physiotherapists are also worth trying, as some run excellent classes for pregnancy and in preparation for birth.  Detailed pregnancy exercises can be found on p126–133 of The New Zealand Pregnancy Book.

Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at


The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

Aquarobics classes are offered by many swimming pool complexes around the country, and involve a range of exercises done in the water. Many pregnant women find them relaxing and fun. Keeping fit in the water has a number of advantages during pregnancy:  E very muscle in the body can be exercised in the water, either gently or more vigorously

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11/04/14 10:15 AM kiwiparent 25

Exploring the great outdoors Camping trips, afternoon strolls and trips to the woods are vivid childhood memories for me growing up in the United Kingdom. Family camping trips involved sleeping under the starry night sky, sipping chicken soup and exploring the great outdoors. I’m certain this consistent exposure to the great outdoors helped lead me into a career supporting conservation.

The natural world is a playground and place of discovery for adults and children alike. It is a place for adventure, exploration and imagination and creates an opportunity for children to generate connections with our environment. Living in New Zealand – specifically the Bay of Plenty – this natural playground seems more accessible than ever and there’s no shortage of ways for both visitors and locals to get stuck in to the outdoors.

Fast forward a couple of decades and I’m now a kiwi parent responsible for instilling the same love for the great outdoors with my children.

We pride ourselves on our natural environment in the Bay of Plenty – from our geothermal wonders to our unique kokako population, but how do we share it with children to bring out all the benefits of Vitamin G?

Frequent, positive early childhood experiences with nature have a major impact on the healthy growth of a child’s mind, body and spirit. The benefits of connecting to nature have been well documented in numerous scientific studies. Research has proven children’s social, psychological, academic and physical healthy is positively impacted when they have a daily interaction with nature. From enhancing cognitive ability and improving academic performance to reducing stress and Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms a good dose of Vitamin G (G for green) has been shown to do wonders for the health of families.

26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Sleep under the stars No kiwi summer is complete without a camping trip and, although taking small children along with you may seem daunting, there are plenty of family friendly camping opportunities available. Camping with children is a sure-fire way to get back to basics and introduce your children to nature. The Department of Conservation administers more than 200 conservation campsites across New Zealand.

These range from basic campsites with limited facilities to scenic campsites with drinkable tap water, flushable toilets and onsite camp managers. The coastal Matata campsite is nestled between a wetland wildlife refuge and golden sand beaches. During the day, children can frolic in a fresh marine environment and at dusk and dawn, children can hear the hiccup-like sound of pukekos and other wetland birds. Further South in Rotorua, there are six lakeside

Later, as our family got bigger and babywearing was no longer an option, I had already identified stroller friendly walking trails and getting our Vitamin G dosage quickly became a regular part of our routine. Taking time with your children and allowing space for play and curiosity will turn every walk into an adventure. Slow down and explore – notice the little things as well as the big. Preschoolers are easily excited by the prospect of imaginary play – try turning your stroll into a Moa hunt to keep young minds interested!

campsites to choose from, each one providing the perfect setting to enjoy glorious sunsets, summer dips in the lake and the occasional glow worm to delight young eyes.

Take a walk on the wild side As a babywearer, I found great freedom walking though nearby bush areas while my infant baby slept. To me, the best way to rejuvenate my tired soul was a good dose of Vitamin G – soaking up fresh, clean air and marvelling at the local bush that blew in the wind and soothed my baby to sleep as I walked.

Close to Rotorua’s city centre, the Sulphur Bay Wildlife Refuge is one of nature’s gems just waiting to be explored. The natural geothermal area is home to several threatened bird species including the New Zealand Dabchick and the Black Billed Gull – which is frequently mistaken for a pest! The stroller friendly Nature Heritage Trail that circles the wildlife refuge passes two adventure playgrounds, boiling mud pools and numerous bird colonies. If you’re lucky, you may catch a glimpse of one of the New Zealand Falcon’s that have made conservation history as the first urban release of this species in history.

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See a real kiwi Rotorua is lucky to have many tourist attractions focusing on New Zealand’s native plants and animals. For young families, you can’t go past Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter. The Kiwi Encounter offers a unique behind-the-scene tours of a working kiwi hatchery, which helps give kiwi a fighting chance of survival. DOC rangers monitor wild kiwi to see where they nest. When an egg is laid, it is uplifted and taken to the Kiwi Encounter where it is safe from predation from stoats, rats and possums. The hatchery raises the kiwi chick until it weighs one kilogram before it is returned to the wild by DOC staff. Of course, even within the confines of the Bay of Plenty borders, the true number of ways children connect with nature could never be captured in writing. Visit, or your local tourist authority and you’ll soon see an adventure and a good dose of Vitamin G are never far away. 

Caraline Abbott Born in England, Caraline immigrated to New Zealand in 2008 and is the mum of two vivacious boys: Jack, five, and Harry, four. She works full time as a Partnerships Ranger with the Department of Conservation, based in Rotorua, and enjoys family walks, camping trips and celebrating New Zealand’s native plants and animals.

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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Making it


30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


I’ve been talking a lot about misconceptions lately; the sort of assumptions that mislead and often prevent mums getting the information or support that can help them reach their parenting goals. Some assumptions arise out of miscommunication; some time ago a Kiwiparent reader claimed I was against pumping following my article about heavy sales tactics. I didn't think a pregnant mum should be pressurised into buying an expensive pump that she might not need, but perhaps the message should have been clearer. We live and learn! There are many misconceptions about breastfeeding. I could write a whole article about them. But one that gets my goat and definitely needs clearing up is that returning to work means giving up breastfeeding. Now it may mean you have to talk to your employer and prepare for some big changes but time away from your baby definitely doesn’t mean breastfeeding has to come to an end. How you are going to balance your work and family is worth planning in advance. It may seem a daunting prospect and will likely be a challenge but the working mothers I know find continuing the breastfeeding relationship provides a wonderful way to reconnect with their babies at the end of a long day. If you don’t have mothers to talk to who are combining breastfeeding and work (or study) outside the home then books, leaflets and websites can provide helpful ideas. The La Leche League leaflet Working and Breastfeeding (Info Sheet 2808) gives practical information about your options and ways to make it work. The longer you wait before returning to work, the easier the transition will be for both you and your baby. Here are some things you might want to consider:  C an you extend your maternity leave or organise flexible hours?  Can you work from home?  C ould someone bring your baby to your work so you can feed during breaks?

 Can you work shorter days so that you can express less and miss fewer feeds? If your wee one is under a year old you may need to express your milk while at work (using hand expressing or a pump) as this will help you maintain your milk supply and of course ensure your baby receives your milk even when you are apart. If you want to express during work hours you will need to find out what facilities are available in your workplace. The Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding and other matters) Amendment Act requires employers to provide appropriate facilities and breaks for employees who wish to breastfeed either at the workplace or during a work period, as far as it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances.


There’s lots of information to help you on the Breastfeeding Friendly Workplaces website: Finding somewhere private to express is important. You’ll probably need access to electricity and a fridge and, preferably a comfy chair! Most mums find they need to express every three hours or so, possibly more at first, so you don’t feel uncomfortable. Some other suggestions you might like to consider before returning to work:  Wait until just before you go back to work to introduce a bottle as it’s important to concentrate on establishing your milk supply first. Milk can be given in a cup depending on how old your baby is  Start back to work towards the end of the week to avoid the tiredness of a full week straightaway  Practice pumping/hand expressing first. You can freeze your milk but fresh milk retains more nutrients and immune factors

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!

 Attend a La Leche League meeting in your area – support really can make a difference!

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Ideally your baby’s caregiver will understand the importance to you of continuing to breastfeed and will work with you to make sure the baby is cared for as you wish. For example, there is a special technique for feeding a breastfed baby a bottle.* Some babies don’t feed as often, and sleep more, when mum is away. They adjust their feeding pattern to make the most of mum when she is available. This can make the at home hours, including at night, more demanding so being organised at home as well as at work is very important.

Expressing tips Here are a number of tips to help you pump more effectively and avoid tissue damage:  Start gradually with the least amount of suction to get you started  Make sure your nipple is in the centre of the flange, and that the flange is the right size  Gradually increase the suction level  Find a place where you can relax and have some privacy. Stress can inhibit your ‘let down’.  It may help your ‘let down’ to have a photo of your baby nearby or something containing his scent

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

 Massage and jiggle your breasts before starting, to encourage milk flow, or take a break midway and massage/jiggle both sides  Try not to watch the clock; feel your breasts to see if they are lighter and softer  If using a single pump you may need to express each breast more than once to remove the milk  After you’ve finished pumping, spend a minute hand-expressing to get out the last drops. Every bit increases your output and thus your supply. Expressing milk can be a bit tedious and rarely empties the breast as well as a thriving baby can. But it is invaluable to many mums and certainly supports the breastfeeding relationship in a variety of circumstances. If you would like more information about pumping and how to store expressed milk get in touch with your local La Leche League Leader via our website * feeding-tools/bottle-feeding/

Happy Baby, Happy Mum. Know your rights Section 69Y Employment Relations (Breaks, Infant Feeding and Other Matters) Amendment Act 2008 This Act requires employers to provide appropriate facilities and breaks for employees who wish to breastfeed either at the workplace or during a work period, as far as it is reasonable and practicable in the circumstances. The amendments balance the need to support the choices of employees, Comfort Manual Breast Pump.

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Best for body

and brain

Fish is loaded with essential nutrients, such as protein and Vitamin D. Fish is also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are incredibly important for your body and brain. Steamed fish is a simple and healthy way to cook. Also known as ‘en papillote’, which literally translates in French to ‘in parchment’, the parcels hold the moisture to steam the fish.

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Open the parcel just before eating so you can enjoy the aromas as they steam out. These parcels will contain baby spinach leaves, carrots, broccoli and spring onion with fish fillets. Served with homemade honey, soy and ginger sauce and steamed rice, these will be a delicious hit with the family.

- My Food Bag Test Kitchen

Honey Soy Ginger Steamed Fish and Vegetable Parcels with Rice Serves 4 – 5

Fish and Vegetable Parcels 4–5 large squares of baking paper or tinfoil (about 30x30cm) 4–5 small handfuls baby spinach leaves 600g skinless, boneless, white fish fillets 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks or grated 1 head broccoli, stalk and florets roughly diced 2cm 2 spring onions, thinly sliced

Honey Soy Ginger Sauce 2 teaspoons finely grated ginger ¼ cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons runny honey 2 teaspoons sesame oil Zest and juice of 1 lemon or lime ½–1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce (optional, adults)

Method PREHEAT oven to 200°C.


Lay baking paper/tinfoil squares on a flat surface. Place a small handful of spinach on each square, placing in a small mound in the centre. Pat fish dry, remove any remaining scales or bones and cut any larger fillets in half. Lay fish on top of spinach and sprinkle with salt. Top with carrots, broccoli and spring onions.


In a small bowl, mix all honey soy ginger sauce ingredients together. Spoon half the sauce over fish, dividing equally, and set the remainder aside. Wrap paper/tinfoil into parcels by pulling 2 sides up and rolling together downwards towards fish. Twist each end of the parcel tightly, ensuring sauce does not leak out. It should look like a Christmas cracker. Place onto an oven tray and bake for 18–20 minutes or until fish is just cooked through and vegetables are still crunchy.

TO SERVE: Spoon ¾ cup cooked rice per person onto each plate. Open parcels (be careful of hot steam), drizzle over remaining sauce and garnish with coriander, peanuts and sesame seeds. 

To Serve

Steamed jasmine rice ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Every week Nadia and her team dream up exciting and nutritious dinner ideas, and deliver these quick and delicious recipes with all of the ingredients straight to your door. To check out the goodness head to:

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Life is precious Having a baby changes your whole life. You’re getting to know this tiny new person, you’re discovering new things about yourself and you’re learning how to be a parent – all on very little sleep. Suddenly there are a lot of decisions to make and everyone is all-too-willing to give you advice about how you should be raising your baby. But already you know that no one knows this little person as well as you do. Yet what if you weren’t there to make decisions for your child? For the next 18 years they will be dependent on you in so many ways – emotionally, physically and financially. While it’s almost unthinkable to consider, make sure you take steps to secure your baby’s future in case anything happens to you or your partner. There are a number of things you can do to make sure your child will be looked after the way you want them to be if the unimaginable happens and you are not around to take care of them.

What’s important will change as your family grows 1. Talk to your family

Make sure your loved ones know what you want if anything happens to you. It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it’s really important to talk about your wishes for your child’s future.

2. Make a will

As well as outlining what you want to happen to your possessions, your will should also say what you want for your child (or children) including who you want to care for them, and how. If you already have a will, update it now that you have a child.

3. Get life insurance If you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness, life

A good one will provide guidance about what and how much the average person needs to consider. Think about the following:  C hildcare – who would look after your child? Can you cover childcare costs?  E ducation – do you want to provide money for your child’s school or tertiary fees?  L iving costs – how much will your family need to live on each week and how many years do you want this to cover?  D ebts – any debts you’ll leave, like a mortgage, car loan, credit cards  L ump sum – you can plan to leave a lump sum to help your child pay for major life events  F uneral costs – the average funeral in New Zealand costs around $8,800. How will this be paid for?

You may not have thought about life insurance before, Getting life insurance is a simple process. You can get it butdirectly as a new it’s something consider now. fromparent an insurance company,to through a broker or from your bank. You can usually arrange it all in As New Zealand’s most trusted in life insurance* one appointment, phone call or even online. let us be there for your family if you can’t be. If you already have life insurance, it may be a good idea to check your policy and see if it is still right for you now Asthat an AA Member you’ll automatically getexample, a 5% discount your circumstances have changed. For people insurance the also bankbe when onmany any new AAget Lifelife policies. Youfrom might eligible they buy a home for the first time. It can be a condition for a 10% discount, depending on your lifestyle, current of the mortgage to have life insurance but you may not health youryour family health history. haveand to have life insurance with the same bank. A different policy from another insurance company might better suit your new situation. With some insurers if you’re generally healthy there are no medical tests and it’s usually easy to switch.

Call our friendly team Visit us onlineNo one likes to think about their See us atgrowing your nearest children up insurance can pay out a tax-free lump sum so that your without them, but if you prepare for it you can help loved ones will be looked after and the plans and hopes 0800 808 203 AAfor Centre make the hardest of times easier your loved ones. you had for your child still happen. Other of life insurance can also help you plan for recovery from an unforeseen accident or illness.

And you can enjoy your time with them now, knowing that you’ve done your best to protect their future. 

Most insurance companies have online calculators that

Call our friendly team 0800 808 203

help howtomuch you need. Policy cover withwork AA Lifeout is subject standardcover underwriting conditions. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions will apply to the cover provided. *As voted by New Zealanders in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand Awards 2013–15

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

What’s important will change as your family grows

You may not have thought about life insurance before, but as a new parent it’s something to consider now. As New Zealand’s most trusted in life insurance* let us be there for your family if you can’t be. As an AA Member you’ll automatically get a 5% discount on any new AA Life policies. You might also be eligible for a 10% discount, depending on your lifestyle, current health and your family health history.

Call our friendly team

Visit us online

0800 808 203

See us at your nearest

AA Centre

Policy cover with AA Life is subject to standard underwriting conditions. Policy terms, conditions, limits and exclusions will apply to the cover provided. *As voted by New Zealanders in the Reader’s Digest Most Trusted Brand Awards 2013–15

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Magic in your


Fairy House takes readers on an entrancing adventure into the making of miniscule furniture for the fairytale realm from objects found in nature. Hundreds of detailed, full-colour photos and whimsical instructions will help you to create intricate fairy items from your garden – like tiny umbrellas from eucalyptus pods and petals, dreamlike beds from delicate flowers and leaves, and an amazing array of other beautiful and unique pieces.

After you have been about the business of creating for some time you may feel someone small watching through a window behind you somewhere.


American authors Mike and Debbie Schramer share their wealth of knowledge of useful plants and natural materials that can be gathered and preserved to create the nature art featured in Fairy House. In addition to the step-by-step creations, Fairy House features a photo gallery to inspire you to unleash your own creativity. So, if you have children who are captivated with the mystery and wonder of tiny treasures found in nature, this book can provide a wealth of ideas to create your own fairy kingdom at the bottom of the garden.

Think i of the adorable dwarves, elves i A Simple Chair and fairies that might be helping you Think of the ad and fairies th orable dwarves, elvgather es twigs and moss as you walk through the forest. gather twigs at might be helping yoquietly u quietly throug and moss as you walk a h the forest.

reating a chair is a wonderful place to start. After all, think for a moment

about all of the things we do in chairs. We enjoy great dinners with friends,

we sit and visit with relatives, both young and old. Even important world


Start with the basic shape of the “square of branches” that you learned how to make already (see Chapter 2 on page #).


Next, add the seat to the chair. There are lots of different materials you can use for this. You might want it to be soft and cushiony, so

using moss, pussy willows, cattail down or nt mewould milkweed puffs work well. You could for a mo nk er all, thi also use flowernds , start. Aft h frie petals or feathers. Here are a l place to ners wit rfu din at nde gre a wo few samplest of chair seats. chair is . We enjoy tan world a irs g por tin cha im in rea . Even ngs we do ng and old of the thi tables. , both you about all chairs and h relatives visit wit es rely on conferenc we sit and and global ce talks pea as To add the legs for the chair, turn the seat of h events suc the chair over so the underneath side is facing are of pe of the “squ up. Now, you will need to cut four more small the basic sha ke ma to Start with ned how branches of the same size and length and glue that you lear branches” on page #). them, one by one to the four corners of the Chapter 2 already (see seat, like this.


3 2


the seat of chair, turn legs for the is facing To add the erneath side r so the und re small the chair ove cut four mo will need to glue you , Now length and up. e size and sam the of s of the branches four corner the to one by them, one . seat, like this

Fairy House By Mike and Debbie Schramer Published by Exisle Publishing

RRP $34.99 available from 38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

feel like you are a little princess or sleeping in a faraway magical somewhere. You can create this little bed for your own little princess.

Cut a basic rectangle from bark, wood or cardboard in the size and shape you want




anopy beds conjure up so many dreams. They always seem to make

no1py Be d



re are lots the chair. The the seat to for this. Next, add you can use t materials ny, so of differen and cushio t it to be soft wan n or ht You mig , cattail dow pussy willows could using moss, k well. You wor ld puffs wou e are a milkweed feathers. Her er petals or also use flow s. of chair seat few samples


cess Ca


Canopy Bed i


your bed to be. Rectangles that are slightly anopy be ds conju re up so imperfect and askew add to the overall design, feel lik many dr e you ar eams. Th e a little it look more like a little elf from the ey alwmaking somewh pri ays em nc ess or ere. You forestse createdto it (although, sleeping can cre make yoif you would like in a far ate this u little be ay to youraw piece begic perfect, that is fine, too!) ma d for yo al land ur own little pri ncess. Cut a bas ic rectan gle from Cut four branches, twigs, driftwood or a cardboard bark, wo od or in the siz e and sha similar material of equal size for the legs and your bed pe you wa to be. Re nt ctangles glue them to underside frame of the bed. It is a imperfec that are slig t and ask htly ew add to good idea to choose branches that are thicker making it the overal look more l des ign , like a litt forest cre or wider at the bottom so that the bed will le elf from ated it (alt the hough, if your piece stand more level and be sturdier. You can also you would to be per like fect, that glue pods as “feet” on the legs which will make is fine, too !) the bed look more “grounded” and stable. Cut four branches, twigs, dri similar ma ftwood or terial of equ a al size for glue them Cut four more branches for the posts of the the to under legs and side frame good ide headboard and the footboard; they can be the of the bed a to choose . It is a branches or wider same height or different (the headboard can that are thi at the bot cke tom r so that the stand mo be a little taller than the footboard to make it bed will re level and be sturdi glue pod a little more unusual). Make all four branches er. You can s as “feet” also on the leg the bed loo s higher than usual to accommodate for the wh ich k more “gr will make ounded” canopy as you will want it to be above the and stable . tops of the chairs. Glue the four “bed post” Cut four more bra nches for branches to the bed frame at each corner. headboard the posts and the foo of the tboard; the same hei y can be ght or diff the erent (th be a little e headbo taller tha ard can n the footboard a little mo to make re unusu it al). Make higher tha all four bra n usual to nches accommo canopy as date for the you will want it to tops of the be above the chairs. Glu e the fou branches r “bed pos to the bed t” frame at each corner .


hair2 i

ple C i A Sim


i Prin

events such as peace talks and global conferences rely on chairs and tables.


been After you have s of es sin bu the t ou ab time creating for somemeone so l fee y ma you small watching ow through a wind ere. wh behind you some

i Princess

Parents Centre Supporting parents through the early years because great parents grow great children Support networks and advice through Parents Centres. Parents Centres are renowned for their parent education programmes. What is not so well-known are the huge

In this section Focus on heartland New Zealand; Taranaki Centres leading the way Volunteering in Stratford – Q&A with Tracy Scheliin Spotlight on ‘Baby and You’ Strategic partnership programme

range of support networks and advice available to parents. One of the most important sources of support can be your original antenatal group. These often stay together and form ‘coffee groups’ – better described as ‘counselling

Go to today to contact your

groups’ at times! We all go through enormous life

local Centre and to find out more about support and

adjustments with the birth of our first babies and the

volunteering opportunities offered in your area.

support and advice from other parents can be invaluable.

Time and again we hear that these support networks have


been a ‘life saver’ for many parents at what is a time of huge adjustment and uncertainty. These groups of parents



stfe , brea s e i b a b

r ffee g o c , s irth ing, , bre ean b s r stfeed e a a i s e b e r a a b s, successful Centres births s, c bieour ture b It is support networks that b drive p a a e u l m o p e i r e r t r g l mu fee matuTaranaki. Learn about ethisgrSouth oups, p in Stratford and preSouth s, cof tility, e h r f , t f e r f g o i n n c b i i t eed Centre’s impressive bproject irths,to build their own t caesarean , infan reastfTaranaki , post n n s b o a h i , e s t s s r r o s e i a p i e b es and read the inspiringirstory , epr bab Centre on ,pages ca40–41 b ths of ultiple atal d ps m e n u l o , p i r y t t , g er l i President, fertil , fath y, mu Tracey Scheliin (pages eeding n coffeeStratford Parents Centre’s s t f , i i e g l , i t i s n g t n i r h r a t d inf alle infe 42–43) whose Parents t fee has n bir leep, ost volunteer journey with nfanCentre ssion, s i p e r , , p n s e , a o t h d i t her to take on more responsibility birled by we atal press and new initiatives. uppor a e e , n s l t b d p r , i r l o s t e l a p h t h u up na fat birt ty, m her s tManager, gies, home ing, a r f d e l Business Development and Social Enterprise e l , e s a f e br fant llergi to Parents Centres sleep, abies, aning p,theabenefits on, in Taslim Parsons, highlights e b e i e s w g l e s s r n e y i r u t bab dep wean and ortto, the strategic partnersbwho prema members uppand irths, aby support s b , , g e r s n e c m i h h t o d ir e bCentres stfee irths, s, fat resource the work of hParents ng, h a New Zealand. b e m i e i o d r g e n b r e a e f , l e t ies eas , al caesar re bab ng es, br i i , u s b t n p a a a u e b m o ps, pre ature multip fee gr baby w u f m , o , o e r s y r c t g h i p t l , i r ffee rths fert g, me bi an bi hs, co t in feedin t e s t r r s o i a a p b s e e r , t ca ion ,b ean ths s, pos epress babies le bir caesar h d p t i e r l t r i l a , u b t u s t a m n le roup rema multip rtility, ding, ffee g e f e , o y e n c t f , i i g l , ies t i s n allerg feedi birth infert , infan t , n n n p o a t e a i e s f e s r l o n s s ,i , p pre caesa port, ession births tal – kiwiparent r p a p u e e , n s l t subscribe online 39irths, b d p r i l o mult nata supp fathe , , eb y r s t , e i e m g l h i o i t n g t h fa ler edi l , e s a f infer e i t , g n p slee aller ing , infa often form firm friendships that can carry on for years – even decades!

ding, astfee

Focus on heartland New Zealand Living the dream in South Taranaki Q&A with Michele Verry, President of South Taranaki Parents Centre What led you to step first as a volunteer, then as president of South Taranaki Parents Centre? I first volunteered with South Taranaki Parents Centre as I could see a need for committee members and wanted to help with the centre that had proven to be a great place for me and my children to play and meet people. I became treasurer after a few months and at this year’s AGM stepped into the President role. I feel that I have picked up a lot of skills and knowledge through my involvement with South Taranaki Parents Centre and I am confident that I can contribute to the ongoing success of the centre in my new role as President.

What was involved in making the decision to embark on the new building project? We had been having trouble with dampness and leaking in the building for several years and as a committee we were determined to remedy this situation. As we investigated the extent of the damage and obtained estimates for repairs it became clear this was going to be a huge job.

40 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Linn Vincent, one of our committee members and now project manager, suggested that we look into the cost of a new building and got an estimate from a local kitset shed supplier and the difference between the estimate for repairs and rebuilding was minimal. At this point we decided to try and obtain funding to rebuild and after many grant applications and fundraisers we were able to secure the funds. Michele Verry is married to Allan Muggeridge and they have two fantastic daughters.

Tell us about the dream for South Taranaki Parents Centre.

What is the best thing to come out of the decision to build?

The initial dream is to make sure that the building is completed on time and on budget! Looking a little further ahead we would love the new building to allow South Taranaki Parents Centre to continue to be a meeting place for parents and their young children, to provide quality antenatal and parenting courses, to support the parents of South Taranaki in their own parenting journey.

Undoubtedly, the decision to build has brought our committee together and everyone is keen to help out and get the final stages of the preparation done. We are really looking forward to having a brand new healthy, dry, safe and comfortable space to share with our community. 

What do your members think? They are excited about the new building and look forward to making the best use of it as soon as it is finished.

What has been the most difficult challenge facing your Centre? It has been challenging getting numbers along to our antenatal classes and building up our membership. As far as the building goes, we had to work hard at obtaining the funds to actually embark on the building, as well as ensuring that we had carefully considered all aspects of project. Obtaining the grants and then meeting the conditions associated with one of the grants was definitely challenging.

We are so grateful for the grants we have received for the building. • $100,000 from TSB Community Trust • $64,000 from Pelorus Trust • $5,000 from The Lion Foundation

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Growing great families in Stratford I first visited Parents Centre to do my antenatal classes when I was pregnant with my son Mitchell who is now three years of age.

Some of the excursions we organised have been Wheels days at the local park, Water Safety and a visit to the South Taranaki Parents Centre.

After being invited to a committee meeting in May 2013, I decided to join the centre. It was a nice night out and a way for me to make new friends and meet other families with children. I joined the committee at the following AGM and took up the task of being the Playgroup Convenor.

Over the past few years we have been very fortunate to have had the team at BNZ come in and paint two of our rooms as part of their `Closed for Good` projects. This is of huge benefit to our Centre as we are all volunteers and really appreciate any help. Our committee is proactive in trying to create new and exciting environments for the children to play in, as well as offering a variety of opportunities to experiment in the craft room.

I was in this role nearly two years before taking a short break and then becoming President, Secretary and Memberships in September 2015. Being a part of the committee has benefited me in many ways – not only because of the awesome team I am a part of, but because of the relationships I have formed with our members, members of the community as well as local businesses. Volunteering has given me more confidence as well as the satisfaction of helping out in our community. And I love seeing the smile on Mitchell's face when there is something new to do! Our centre has playgroups that meet twice a week on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9.30am to 11.30am and we do a few excursions each term. Playgroups in the past have organised a huge range of activities, including Halloween, St Patrick's Day, Womad, Kiwiana and so many more.

42 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Our goals at the moment are to grow our membership numbers as well as widen our pool of volunteers who will serve on our committee. It is always great to have fresh ideas and have parents/caregivers assisting in the things we do at the centre. We welcome anyone to come along and join in, check out our Facebook page for details of meetings and join us in working with the community. If you would like to know more about the benefits of being a member please email Tracey Scheliin President for Stratford Parents Centre

Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centre’s renowned parent education programmes.

This month: Spotlight on

Baby and You The ‘Baby and You’ programme follows on from antenatal classes and offers sound tips and strategies as you begin your remarkable journey into parenthood. In your newborn child, you have a very special little individual who will grow and develop with your care and guidance. Contributing to the growth and development of your child can be hugely rewarding. To see your baby smile,

discovering that other new parents experience similar difficulties or have the same questions can be hugely supportive. Babies grow quickly and they go through a variety of stages. ‘Baby and You’ explores the first three months of your baby’s life and gives practical information about stimulation for babies, age-appropriate toys and the key milestones of your baby’s growth.

play and grow can be an extraordinary experience. You will

The programme also recognises the heavy demands babies

have feelings of tenderness, closeness and a sense of awe

have on parents’ time and attention. It is common for

at the miracles of ‘first milestones’ – smiling, crawling, steps

parents to experience a real loss of independence, a huge

and games.

lack of sleep and worry around employment and financial

But with a new baby comes uncharted waters. Your tiny bundle may well rule the entire household through his routines, sleep patterns and behaviours. This can be very challenging. Many parents, particularly new ones, find the information and support in the ‘Baby and You’ programme extremely helpful in managing the challenges, and making the most of the rewards, that a new baby brings into their life. Parents Centre believes strongly in the strength of support networks in getting through – and enjoying! – those early months. Firm friendships are often formed between course

changes. It’s important for parents to look after themselves – although it’s a challenging time, let’s not forget to meet the needs of mum – and dad! Participating in the ‘Baby and You’ programme will give you the much-needed tools over those first uncertain months to enable you to grow in confidence. Your baby, and you, will benefit enormously. Visit to find out about booking into this programme at a Centre near you. 

The Baby and You programme is proudly supported by Johnson & Johnson and Philips AVENT.

participants, through shared experiences and understandings. Discussion topics include issues around postnatal realities, identifying physical, emotional and relationship changes. There are often very simple strategies for coping. Further,

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Thinking Strategically As a not for profit organisation, strategic partnerships and alliances are essential to our organisation and enable us to fund the work we do as well as provide resources and benefits to our Centres and most importantly our membership. When entering into these partnerships we ensure there is a philosophical alignment between our organisation and the company. My job is to find, develop and evaluate a possible partnership. Approach the organisation, develop a proposition and then present it, should we be successful, we pull together deliverables on both sides and develop a contract. When evaluating a partnership, we look at the benefit to ALL centres from the partnerships in the form of products, resources, education and fundraising opportunities We seek to develop partnerships with credible organisations in order to continue to attract members, deliver our services and be commercially viable. We continue to refine and collaborate on aspects of partnerships, such as roadshows and ongoing education for our members and committees. I’m very proud to work with such great partners, they really do go the extra mile in ensuring that we can give our centres and members a great service and range of information and products. Taslim Parsons, Business Development and Social Enterprise Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand

Huggies Nappies is proud of our 17 year partnership with Parents Centres. We believe in supporting mum and dad by providing the best change time solutions to keep little ones' skin as healthy as possible. It makes logical sense for us to support an organisation like Parents Centre as their goal is to arm parents with the best and most up to date advice. This is especially so, when they are just starting out through their child birth education classes. And who better to help mums and dads, but other mums and dads who have just been through it all. Jason Biggs, Kimberley Clark

In today’s multimedia world there is no shortage of information available to parents on infant care, and when becoming a parent for the first time, finding the right information that you can trust is extremely important and can also be extremely difficult. With over 100 years of research, JOHNSON’S® Baby has been a leader in sharing scientific findings through professional education and partnerships with key organisations. We are committed to supporting the development of Parents Centre educators through attendance at conferences and education research updates ensuring that they are sharing with parents the most current science on Infant Skincare. Vicki Wright, Johnson & Johnson New Zealand

Find out more about our strategic partners in the next issue.

44 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Philips Avent is dedicated to helping mothers breastfeed for longer because it is proven that breast milk is vitally important for the healthy development of newborn babies. Philips Avent is proud to be the new primary partner of the Baby and You programme with the Parents Centre New Zealand, providing information and product knowledge to new parents. With 30 years of clinical experience in baby feeding, Philips Avent products are inspired by nature and have been developed through extensive research and clinical trials. The Philips Avent range of products helps to support the choices that new parents make, from breastfeeding through to first foods. Michelle Rice, Ebos New Zealand

Parents Centre provides skills, knowledge and support to new and expectant parents throughout New Zealand, enabling them to be the best parents they can possibly be. It is these values that align closely with PORSE so it made sense for us to partner with the Parents Centre; a relationship that was formed over two years ago. Establishing a national partnership allows us to work closely with Parents Centre’s nationwide, providing parents with support and guidance throughout their journey through parenthood. Twenty years of supporting research and experience guides our PORSE In-home childcare programme. With 70% of early brain development occurring in the first three years of life, we understand the importance of getting it right. Our In-home Educators provide a calm and stable home environment and close connected relationship, setting our most precious citizens up for the best possible start by giving them our greatest gift: TIME. We look forward to working with Parents Centre in 2016 to provide support to kiwi families. Leane Radovanovich, PORSE

Conscious parenting – want to know more? Check out upcoming programmes at your local Parents Centre: Browse through the resources here: Join ‘Conscious Parenting’ pages and groups on Facebook Research online and read, read, read!

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The sun makes life on earth both possible and enjoyable. Nothing draws people outdoors like a sunny day! BUT, sun exposure is more than the warmth and light you can feel and see. It is particularly important to be SunSmart in the sunniest months between September and April, especially between the hours of 10am–4pm when ultraviolet (UV) radiation levels are very high. But beware, in winter it is also important to be careful of the sun's strength at high altitudes and around snow or water. UV radiation travels to earth from the sun in one of three forms: UVA, UVB or UVC. UV radiation is harmful. Prolonged or excessive exposure may cause skin damage including sunburns, premature aging, and skin cancer. It can damage the eyes and weaken the immune system – making it difficult for your body to fight off infection and disease. The levels of UVA and UVB radiation reaching you depend upon six factors. Time; Season; Latitude; Altitude; Weather; Ozone layer. To help with this NIWA produces The Sun Protection Alert that tells you when you need to protect your skin. Protection is required when UV radiation is damaging (when UV levels are 3 or higher). Limiting how much ultraviolet radiation (UVR) students get from the sun during school years could reduce the rate of skin cancers in later life. Skin cancers are the most common form of cancers in New Zealand. The rates of skin cancer in New Zealand and Australia are the highest in the world. Sunburn, particularly in childhood and adolescence, increases the risk of getting skin cancer. Children under the age of 12 months should be kept out of direct sun as much as possible, always seek out some shade.

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

People of all ages and skin colours can be diagnosed with skin cancer but those at a higher risk are people who have:  Fair skin and red or fair hair  Fair skin that burns easily no matter what hair colour  Had one or more severe sunburns—especially in childhood and adolescence  Used sunbeds, particularly at a young age  Had previous skin cancers  A family history of melanoma (parent, brother, sister or child)  Large, irregularly shaped and unevenly coloured moles  Large number of moles. Prevention is best, so keep your kids safe during the sunshine months with this easy to remember message, Slip, Slop, Slap and Wrap. Slip – Into a shirt (long sleeves are best), especially between 10am – 4pm when the ultraviolet rays are most fierce, and slip under some shade. Slop – On sunscreen 15 minutes before going outdoors so it can be absorbed into the skin, and then reapply every two hours and after swimming or physical activity. Use an SPF30+ broad-spectrum sunscreen that meets the Australian and New Zealand Standard AS/NZ2604.

If you have a history of one or more sunburns before you turn 20, research suggests you have a much higher chance of getting melanoma skin cancer as you age.

Slap – On a hat with a brim or flaps. More people get burned on the face and neck than any other part of the body, so a hat is very important. Model good behaviour and wear a hat yourself. Wrap – On a pair of sunglasses. Choose close fitting, wrap-around glasses that meet Australian Standard AS1067, Even though there is no agreement among ophthalmologists over whether children should wear sunglasses, there is evidence that overexposure to UVR early in life can cause a predisposition to eye problems later on. Getting children into the habit of wearing sunglasses will stand them in good stead when they grow into adults.

New Zealand’s skin cancer rates are among the highest in the world, this is due to:  High levels of UV radiation in New Zealand during daylight savings months  Low ozone levels over New Zealand  Our outdoor lifestyle and tendency to ‘seek the sun'  A high proportion of people with fair skin.

And remember, try to seek shade whenever you take the family outdoors.

Tasty meals, healthy babies.

Sunshine myths I won’t get sunburnt on a cloudy day. Wrong: You can still get sunburnt on a cloudy day. This is because UV radiation can get through light cloud cover, so unprotected skin can still be damaged. I can tell by the temperature if I will get sunburnt.

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Wrong: Heat from the sun is caused by infrared radiation, not UV radiation. UV radiation can still be high even on a cool day, when infrared radiation is low. I'm wind burnt not sunburnt.

Combined steamer and blender

Wrong: Your windburn is actually sunburn caused by UV radiation. The wind may make you feel cooler but UV radiation can still be high on a windy day. Sunscreen blocks out all UV radiation. Wrong: No sunscreen filters out all UV radiation – you still need to limit your time in the sun no matter what sunscreen you’re using and cover up. Wearing a t-shirt in the water will protect against sunburn. Wrong: A wet t-shirt may offer only half the protection it does when it is dry. If you are going to be in the water, a rash shirt and sunscreen is a good form of protection – or even better, a full body wetsuit.

Prepared with input from the Cancer Society of New Zealand

Introducing your baby to a variety of fresh foods from an early age sets the stage for a lifetime of healthy habits. Philips Avent offers you a range of food preparation solutions, including the unique combined steamer and blender and the versatile food storage system. Babycity Logo Specifcations - August 2007



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For more information, visit or phone toll free 0800 104 401 or join us at Distributed in New Zealand by subscribe online at – kiwiparent 47 EBOS Group Ltd Philips.Avent.NewZealand Ph: 0800 104 401

Keep kids safe from the sun Kai haumaru ngā tamariki i te rā

When outdoors, remember to: SLIP and

your child into some shade. Me noho koe ki wāhi whakamarumaru. your child into loose fitting, cool clothes. Select tops with collars and sleeves that reach the elbow and bottoms that go down to the knees. Me mau kākahu ringa roa.


on some sunscreen before taking your child outside. Put it on any skin not covered by clothes. Me pani kirīmi ārairā.


on a hat with a wide brim or cap with flaps. You may need to tie it on. Wear a hat yourself as children like to copy you. Me mau pōtae ārairā.


Hats shade eyes but sunglasses can provide additional protection if they meet the standard. This can be found on the label. Me mau mōhiti ārairā hoki.

Cancer Society of New Zealand 48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

* 1. Ian F Burgess and Nazma A Burgess, Dimeticone 4% liquid gel found to kill all lice and eggs with a single 15 minute application. BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:15 2. Burgess IF, Lee N, Matlock G, Randomised controlled, assessor blind trial comparing 4% dimeticone lotion with 0.5% malathion liquid for head louse infestation. PLoS ONE 2(11):e1127 published Nov 2007. Always read the label. Use only as directed. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare professional. subscribe online at –



TAPS NA 7886

tooth decay

Halting the march of Kiwi families are urged to switch to water as the New Zealand Dental Association attempts to halt the worrying march of tooth decay in young children. Dentists are increasingly concerned about the high consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages – not only do these drinks cause tooth decay (which leads to pain and discomfort, and the need for dental treatment), they are also implicated in the development of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. The main cause of dental decay is sugar, and the main source of sugar in the diets of New Zealand children is sugary drinks. Therefore it makes sense to reduce consumption of sugary drink. Sugar sweetened beverages have no nutritional value, and displace healthier beverage options. Children simply don’t need them. While it’s difficult to avoid sugary drinks completely, and managing kids consumption can be a challenge for parents, sugary drinks are best kept for an occasional treat. The everyday drink of choice that’s best for both our bodies and our teeth is the drink that’s cheapest and that’s freely available – water.

What do sugary drinks do to children’s teeth? Sugary drinks can harm the teeth in two main ways. The sugar content of these drinks contributes to the development of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth convert sugar to acid, which dissolves enamel. In addition, most of these drinks are very acidic.

The acid accelerates this process and adds to dental erosion. These two processes in combination have the potential to seriously damage children’s teeth. The length of time that the sugar and acid are in contact with the teeth influences the speed at which damage can occur. Having sugary drinks more frequently increases the risk, as do habits such as sipping from bottles or cups over a prolonged period of time. It is not just fizzy drinks that are the problem, fruit juice also contains a lot of sugar, and is also acidic.

What about fizzy drinks for treats? It’s OK for your child to have occasional treats. The problem is that a lot of children are consuming ‘treats’ every day. It would be better to choose one time in a week that the family might have treats together, e.g. Friday night. The rest of the week children should be eating healthy foods and drinking water or plain milk.

What if my child won’t drink water? If your child is used to drinking sweet drinks such as cordial or juice, it may take some time to change the habit. The best way to achieve the required change would be to slowly start diluting your child’s drinks. First dilute the drink so it is about 50% juice and 50% water. Later dilute your child’s drinks further e.g. 45% juice and 65% water. Once they are used to that, start serving drinks as 30% juice and 70% water. Soon you will have diluted the drink down to pure, healthy water!

Continued overleaf...

50 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Signs of decay in children’s teeth Tooth decay can have a variety of appearances from white,

Keep doing what you love with a

yellow or brown spots on the tooth surface, through to cavities (holes) which may be yellow,

Tula Baby Carrier

brown or even black. Some decay starts where two adjacent teeth contact each other. This can be difficult to see in the mouth so it is recommended that older children and adults have regular x-rays to check for this.

Acidity of


The pH scale measures the acidity or alkalinity of a solution. Pure water has the neutral pH of 7. Solutions with pH values lower than 7 are acidic and higher than 7 are alkaline. The levels of acid, which can erode the surface of the teeth, is not published on the drinks by manufacturers. Acidity of drinks is a hidden danger. Drinks with pH lower than 5.5 have a high erosive potential. This includes diet, sugar free and ‘zero’ options as well. NO ACIDITY [drink more]

MORE ACIDIC [drink less]





Coca-Cola/Pepsi pH 2.3 Diet Coke

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“Dentists would rather prevent dental disease than try and repair the damage it causes. The problem with sugary drinks is more serious and extensive than just tooth decay. There are nine teaspoons of sugar in a can of fizzy drink and even more sugar in a glass of juice. These sugary drinks contribute to tooth decay, obesity and diabetes. With 35,000 NZ children requiring dental extractions due to dental decay annually, we need to really highlight and tackle this problem.” Dr David Crum, Chief Executive of the New Zealand Dental Association

Caring for children’s teeth You should start looking after baby’s teeth as soon as they erupt into the mouth. It is recommended that you use a small toothbrush and a tiny smear of full strength toothpaste. This should be done twice daily. You don’t have to use a special children’s toothpaste – it’s fine for the whole family to use the same toothpaste. It can be a challenge to clean young children’s teeth. However as you can imagine it is even more difficult for the dentist to fix them should decay develop! Parents should brush their children’s teeth until the child has the manual dexterity to achieve a thorough clean themselves – usually around 8 years of age. You may find it easiest to brush your child’s teeth while he/she is lying down. This way the child will be comfortable with his/her head supported, and you should be able to see what you are brushing! While there may be times that your child isn’t keen to have their teeth brushed, it is worth persisting. Soon the child will realise that tooth brushing twice a day is part of the daily routine, just like brushing their hair and getting dressed in the morning. It is recommended that your child sees a dental therapist or dentist for a check-up by the time they turn one. Early check-ups give you an opportunity to talk to the oral health professional about how to look after your child’s teeth, and also allows for any problems to be identified early.

Continued overleaf...

52 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks and juices contain acid and sugar that destroy teeth.



Tooth decay occurs when sugar feeds the bacteria in the mouth and produces acid.

Drinks that are acidic have a high erosive potential. They soften tooth enamel and dissolve the outer layer.

This acid attacks the teeth and causes gradual destruction of the tooth.


The longer it takes to drink a sugary, acidic drink, the greater the damage. Sipping for a long time causes more damage due to prolonged contact time with the teeth.

The Journey to Independent drinking.

Reduce your intake of drinks containing sugar and acid. Water is the best choice. It’s free. It’s fresh. It’s available on tap.

Find out more at

Learning to drink independently starts when your baby is ready to move away from a bottle with a teat, towards a cup with a spout which allows more liquid through.

Dr Katie Ayres

Babycity Logo Specifcations - August 2007

Katie graduated as a dentist in 1995, gaining a Master's degree in Paediatric and a PhD in Dental Public Health in 2009. She is the Dental Approving Officer and Oral Health Advisor to the Midland group of District Health Boards and is a member of the Executive and Board of the New Zealand Dental Association. Katie is passionate about optimal dental health and quality dentistry for children.

We offer a range of innovative



products to help your little one develop towards independent drinking whenever they are ready. Available at Babycity and other leading retailers.

For more information, visit or phone toll free 0800 104 401 or join us at Distributed in New Zealand by EBOS Group Ltd Ph: 0800 104 401 Philips.Avent.NewZealand subscribe online at – kiwiparent 53

Capturing the

birth journey

All photos: Milldove Birth and Newborn Photography

Birth photography is my passion! I decided to focus on this type of photography because many women I speak to don't remember very much of their labour and birth experience – and the parts that they do remember are usually associated with the pain and how horrible it was. I want to show women how empowered they are when giving birth, that they are amazing and beautiful and their body is created for and capable of bringing a new life into the world, and to show the love and support that they have in their journey. Most women I have photographed look back and say things like: “Wow, I didn't realise my husband was rubbing my back,” or: “I didn't see him looking at me like that” when he was looking at her with complete admiration.

54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

For me, birth is empowering but it is also an act of love like no other. To be invited into someone’s labouring and birth space and to witness such an emotional and personal moment is really an honour. I always leave feeling on top of the world, that I can do anything and I'm not even the one who just delivered a beautiful new life. I want these women to feel the same when they look back at their photographs. Unfortunately, I suffered from postnatal depression after I had my son and I wish I could have these images to show me how strong and how far I had come as I think they would have helped me get back to my normal self quicker. I want other mums to look back and remember, to see the strength they had and know they are strong and capable of handling what comes next for them.

Through following this journey of mine with photographing births I now look at women in absolute awe, they give up so much for their children and they really should be praised more for what they go through to get there. It brings tears of joy knowing I have captured these precious moments for my clients to look back on and to know that they will one day be able to share their story with their children too. I want to share with you my own personal story of the day I met the love of my dreams! I wrote this diary soon after giving birth and I am so glad I did since I don't remember much these days. Here is my story. 8am – Roman asks how I am. I snuggle in bed and say the cramping is starting! Half an hour later the cramping gets stronger and I start thinking maybe this is the real thing? I attempt to time them but soon realise I am

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really crap at it so give up and just ring my midwife. She asks all the normal questions like how many, how long etc. to which I can’t respond so well having given up timing! She says I am most likely in early stage labour, to take some panadol and get some rest, but if anything changes or I'm concerned to give her a call. Roman is trying to ask for my help as we are hanging new curtains. I am no help as I am busy feeling sorry for myself... The rest of the day the cramps continue and around 4pm they start to increase. I ring the midwife just after 5pm, but get the answer machine telling me she is off call until tomorrow at 8am. WHAT?! I ring the back up midwife who says she doesn’t think I am in labour but she will meet me at the hospital and check me over and if I am no more then 3cm dilated I'd be going home. 6:15pm – I arrive at the delivery suite and meet the back up midwife for the first time along with a student midwife. They set up on the CTG machine – baby is looking happy and I am getting contractions but they are not regular. She checks to see how dilated I am and says: "You’re not going to believe this." I ask: “I'm

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

not even dilated am I?” She replies: "You are 5–6cms dilated!" I look at Roman and go, whoa! The midwife wants another opinion as I am not getting proper contractions so she calls a doctor. She explains that they will leave me and come back at 10pm to see if there is any progress and I am to call if I think anything is speeding up, if not the doctor will break my waters to get things going or I could stay like this for days and I'd just get too tired. I quickly txt mum saying that she should probably get on her way! 10pm – Nothing new, mum arrived earlier and is giving me an awesome back massage! The midwife comes back and does another check, I’m now 8–9cms dilated and still no regular contractions! Just the normal cramping I'd been complaining about. So they call the doctor, to my surprise it's a male and I'm not overly impressed. He introduces himself and says to call him Yogi, all I could think of was Yogi the bear. He checks and says there's something not quite right and asks for a scan. I have no idea what’s going on but I'm getting a little worried. Baby’s head is at the wrong angle so each contraction I am to push and the doctor turns baby

while I'm pushing. Luckily contractions had picked up since he broke my waters but geez it hurts! The doctor leaves saying baby will probably arrive a few hours later and to walk around to try and keep the contractions going. I go to the toilet, I walk back to the room and a contraction hits me and I'm curling over the bed. Mum comes quickly and starts massaging me again. The midwife says she will fill the bath for me to help relax then about five minutes later I need to push, I feel like I am trying to hold him in with each contraction. 10:30pm – I start pushing, midwife tells me it is okay to make noise, I don't have to hold it in but I’m not bothered! A few pushes later baby’s head is out and then they help the shoulders and baby was born at 10:39pm. They hand him to me and it is the best feeling I could ever imagine! My only regret is not having many photos of the best day of my life. My mum was meant to take photos but was more focused on supporting me and it all happened so quickly that she forgot and so did I. Next time I will have a birth photographer on hand, I have it planned already! 

Tamara Milldove Tamara lives in Wellington with her partner, Roman and their little boy, Rikar who will soon turn three. She is a photographer specialising in birth and newborn photography. She won the 2015 NZ Documentary Photographer of the year specialising in birth. milldovephotography

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Homeopathic remedies

Digest this The digestive system is an integral part of our body’s smooth functioning and important in the initial processing of nutrients for optimum health. Not surprisingly, many things can affect the way we digest and utilise our food. Despite our best efforts we can all succumb to discomfort, indigestion and things like vomiting or diarrhoea from time to time. When pain or discomfort become debilitating, it is great to have some tools at hand. Homeopathy is one of these, as it is virtually tasteless and easy to administer to someone who is feeling nauseous and unwell. Here are some useful remedies you might think about having on hand for those times when there are digestive disorders in your home. It may help your family members recover more quickly from viruses or bacteria that tend to thrive, especially in the warmer months

ARSENICUM  A major remedy of acute gastric complaints often with severity and violence  Symptoms are worse from 11pm – 2am (also around midday)  Patient is restless and anxious or irritable with easy exhaustion  Pains are burning in nature and better from heat and warm drinks in small amounts  The patient usually vomits as soon as any food or drink is taken in  The patient is generally chilly during the episode and better for warmth  There is a lot of intensity and violent pains with the vomiting and diarrhoea. Small amounts are produced at a time  Indicated when there is vomiting and diarrhoea at the same time.

when camping and barbeques are more frequent.


Both vomiting and diarrhoea are often self-limiting (resolve

 Give for nausea and vomiting that is ineffectual – the harder they try, the harder it gets

themselves) but can be debilitating for the patient. Symptoms that persist or are extreme, are usually indicative of a more chronic condition and those people should seek the advice of a medical practitioner or a qualified homeopath who can look at the bigger health picture.

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

 A lot of retching or desire to vomit with little to show for it. Vomits small amount, which helps a little but soon must vomit again  Sharp colic pains may accompany conditions especially if the pains cause desire for bowel motion or vomiting

 Patient is excessively IRRITABLE and oversensitive to pain then becomes easily angered

 They are worse in hot stuffy conditions and surprisingly thirstless

 Heat applied to the sore stomach helps but they are generally worse from touch and pressure

 The mouth tastes bad or tastes of the food they’ve previously eaten

 They tend to be oversensitive to noise, smells, light etc…

 There is a heaviness in the stomach a while after eating, which is eased by eating more

 Chilly during their illness – they seek warmth for comfort  Conditions may come on from over-indulgence of food and drink.

CHAMOMILLA  Usually attends teething or anger in children  Temperament of irritability, anger and capriciousness  Can’t stand it; can’t bear the pain

 If there’s flatulence, it tends to move around all over the place and gives pain in the chest  Changeable symptoms: pains, chills, bowel motions etc.  Patient may be chilly or hot but are markedly worse from heat  Headaches accompany the gastric upsets.


 One cheek red, the other pale

 When there is vomiting, they feel worse from the least motion

 Better from being carried and from fresh air and worse from heat and wind

 Must be absolutely still as any movement, even sitting up, will lead to dizziness and nausea

 Mainly for colic and diarrhoea that is green and slimy and comes with severe pains.

 Just want to be left alone; don’t want any interference


 They are irritable but it’s a sluggish irritability without the intensity of Chamomilla or Nux

 Oversensitive to noise, interference, touch

 A major remedy for stomach complaints  Vomiting after anesthetic (specific) and the ill effects of eating too much salt

 Thirst: there is mostly a strong desire for water but cold drinks aggravate the stomach complaints, which are better from warmth

 They have an empty, weak feeling with complaints

 Slow onset of conditions with sluggishness

 Burning pains with all digestive upsets, better for cold

 Diarrhoea problems of summer or from over eating

 Thirsty with a strong desire for COLD drinks or a strong thirst but cannot drink cold things, which are vomited as soon as they get warm in the stomach

 Diarrhoea in summer with thick, heavy, brown consistency  Pains are worse from touch and pressure.

 Better from rubbing (the stomach or for example the back) and also better from company. They are a bit fearful but company helps them to settle


 Profuse diarrhoea especially if it comes involuntarily

 Simultaneous vomiting and diarrhoea

 Note: watch for dehydration in a Phosphorus case.

 Stools are copious and watery


 There is extreme exhaustion, prostration (as with Arsenicum) with coldness and cold sweat

 Main remedy for aggravation from eating fats or rich food especially in children (typical post birthday celebration remedy)

 Great nausea with or without vomiting

 Great restlessness and agitation, like a mad person  Cramping with cold feeling in the abdomen

 Also there is an aggravation from ice cream and cold things

 Thirst for cold drinks (acids), which are vomited as soon as taken

 The disposition in Pulsatilla is mild and tearful, gentle and weeping with a strong desire for company

 Worse at night, better from warmth  Delirious with the pain but without fever.

Continued overleaf...

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 Main remedy for babies who vomit their milk. They can’t digest it properly

 Copious yellow, yellow-green bowel motions, watery with sudden urging

 Vomiting soon after eating, especially of curds

 Gushing, urgent bowel motions, worse immediately after eating or even the first mouthful or drinking

 Vomiting followed by sleepiness and wakes hungry  Hunger after vomiting  Summer vomiting with colic, diarrhoea (green stools)  Worse during the hours of 3 – 4am, better in the open air.

TABACUM  Severe deathly nausea  Nausea with dizziness, coldness, faintness  Nausea with prostration and cold sweat – weak, cold and trembling  Worse from the slightest motion, pressure, morning on rising  Better from the open air, uncovering, vomiting and/ or passing a bowel motion

 Generally useful when symptoms come on in summer  Worse from touch, pressure, motion, at night and better after sleep  Pain in abdomen extending to the rectum. As with all ailments, your family members will often respond to a small group of remedies that will work for a range of ailments. It’s a great idea to keep a note of the remedies given and the response of each individual as then, in the midst of a gastrointestinal crisis, you may be more likely to hit on an effective remedy quickly! That, alongside the basic rule of only prescribing the selected remedy until symptoms improve, will help you utilise the remedies to their maximum benefit and gain reprieve from debilitating symptoms. 

 Coldness but nausea, better for uncovering the abdomen  Sinking, weak, empty feeling in the pit of the stomach  Violent vomiting and diarrhoea, which may be simultaneous.

Judy Coldicott RC Hom


Judy practices as both a homeopath and reflexologist from Pleasant Point in South Island’s rural heartland. She is a senior staff member for the College of Natural Health and Homeopathy, primarily involved in curriculum matters and student support. Judy’s passion is to make homeopathy user-friendly and accessible to the general public and she loves to inspire people of all ages to feel confident in its use.

 Diarrhoea with feeling of insecurity of the rectum to the point where the bowel motion passes unnoticed  Lot of flatus and wind with rumbling, gurgling  Bowel motions mixed with lots of wind  Bowel motions burning and offensive  Heaviness and fullness about the rectum  Worse in the early morning – drives them from bed, worse in summer, and immediately after eating and from motion  Feelings of fullness and congestion about the liver with nausea.

60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

In safe


Simple hand washing is one of the most effective ways to help stop the spread of infection. It is never too early to start teaching your child to wash their hands and most children are happy to have a go.


Nearly three quarters of the world’s population learn good hygiene habits from their family when growing up. As children learn best by example, why not practise good hand washing together? Try making up a song, or turn it into a game to encourage them if they are a bit reluctant. Singing ‘happy birthday to you’ through twice while washing your hands will give plenty of time to make sure they are truly clean.

 T ouching or handling class pets

Encourage children to wash all parts of their hands, even hard to reach areas like between the fingers. Talk to your child about why using soap and water is important and explain to them that water alone will not get rid of the invisible germs that might make them sick. Whether it is your child’s first day back at school or preschool, or they are just getting back into their usual routine after a break, one thing is certain; they will be mixing with more children than they have been at home. Because these children are likely to have been exposed to different germs, there is a greater risk that your child will bring an infection home. Whilst most children are more likely to only suffer from minor illnesses such as a common cold or a tummy upset, they may have to stay off school and you, or someone else, will have to stay at home to look after them. To try and reduce the spread of infection, your children should wash their hands at these times:

Before  E ating at lunch and break times  A ny cooking activities

 U sing the toilet  C oughing, sneezing or blowing their nose  P laying outside in the playground

 W henever hands look dirty or if they have touched a dirty surface.

This is the way we wash our hands, wash our hands, wash our hands…. Make sure your kids wash their hands properly: 1. Wet hands and apply soap. Rub palms together until soap is bubbly 2. R ub each palm over the back of the other hand 3. R ub between your fingers on each hand 4. Rub backs of fingers (interlocked) 5. Rub around each of your thumbs 6. Rub both palms with finger tips 7. R inse your hands under clean running water 8. D ry your hands with a clean dry towel

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Be sure before you buy The purchase of a cot for your new baby is a big investment – not only in monetary terms, but also in the comfort and safety of your growing child. There are many options to tempt consumers. Will you buy new or second hand, from a store or online? Or will a generous friend give you their cot because their child has graduated to a grown up bed? Whatever option works for you, there are some safety considerations to take into account so you have the comfort of knowing that your child will be safe when they sleep. Cots sold or supplied in New Zealand (whether they are new and second hand) must comply with certain safety requirements relating to their design, construction and strength. There are many requirements that cots must meet and some technical requirements can only be tested and certified by professionals. However, we have highlighted some safety requirements that you can check yourself when you are buying a cot:

62 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Construction  All parts of the cot must be either joined together permanently or need a tool to put together or take apart. You should not be able to pull any part of the cot off.

Mind the gap  The space between the bars of the cot must not be less than 50mm, which is roughly the height of an EFTPOS or credit card. Or no bigger than 95mm, which is slightly bigger than the width of the card. Try sliding your card through the bars like you are putting it in an ATM, if it doesn’t fit through the gap it’s likely to be too small. Turn the card on its side and try sliding it through the gap, if there is more than a 1cm space next to the card, then the gap may be too big.  The mattress must fit snuggly in the cot. The space between the mattress and the sides of the cot must be no bigger than 20mm, which is roughly the width of the base of your finger. Try sliding your finger in between the mattress and the cot; if it fits easily the gap may be too big.


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OXFORD a smart collection Catching  There should be no sharp edges or points inside the cot that a child could be injured on or that their clothing could catch on. Have a good look at the inside and run your hand over the surface.  Nothing can stick out from the cot more than 5mm, which is roughly the thickness of five EFTPOS or credit cards together – unless it is designed so clothing can’t get caught on it.

The drop side  It must take you two actions (either at the same time or one after another) to be able to drop down the side of the cot, so that a child could not open it.  The side of the cot that drops down must lock automatically when pulled up to the top of the cot.  When the drop side is lowered completely, there must be at least a 50mm gap between the ground and bottom of the drop side. Stand your EFTPOS or credit card on its side and make sure it can fit between the drop side and the floor, if it doesn’t fit the gap is likely to be too small.

Continued overleaf...

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Some key features to be aware of when buying a cot

Space between bars between 50–95mm.

No protrusions that measure more the 5mm that a child could fall on or could snag clothing (things like nuts and corner posts).

Minimum depth of 600mm from the mattress base to the lowest point on any side or end.

Space between the cot ends, sides and mattress no more than 20mm when the mattress is centred.

No horizontal or diagonal bars or fixtures that would allow a child to climb over the sides.

Permanent warning and information label on mattress base.

NB: This diagram does not cover all the requirements of the regulations, but is a quick guide only. 64 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Moving around  There should be no part inside the cot and above the mattress that a child could use to put their foot or toe in to climb out.  If the cot has wheels, at least two of the wheels must have brakes.

Permanent labelling on mattress bases  On new cots, there must be a label or marking permanently attached to the top of the mattress base that includes the recommended mattress size and thickness, the correct adjusting of the height of the mattress base and the importers’ name and address.

Follow the instructions  A detailed information leaflet must be included with the cot and must include:  Clear and complete instructions for putting the cot together  Maintenance details  Recommended mattress size for the cot – this is especially important if buying the mattress separately from the cot  Details of placement of the cot e.g. keep away from curtains, heaters, power points  Details of items to keep away from the cot eg. medication, string, elastic, small items  If the cot has an adjustable base then the information leaflet should also include a warning that to prevent falls, the mattress base should be adjusted to the lowest position before the child can sit up.

Buying a cot second hand, online and from overseas  Cots supplied in New Zealand second hand from a garage sale or through an online auction must all meet the same requirements of the standard (except the labelling requirements only apply to new cots). Even a cot given to you should meet the standard.  If you are buying a cot online from overseas take care to ensure the cot meets the mandatory New Zealand safety standard.

To find more information on buying or obtaining a safe household cot visit

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Think like a


When was the last time you crawled around the floor like a child? Head-butted a sharp corner, put your hand into a small inviting hole, or came across a dangling cord just asking to be pulled? The world of a child is an obstacle course of unknown objects and yet to be discovered consequences, and one adults quickly forget. We are all at risk in our homes – more so than we think. In fact, more people are injured in their own homes than in any other location.

It is just so easy for children to be injured in the home. More than half of children aged five and under hurt themselves after falling in the home. To reduce the risk, here are some simple tips:  Change nappies on the floor – then there’s no way your baby or toddler can fall  Don’t leave babies or toddlers unattended on beds/ couches – remember babies as young as a month old can roll off  Try (and this is difficult!) to keep toys and other clutter off the floor – you or your child could trip on them

Every year approximately 36,000 New Zealanders require hospitalisation as a result of a home injury and far too many of these are children. In fact, nearly 60,000 children aged between 0 – 4, were injured in the home in the last year. So, before your child contributes to the statistics, here are some ways in which you can keep your young child safe.

 Put a non-slip bath mat in the bath to avoid soapy slips

Don’t climb up there!

Preventing burns

Falls are the leading cause of injury in children. In the under fives, taking a fall every now and then is part of taking those first steps to becoming a toddler, but don’t underestimate the serious implications that may result from them falling from a height, or onto a hard surface, or even landing at an awkward angle.

Burns are another common cause of childhood injury around the home. Preschoolers are most at risk – one in four of all children hospitalised for burns are in this age group. Remember, hot water and steam can burn delicate young skin like fire, and that a cup of hot tea spilt over a baby is equivalent to a bucketful spilt over an adult.

66 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

 Install a stair gate to prevent children from having accidents on the stairs  Fit second storey windows with safety latches – remember little bodies can squeeze through little spaces.

Here are some simple tips to help prevent burns:  From an early age, try and teach young children what “hot” means, and that they are not to touch things that they know are hot  Almost 40% of New Zealanders have water that is dangerously hot – check yours isn’t. Put the cold water into your child’s bath before the hot, and never leave children unattended in the bath, even for a minute  Remember dangling cords are an invitation for inquisitive minds – try and keep electric cords from kettles, irons and other appliances out of reach  Use the back elements of the stove first and turn pot handles towards the rear to make it harder for little hands to grab. The list of possible home safety tips is as long as the hazards they’re designed to prevent. And of course, we can only include a few here. But finally, here are some more general tips to help prevent accidents:  A cordless phone is a fantastic investment – it means you can take necessary calls and still watch the children in potentially dangerous areas

 Unless you haven’t cleaned your windows since the 1990s, glass doors pose a serious hazard for running children – use stickers on sliding glass doors to help prevent nasty collisions  If you don’t want a child to play with things in a cupboard, put a safety latch on it. And remember, house guests introduce potential unknown hazards without realising it – grannies heart medication may look like colourful sweets but will result in more than a sugar rush. Remember, no amount of child proofing is going to be 100% effective – it is impossible to prevent all accidents. But once in awhile, it’s not a bad idea to crawl around the floor like a child and see things through their eyes. Imagine what it’s like to be exploring the world at knee height and full pace, what would fascinate you? Once your exploration is complete, stand up and dust yourself off, and remember what you saw as you may be able to prevent your child from having an accident, big or small. 

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When your world turns upside down When your children face change, trauma or loss… what can help? Our worlds can be shaken by any number of difficult life issues, from the real shaking of something natural like an earthquake, to illness, bereavement, family break up, accidents, crime, or increasingly these days the fear of terrorist attack – or any other situation that rocks us. And it’s completely normal that we react to such tough times, whatever our age or stage. Whether we are infants, preschoolers, children, teens or adults, it’s grief that we experience when we face loss and trauma. Grief is a process we’re all wired for. It’s what helps us gradually adjust to whatever it is that’s happened. It can affect every part of us: emotionally, mentally, physically, spiritually and socially. So, how can we help our children through difficult times, as they react and grieve? The way we each grieve and react to difficult life circumstances is unique to us – like our fingerprint. We’re all different. It’s interesting that the questions most commonly asked or worried about by children in tough times are:  Did I cause this to happen? Is it my fault?  Who is going to take care of me?

68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

 Am I / are we going to be okay?  Is it going to happen again? Or to me? Or to others I love? As you would imagine, children are particularly vulnerable to the impact tough life situations can have. They haven’t lived as long as their parents, and so they’re not so able to understand or make sense of the things that happen. They may not yet have the language to ask their questions or to express their thoughts and feelings. Children rely on the adults who care for them to meet their most important needs.

The greatest needs children have in tough times are:  To be well cared for and kept safe and secure – and to feel that they are  To be given simple, clear information about what’s happening and why  To be given ongoing understanding, comfort and encouragement

 To be allowed and helped to express thoughts and feelings, for example by talking, questioning, crying, playing, drawing, writing or physically releasing tension safely  To be helped to still enjoy the good things in their world, and to have hope for a positive future.

Common reactions in children of all ages:  Clinginess  Increased anxiety and worry – jumpiness  Irritability, agitation, anger  Difficulty focusing and concentrating, easily distracted  Temporary regression – to younger behaviour i.e. bedwetting, soiling  Tearfulness – or numbness  Withdrawal from others, or wanting others around a lot  Wanting to talk about it – or avoiding talking about it

 Clumsiness, more accident prone  More easily catching colds, viruses, bugs.

But what if they don’t seem affected? This often happens and adults mistakenly think they aren’t impacted at all. Children do grieve, but differently from adults. They can react in bursts and move in and out of their grief. One minute distressed, the next playing happily. It’s often indirect responses that provide us clues to how things are for them, such as demanding behaviour, clinginess or regression, dreams or seeming very distracted. The child's age, developmental stage, personality, and the type of loss or trauma experienced will all influence how they react. Listen to your child to learn how they think or feel about what’s happened. Watch their behaviour and their play. Check in with them. Ask them what they know. Gently correct any mistaken ideas. Encourage questions and answer them. Let them lead the direction of the conversation if possible. If you’re asked why something happened, it’s okay to say if you don’t know why.

 Changes in appetite and/or sleep patterns  Bad dreams, flashbacks, recurrent thoughts

Continued overleaf...

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Keep routines going, as much as possible This helps children feel more settled, safe and reassured.

Don’t expect too much of them Maintain behaviour expectations but recognise they are under stress. Encourage them to tell you if they are experiencing distress, so you offer comfort and reassurance. If there are changes coming, help by talking about them ahead of time and planning for them together.

Good information is important  Tell them, simply, what’s happening and why. Speak calmly but firmly  If it might help, share together a safety or action plan so they know what to do if XX happens

 Some feelings can be very strong and scary and even make us feel things are out of control, but we can choose to do things to help our feelings change  We can express feelings in helpful and unhelpful ways – we must not hurt others or ourselves.  We can each find our own ways to let out feelings safely.

When they are very fearful  Use open ended questions to encourage them to talk about what’s on their mind. Listen to them. Take fears seriously – however illogical they seem  Be ready to have them repeat the same stories more than once  Reassure them – often  Distract the child, with a story or activity

 Repeat key information, often, and look them in the eye as you do

 Help the child relax quietly – deep breathing can be helpful

 If they’re older, consult with them about plans if you can.

 Help them to imagine something that they can enjoy

Encourage the release of thoughts and feelings

 Hold them close. Physical touch can be uniquely reassuring – a hug, a hand held, a back rubbed

 Teach them the names for feelings, and use them  Ask how they are feeling or what they’re thinking about  Teach them that:  Feelings are not good or bad, and everyone gets them

 Stay close to something comforting – blanket, toy, music, familiar surroundings  Allow them to be with others they trust – special friends, family  Tell your child they are loved and safe – often  Remind them of any helpful safety plans you have.

 Feelings are like a helpful indicator that can help us understand what’s going on inside of us

 Remember each child or young person is unique and changing all the time

 Feelings change. They won’t always be as they are now during these tough times

 Look at each child individually. What will best suit your particular child’s needs?

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

I thought my oldest child was a bounce back kid. He was so sensible, calm and cheerful. He seemed unaffected by everything that happened. But after a few weeks he unexpectedly hit the wall. He became extremely anxious and worried, having nightmares and wanting to be near me most of the time. He tried to avoid school and was very withdrawn. That taught me not to just assume that I knew what was going on inside my children. It was several months, and after some counselling, that he started to settle down again.

Keep them well Check that they have regular exercise, good nutrition and water to drink, enough sleep, and time for both play and rest. Getting these basics right helps more than most even realise. Take them to a doctor or nurse if they have any health problems. And don’t hesitate to see your doctor, a counsellor or child specialist if their responses are continuing or giving you/them ongoing concern.

Give attention, praise and encouragement  Spend time with them. Listen to them. Look at them. Listen, listen, listen some more  Let them know that you know it’s tough for them, but that they’re going to be okay  Say I love you, but show it as well.

Do something positive. As a family do something positive that reminds you all that life has good possibilities in it too. Do something that helps others or have some fun times being together. This can help them to get a sense of balance as they learn about the world – especially if it’s feeling less safe than it was before. It can also help them release some of their distress constructively.

Provide times and ways to remember By remembering they can learn that whatever/ whoever has been lost can still be value and enjoyed.

Take care of yourself! You’re important too! Use support networks. Ask for help if you need it. Eat nutritious food, and get enough sleep, rest and exercise. Take a day at a time. Recognise your own reactions and make room for any grief you feel also. It’s normal!

Choices Children can feel powerless, as we all do in difficult situations. Give them choices when you can. 

Skylight enables young people, children and their families and whanau to navigate through times of grief, loss and trauma, by providing support, expert information, education and professional services. Skylight also provides training, education and support for professional agencies and others who assist those dealing with grief, loss and trauma. Their website offers information, downloads, support resources and options, extensive links, hope and encouragement for those facing tough life situations. They can be contacted weekdays on 0800 299 100.

Encourage play and fun  Make time for this. Think of ways this might happen  Use gentle humour when you can. It can lighten the load a lot!  Smiles help – as does eye to eye contact.

Help them learn about grief and loss …because this helps them understand its part of life. Talk about your own grief experiences, or read books about others’ experiences. Contact Skylight for some support books and resources that will be helpful. (0800 299 100 or

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Creating connections

in Canterbury

Pregnancy Help Canterbury staff noticed an increase in clients presenting with postnatal depression and, as we provide a listening ear, we felt that our clients would benefit from a more specialised ear. We contacted the Depression Support Network and after some discussion it was decided that we would run a Depression Drop In at the Pregnancy Help offices. It would be open to everyone, including whanau who were supporting someone who was experiencing depression. Initially the Drop In was held fortnightly and was a safe place for clients and their whanau to come and meet with Bobbie Campbell – a Mental Health Support Worker, from Depression Support Network. After 12 months, and a few changes, involving Pregnancy Help’s shift to new premises, the group began meeting on a weekly basis and included a hot soup lunch. Over the past year the group has gone from strength to strength,

72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

and with the inclusion of lunch, the environment became more welcoming. The sharing of kai brings us all together. It’s not just the clients who take part in the lunch; it also brings together paid staff, volunteers and sometimes community workers who have popped in. The group is proving to be a comfortable, safe place for our clients and whanau to come, discuss the reason for attending the Drop In and at the same time accessing Pregnancy Help’s services. People attending the Drop In range from young pregnant woman to grandfathers bringing in their granddaughters. They have all expressed a sense of relief knowing that there is somewhere they can come, get information or advice and also get to see someone straight away – no waiting list, no appointments, just drop in and see someone and have a cuppa or some lunch. The Drop In has truly taken on a life of its own. Along with offering support with depression it has given some

of the mums a chance to interact with other mums, friendships and connections have been made. These connections have proven to be helpful with things like isolation especially when the group takes a break like over the Christmas period. If feelings of depression persist, speak to your midwife, doctor or Plunket nurse and don’t be shy to ask for help. Recently, we have had visits from our knitters, who have joinied in on the shared lunch and have loved sharing their knowledge and skills with the young mums. This is so rewarding for our knitters, giving them an opportunity to meet and interact with the people they are helping. Many of them spend hours knitting items for Pregnancy Help clients. The knitters bring a wealth of knowledge to the group, from things like cooking, gardening, knitting and sewing to how they cared for their babies. All of these interactions, although sometimes not directly focusing on the mental health issues, support our clients in a positive and nurturing manner. Our Drop In lunch is for everyone, and we hope by spreading the word we are able to reach and help more people in our community who are experiencing depression.

Sieni White Sieni is mother to two beautiful girls who are her world and the reason for her involvement with Pregnancy Help. She began as a student on placement back in 2003 and then took some time off to have a family, Sieni returned in 2009 again as a placement student and as a Client Support Worker. Eight years later, she is the Client Services/ Volunteer coordinator. People and babies are her passion, having the privilege to walk alongside whanau during this precious time is something she treasures. Sieni finds working at Pregnancy Help truly rewarding and makes coming to work every day a blessing.


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Find a Centre near you Parents Centres span the entire country with 49 locations around New Zealand. Contact your local Centre for details of programmes and support available in your area or go to

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2 compact baby food freezing trays with lids. 1.2L capacity for maximum storage recipe e-guide with 27 recipes

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for starting solids and beyond

The place to shop for maternity, breast pumps, nappy bags, baby carriers & breastfeeding clothing

25% OFF

storewide with code "get25"*

*Terms and conditions apply. Expires March 31st 2016.


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Shopping cart Fun stylish everyday babywear, from premature to size 3

Tiny Turtles is New Zealand’s Largest Online Stockist of BONDS Babywear. Free NZ shipping with the code: KP016

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Pregnancy & breastfeeding clothing with your sense of style

Exquisite Jewellery ...with Love Order online or by phone: 0508 LoveLoops (568 356)

Shop online with FREE standard NZ delivery

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Contact Cath Short: 04 233 2022 ex 8805

78 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Kathy Fray’s

MOTHERWISE 3 Keys to Parenting Sanity

Buy y the ever p popular p book:

o oh baby… Bi Birth, Babies & Motherhood M Uncensored U

5 imprint now 5th iin book stores www.K Buy the

BabyOK™ Babe-Sleeper

The original and best ever attached sleep-bag for 3-30 month olds

Buy the new sequel book:

oh grow up… TToddlers od to PreTeens Decoded

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



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.

0800 RESENE (737 363)

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win great giveaways Win a toddler cup from AVENT

Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm February 26, 2016. Winners will be published in issue 271.

3 Infant Sun Cabana to be won

The leak proof Sip, no drip cup range has soft comfort handles for little hands and angled soft and bite resistant spouts. RRP from $15.99. The Grown Up cup has a spill proof valve that is lip activated and allows free flow drinking from all around the rim, just like an adult’s cup, but without mess. 6 Grown Up cups and 6 Sip n Drip 12m+ cups to be won. RRP $18.99 each.

The infant sun cabana is your ideal protection from the sun for your child with UPF50+protection from the sun's harsh rays. Made with a strong steel frame with insect mesh and sun curtains this tent is ideal to take to the beach or just use in your back yard. Comes with tent pegs and is so easy to set up – just pops up in seconds and folds compactly for easy transportation and storage. Comes in two colours – blue and pink. RRP $69.95. Available at the Baby Factory or a store near you.

2 Tear Drop LEDs to be won

Win a Tummy Time Playmat

Light up your child’s

away, valued at $129.99 each.

We love this because... Our unique 4 in 1 playmat has a large detachable tummy time roll, which allows the playmat to become multi-use and provide hours of fun for baby. Detachable interactive hanging toys, soft fabrics and textured patches stimulate baby's senses. Removable arches make it easy to use during fun and quiet times. Easily room for 2 babies at the same time. RRP $230.00

The Philips Avent range of innovative toddler cups help your little one develop towards independent drinking whenever they are ready.

bedroom with the new decorative and ecofriendly LED light range from Larala Lights – no unsafe wires and no light bulb change required. Larala Lights are Shockproof, Waterproof, Re-chargeable, UV protected, Wireless and multicoloured so they make a safe and fun child’s nightlight! We have two 18x34cm LED Tear Drops to give

Win a Metro Panelled Cot Satin White from Touchwood Touchwood is dedicated to making premium quality furniture with the accent on style and versatility. The Touchwood Safety Cot has been designed with metropolitan influences using clean lines and a modern touch, and would suit any urban styled nursery. RRP $849.

80 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

® Registered Trademark Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc. © KCWW. © Disney. †Terms and conditions apply.

HUGGIES® Nappy-Pants now come with new MOTIONFLEX® - improved soft, stretchy side panels and flexible leg elastics that move with your wriggly baby, maintaining a snug, comfy fi t day and night. Together with wipes, they’re endorsed by Plunket, so you know they work best together for a happy, comfy groover. And they’ll love the fun, new Mickey and Minnie designs.

Join the HUGGIES® Baby club and go into the draw to WIN a 6 month supply of HUGGIES® products† atsubscribe online at – kiwiparent



The product most recommended by doctors for pregnancy stretch marks. Colmar Brunton, 2014

“When you look at how much your stomach is going to grow in pregnancy, you’re convinced that all that stretching has to leave its mark! But pretty much everyone I spoke to used Bio-Oil, so I began using it from about my second month, twice a day. I liked the fact that it absorbed well and left my skin looking phenomenal. Now that I know that there’s a great product for stretch marks out there I can’t keep quiet about it – I would absolutely recommend it!” Nicolette with Amy

Bio-Oil® helps reduce the possibility of pregnancy stretch marks forming by increasing the skin’s elasticity. It should be applied twice daily from the start of the second trimester. For comprehensive product information, and details of clinical trials, please visit Bio-Oil is available at pharmacies and selected retailers at the recommended selling price of $20.45 (60ml). Individual results will vary.

82 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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