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SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS
JUNE 2014 – JULY 2014
every door along the way – Raising multilingual children
worth of prizes to be won
apathy an option is not
– An essential part of childhood
– Learning through the soles of our feet
get your entries in to the 2014 Photo Competition
switching on for success – Understanding infant brain development
volunteers – the lifeblood of our communities
what's on the
– Decoding food labels
mind shift – Surge in support for rear facing child restraints
The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc
Parenting tips • Childbirth • Family finances • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health
DOWNLOAD ‘Planning counts’ e-guide
Helping your child reach their full potential. No one can predict the future but you can be sure of one thing, our children will have hopes and dreams and it’s up to us to help them achieve them. There are many big events in our lives that require planning like weddings, a first home or even a holiday. So when it comes to something as important as your child’s future, early planning for their education is also essential. For more than 20 years, ASG has helped New Zealand families offset the cost of education. Now, we’re also about collaborating with you for the entire education journey. That’s why we are creating an ever-expanding suite of online tools, resources and guides to help your child reach their full potential and live their dreams. So who is ASG? ASG Education Programs New Zealand is a member-driven, not-for-profit organisation and specialist education benefits provider that returns all profits to its members. To date more than 509,000 children in Australia and New Zealand have been supported to reach their full potential. Now it’s your child’s turn. For more information visit asg.co.nz/clever or call 0800 994 274.
Download your exclusive member e-guide, ‘Planning counts’ from asg.co.nz/plan or scan the QR code.
take time to bond Bonding with your child is one of the most important aspects of parenting. Forming an emotional attachment and connection to your child gives them a sense of belonging and security. It also helps to encourage healthy selfworth and self-esteem. Try these tips from ASG Education Programs New Zealand on how to bond with your child:
Make the most of mealtimes Mealtimes can be a great opportunity for your family to bond. Sitting down to an evening meal in particular, can give children a chance to interact and be heard without the early morning rush to get out the door for school.
Be a good listener Taking time out to listen to your child helps create a respectful relationship. A child who is listened to is more likely to listen in return. Children often don’t want to talk about school or friendships or what’s happening in their world when asked by a parent or carer, so make the most of the times when they do want to talk, or find quiet times together just for a chat.
Fun and games Board games, card games, parlour games and silly games can be fun.
Most kids love nothing better than to see a parent being silly or looking ridiculous in a costume or, thrill of all thrills, losing a game to them! Developing a sense of humour, fair play and the ability to lose gracefully, can all happen naturally at a games night.
Volunteer your time Where possible demonstrate your support by helping out in the classroom, at the school canteen or on a preschool weekend working bee. If you’re working full-time, maybe you’re available to volunteer at your child’s sports club at weekends or turn up to watch the game. Where possible, debrief after the game over a hot chocolate or other special treat.
Celebrate Most kids love celebrations. Birthdays can be an ideal time to be the centre of attention, regardless of whether the entire extended family is present, or there’s just the two of you. Create family traditions, make a fuss, encourage your children to invite some friends over and enjoy partying together.
Catch a movie Choose a movie you’d both like to see and spend time laughing or crying together, or being thrilled to the max. If the budget doesn’t extend to petrol, movie tickets,
popcorn and drinks, hire a DVD and watch at home instead.
Help with homework If you’re a working parent, helping your child with homework may be one way to show your support and interest in their schoolwork. It also gives you an opportunity to assess whether they’re coping generally, socially and emotionally.
Be a team Pitch in together to get the job done. Be ready to support your child, or coach your child if appropriate. Let them know you’re there for them.
Give your child history Share stories about your own upbringing. Tell your kids the funny stuff, the mishaps, the mistakes and the situations that taught you things. Share your thoughts, your dreams, or the opportunities you wish you’d taken.
Pass on values A big part of growing up is knowing and understanding family values. Every family unit is different, and values need to be shared with children, as values underpin our interaction with others. For more parenting resources check out: www.asg.co.nz/ resources-parents/ �
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Cover photo courtesy of Mokopuna
Opening every door along the way: raising multilingual children
Take time to bond
Kerstin Kramar and Anna Heino Amaya............................... 8–12
Letters to the Editor............................................................. 4–5
My precious gift: Te Reo Maori
Product page............................................................................ 6
Erin Robertson.............................................................................. 16–17
Apathy is not an option
Clean without drying
Johnsons’ Baby............................................................................ 14
Leigh Bredenkamp...................................................................... 18–19
The second three months of pregnancy................... 24-25
Raising healthy risk-takers
A solid start
Kerstin Kramar............................................................................. 20–22
Barefoot babies Janine McKenzie-Minifiel........................................................... 26–28
Lisa Manning................................................................................ 29–30
Ten top tips for breastfeeding success
Buggy reviews............................................................................ 36 Switching on for success Dr Simon Rowley........................................................................ 32–35
The origins of style: what NOT to buy
Volunteers, the lifeblood of the community
Parents Centre Pages.............................................................. 39–45
Sophia Graham............................................................................ 46–48
Stephanie Matuku....................................................................... 38
Baby balance 2014 Kiwiparent Photo Competition........................ 50–53 What’s on the label?............................................................. 54–57 An awesome scene Pip Hiles......................................................................................... 62–64
A noticeable mind shift Eleanor Cater................................................................................ 66–69
Celebrate mid winter Kelly Stone.................................................................................... 69–72
kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
Judy Coldicott................................................................................ 58–59
The power of planning
Kari Adams.................................................................................... 60–61
Winners from our last issue............................................ 73 Find a Centre........................................................................... 74 Directory page......................................................................... 75 Shopping cart........................................................................... 76–79 Giveaways.................................................................................. 80
SUPPORTING PARENTS THROUGH THE EARLY YEARS
JUNE 2014 – JULY 2014
We are family Opening every door along the way A child’s language is paramount for becoming socialised and developing a sense of belonging – it is at the core of our cultural identity and integral to who we are. So where do you start if you want to raise your children bilingually? Clinical psychologist Kerstin Kramar and speech language therapist Anna Heino Amaya share their experiences raising their own bilingual children.
Raising healthy risk-takers Researchers in the field of child development have come to the conclusion that if we want our little kids to grow into responsible and assertive big kids and then teenagers our goals should be keeping our children safe and empowered at the same time – this means keeping them as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible. Kerstin Kramar examines ways to encourage healty risk-taking behaviour for children.
Switching on for success The first three years of life last forever. The neurobiology of infant brain development and some of the more recent advances in our understanding of this topic mean we now realise just how important the early years are in a human’s life. Dr Simon Rowley takes us through the unique development of a baby’s brain from conception and through the first three years.
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–borne.co.nz PO Box 28 115, Kelburn, 6150
Editorial Enquiries Ph (04) 233 2022 or (04) 472 1193 info@e–borne.co.nz
Taslim Parsons Ph (04) 233 2022 x8804 Mo 021 1860 323 email@example.com
PMP (NZ) Limited
Viv Gurrey, Chief Executive Officer, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc Phone (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 www.kiwiparent.co.nz
Family, whānau, Famille, ةلئاع, οικογένεια, familio, החפשמ, 家庭, umndeni, fjölskylda, परिवार, teaghlaigh, fjölskylda, aiga, famili
When I grew up in South Africa, almost everyone was multilingual. Our schooling was conducted in both English and Afrikaans – the local indigenous language in the place I grew up was Sesotho, so that was also in common usage. Because I went to a convent, we were also taught Latin and French. By the time I was nine years of age, I was conversant in five languages. Well, actually I only knew enough Latin to make the correct responses in church so make that four – no one actually chatted away in Latin. Many people were fluent in more languages than I was – in fact it was rare to find anyone who was monolingual. That’s just the way it was and no one thought anything of it or worried that it would be detrimental to development. As children we just nattered away in which ever tongue was most dominant at the time, quite often slipping between languages without pause. Sadly, as an adult, I have lost much of my multilingual conversational ability as we have lived in New Zealand for over 30 years and the opportunity to practice in the languages I used to speak is limited. I have a smattering of Maori and Samoan and can still follow simple conversations in Dutch and German, but would never consider myself to be proficient in any tongue other than English. I wish I had kept the others up. I believe that children who learn more than one language as they are growing up will be more receptive to learning other languages as they grow into adulthood. I find I can quickly pick up salutations and phrases in different languages, and can tune in to follow foreign conversations without too much difficulty. Having travelled to many places around the world, I know that people are always appreciative if you make an effort to talk with them in their mother tongue – you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to try. And if you make an effort to use someone else’s language, it is much easier to understand them and learn about their culture and motivation. Language and culture are intrinsically linked and, if your child is lucky enough to come from a multilingual family, they will enjoy learning more than one language as part of their unique place in the world. If your family is monocultural and you still want your children to speak more than one language, why not consider learning a language together as a family? Language is an intrinsic part of children’s learning and they will love to learn something together with you. As we are about to celebrate Matariki, you could consider learning some Te Reo Maori so that they will grow up learning the unique language of Aotearoa and their special place in the world.
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letters to the editor Congratulations to the top letter writers Alistair and Bernadette Hunt from Gore who will receive a $100 voucher from Mokopuna
Top letter winner Mokopuna has recently launched their 2014 winter collection which, while taking inspiration from a winter wonderland picnic, also celebrates their 10 year anniversary – a huge achievement for any NZ business! www.mokopuna.com
Write a letter and receive a gift pack containing Johnson’s Extra Rich Body Lotion 400ml and Body Wash 750ml plus the NEW Johnson’s Daily Essentials Gel Wash.
Caring for under fives Franklin Parents Centre has an interesting speaker coming to visit Pukekohe Town Hall Concert Chamber at 7pm on 24th July to give a talk titled: Parenting, educating and caring for the under fives. People, play, politics and programmes. The presentation will be given by Professor Helen May from Otago University. Helen is one of New Zealand’s foremost writers on the development and history of early childhood and education. With a mix of film, cartoons and photos, Helen will entertain and inform, parents, teachers and
others interesting in the well-being of the under 5s. In a presentation that traverses past and present understandings of early childhood matters and what currently matters in early childhood education. Helen is giving up her time to do this talk for us as a fundraiser for Parents Centre, so we are very grateful and looking forward to hosting the talk.
Sarah Johnston, Franklin Parents Centre
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Feedback from facebook Alistair and Bernadette Hunt posted on Kiwiparent's timeline
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"Just wanted to say congratulations on the latest issue of Kiwiparent. Great to see some hard-hitting, controversial content. The stuff about Section 59 really got me thinking. I'll admit that I have been a 'smacker' but stopped in recent months basically because of the law change scaring me now that my daughter talks about everything! And she hasn't turned into an unruly, ill-disciplined child. Yes, other strategies take a bit more effort, but they certainly work with persistence and consistency, and must result in a better relationship. Keep up the great work and topical, thought-provoking content. Its the first time in ages that I've read the magazine from cover to cover :)"
Belinda Barnett posted on Kiwiparent's timeline "I think the article about talking to someone with infertility in the Apr/May issue is fabulous! It's relevant, practical and well written. Good job Kirstie Thorpe and Kiwiparent!"
Coffee group babies I hope you enjoy this photo of our beautiful babies from our Rotorua coffee group, taken 9th April.
Nicky and the other Mums
Parents be careful! As we were finalising this issue of Kiwiparent, yet another family faced the unimaginable horror of seeing their toddler killed in a driveway accident – the fourth so far this year. Tragically, in more than a third of cases it is the child’s own parent who is driving the vehicle involved. Our children are more likely to be run over in the driveway by their own mum or dad than anyone else. Other drivers who feature in the statistics include relatives, friends and neighbours and commercial drivers. We will explore this issue more fully in the August September issue of Kiwiparent, but in the meantime Kidshealth, has this advice to give families in order to prevent driveway accidents: CHECK for children before driving off SUPERVISE children around vehicles – always SEPARATE play areas from driveways
Checklist for keeping kids safe around driveways: When you leave the house, shut the door securely so that children cannot run outside after you Before driving off, make sure you know where all children are – check, check and check again If you’re on your own and need to move a vehicle, it’s safer to get the children to ride in the car with you Remember most accidents happen when cars are reversing – be very sure to check your vehicle’s ‘blind spots’ whenever you are reversing
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kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
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along the way A child’s language is paramount for becoming socialised and developing a sense of belonging – it is at the core of our cultural identity and integral to who we are. In numerous articles, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child stipulates that a child shall not be denied to enjoy and practice the cultural and language of origin. It made us wonder whether parents not speaking or not immersing their children in their culture(s) of origin are denying them of their basic human rights – room for a lot of debate. However, we can probably all agree that identity, culture and language really go together. That is why commonly when applying for citizenship of a new country, their spouse’s country, or even their ancestors’ country, people need to prove fluent language ability. It becomes evident particularly as our children get older, not knowing their culture and language is associated to a lack of confidence, pride, and selfesteem and has a negative effect on their overall health long term.
A few facts about language …? Language, your baby's mother tongue, is your baby's link to their family and their culture. Without language it can be difficult to express our emotions, talk about our needs, wants and dreams, or make friends. Good language skills are also essential for learning, reading, writing, and making connections to live successfully in society. Babies, even before they are born, are ready to learn language. Their little brains are wired to listen and to make sense of the languages they hear around them. Researchers agree that babies are born as world citizens. Until they are about eight months old babies have the ability to make all sounds that occur in any language of the world regardless of their ethnicity or where they are born. Then within four months babies’ brains register which sounds they hear mostly around them and they slowly lose the ability to produce the ones that they do not hear.
Right from birth, babies listen to their parents chat and sing to them and start making connections, first listening to the intonation and the tone and emotion in their voices, then very early on, they start distinguishing breaks between words, and how words join together to form sentences. From a few weeks of age, babies themselves start to play with sounds – that is when we notice they babble. At this stage they are playing with sounds and slowly the sounds they use in babble begin to be shaped to be similar to the sounds they hear their parents use. They say their first words and soon are combining them, while their brains are working hard to form connections around the grammatical rules of the language they are learning. Your baby is ready to learn language at birth, and has the potential to learn two or more languages simultaneously without consciously noticing this.
Advantages and benefits As parents we might not consider our baby’s identity development as a pressing issue. We might instead focus on what will help them stay healthy, be active, eat the right foods and – oh yes – to do well at school and get a successful career. Now this is precisely where bilingualism comes in too – and most importantly: It does not matter what language(s) your baby is learning.
� Talk about what you see when you are out and about.
� Spend time looking at picture books and photos. With older children read stories together.
� Play play play! Join in with what your toddler is interested in and add language.
� Read stories from your country or tell your children stories about your childhood.
� When your child is talking, extend by adding extra words to what they have said, and repeat and model: say it back for them so they hear more of the grammar and speech sounds.
� Sing songs and rhymes, and do action songs.
Great and healthy brain What we know today is that the brain benefits immensely from speaking two or more languages. Switching between languages means that your brain is undertaking natural brain training which has been linked to better cognitive functioning in general and specifically a delay in developing dementia more than four years later than monolinguals (this is people who speak only one language). This is thought to be because bilingualism enhances working memory which is associated with better planning and listening ability, problem-solving, creativity, mathematical reasoning and reading comprehension. Bilingual children also show advanced executive functioning which includes the ability to pay attention, plan, organise, and strategise. That also means that they are less easily distracted and develop greater focus, distraction resistance, decision-making judgement and responsiveness to feedback.
The social and emotional effect In addition to being better at multitasking, more flexible in their thinking, and more secure in their identity, bilingual children are perceived as more open-minded and sensitive to others – which is likely to stem from an early understanding that other people have different perspectives. They more easily adapt to new situations and they tend to sync in with people from other cultures more easily. Also when
parents are able to speak to their child in their own language they tend to feel closer and to express themselves emotionally more fully in the relationship with their child. Growing up bilingually means children are also bicultural, which leads to a greater number of social networks, greater cultural awareness, tolerance and communication skills, which also sets them up for greater creativity and professional success.
The money and career effect Speaking more than one language is an advantage on any application today. This is often reflected in the discrepancy in salaries for bilinguals and monolinguals across a wide array of professions. A US study showed that the salary for bilinguals was on average $30–60k higher than in monolinguals depending on the profession. Now this does not mean just speaking another language, but the general thinking skill set that comes with bilingualism as discussed above.
Costs and challenges A child becoming bilingual does not happen by magic – it takes commitment from you as a family over a period of time. Parents of bilingual children will tell you that it is not uncommon for the children to be somewhat slower to acquire vocabulary than their peers. However, they quickly catch up and then they often move ahead of their peers because of their increased
language awareness. There will be times when you will be afraid that you will confuse your child – or others are likely to bring that up. Be assured. At times you will feel that you do not understand your child and you will doubt that your child will understand you because they do not respond in the same language you are speaking to them. You might think that you don’t know the language well enough or that special teaching skills are required. Numerous research studies around the world have turned these questions into myths. The only real mistake you can make is to not try and thus miss out on the opportunity to give your child a skill for life and possibly for those generations to come thereafter.
So where do you start if you want to raise your children bilingually? Babies and young children learn language – the sounds, the vocabulary, the grammar and how language is used – in everyday interactions with their parents and caregivers. If your family speaks more than one language, and you want your children to be confident speakers of these languages, then starting early is the key – even before your child is conceived is not too early! Raising your children bilingually takes effort and commitment from the adults around the child but it will be so worth it.
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for you as parents: Decide, Plan, Do Make a decision The first, and very important step is for you and your family to decide what you would like to do and why. Do you want your child to speak any other language than the majority language spoken where you live? What language do you want your child to speak? How fluent do you want your child to be? Every family needs to have a common goal and motivation in order to provide support for your child’s language acquisition well into the future. It’s best if you involve not only the other parent but also the wider family in this process.
Fail to plan – plan to fail In order to bring up multilingual children successfully, you need to plan ahead. Yes it is a big commitment but it is worth it. Who will speak what and when? What will you speak in the presence of others or when you are out and about? How can you expose your child to your language outside the family? The more exposure your child has to the language, the more practice they have, and the more relevant they perceive it to be, the more confident and proficient they will become.
Immerse in a language rich environment The best person to provide a language model is you speaking your mother tongue – that is your first language. You will naturally use rich language and elaborate grammar, and your baby will soak it up like a sponge as you interact with them. A language-rich environment means giving your baby and child lots of exposure to language in all the different forms. Enjoy sharing your language by singing songs, chatting about what you are doing as you go about everyday chores and activities, reading books, listening to radio and music in your language, and watching the occasional childfriendly TV programme or DVD. Allow your baby to hear different ways of using language such as instructions, conversations, songs, rhymes
10 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
and language in play. Even when they cannot listen to stories yet or you do not have access to books in your language, “read” the English picture book to them in your language. Explore community resources such as language specific or cultural events or playgroups. Your embassy or consulate can be a good point of reference in this regard. And yes, a trip to the native country is an immense boost to their language confidence if you can plan for this. Making links with others who speak the same language is important. Keeping those links with relatives and friends is now easier with the help of the internet and Skype phone calls. Try also linking up with other speakers face to face. Connecting with other speakers allows your children to connect with your culture, their language, and to understand that there are other bilinguals like them.
Be consistent Once you have made your decision and you have a plan that your family is committed to then stay consistent in your language use. The reality is that the more consistent you are in speaking in one language with your child across settings, the more likely they are to become fluent and the less likely they are in switching to the majority language in conversation with you. To achieve consistency, experienced parents and linguists recommend sticking by a few rules: � One-parent-one-language –when parents speak different languages. From the child’s perspective this may look like: I speak a Mummy language, a Daddy Language, a Home Language, and maybe even a Kindy Language. � One-place/time-one-language – when one parent speaks different languages and they want to pass on both. From the child’s perspective this may look like: When I am with Daddy by myself we speak Spanish but when we visit Grandma we speak Portuguese; or with Mummy I speak German during the week and Dutch on the weekends.
Do’s and don’ts � Be positive and encouraging. Don’t criticise or make fun of your child’s language use. Instead, repeat what they say, model the right way to say it, and extend their sentences. Remember that children learn by listening to you speak, and thrive on positive encouragement. Refrain from making any negative comments to others – your children are likely to hear it. � Be patient and praise your child’s attempts at talking. How fluent your child becomes depends not just on your persistence, consistency, and resources. As they grow older – children determine more for themselves how much they speak a language and to whom (yes-this even applies to sibling conversation). However, it doesn’t mean that you
� Do not compare your children amongst each other or with other children who are bilingual. Instead celebrate successes and do not to point out mistakes. Also, bilingual children's proficiency in their languages will fluctuate over time. Depending on exposure and different stages in the child's development one language may be stronger than the other.
have to stop speaking to them in your language. � Most important: Have FUN! Learning and speaking a language should feel good and be pleasurable. Children want to do more of what is enjoyable so make language fun. An interest in learning to read or write comes more naturally this way. It is important to keep children motivated to speak a language – children cannot and should not be forced to speak a certain language. For it to work they need to feel confident about the language. The more they know about the language, the associated culture it presents, and the positive aspects of both, the more at ease they will be at using the language and the less likely they are to reject it.
� Do not put your child on display. You might be proud of them speaking your language but they may not be so confident yet. From such an experience they may also get a sense of the language not being about them but for Mummy and Daddy to get attention for themselves.
Deal with doubts and don’t listen to bad advice At times, it might seem “just too hard” to stick to your plan. Some people will not agree with what you are doing or even think that it is detrimental to your child’s development to speak different languages – yes even professionals might say so (e.g. you’re asking too much of them, you are confusing them, that language is of no use to them). If you are not sure then speak to a specialist who is experienced in dealing with bilingual children. But definitely make sure you have others who encourage you and talk to people who you know have done it successfully. The research consistently shows that across the globe, learning multiple languages does not have a negative effect on children’s speech development – this is even true for children who have speech delay or special needs. If you make a conscious decision and a plan to pass your language on to your children, many thousands of parents will reassure you that you will never regret it, your children won’t either and you and your children will be very proud one day. If you don’t, you may or may not regret it. However, across the globe monolingual children will tell you they wish that they had learnt another language at home or their parents had passed their language on to them. You really have nothing to lose but your children and your children’s children have a lot to gain.
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Some common questions parents wonder about: � Will it confuse my child? No, if parents are consistent with the language they have chosen to speak. The best model for your child is you speaking your own language and providing lots of opportunities for your child to hear and speak the language.
� What if they do not respond in the language they are being spoken to? Consistency is important here too. Model how you would say it in your language, and give them the words so they can try to use them next time. Just because they do not reply in the language does not mean they don’t understand it, or they reject it – it just means they are following a normal learning path. � Will they have difficulty learning English or keep up when they start school? Strong foundations in the parents' language is the best starting
point to learning other languages. If your child has had lots of exposure to one language it is easier to add another language to it. A child who has had rich language experiences will have built strong links in their brains, and will easily figure out how the new language works. They will make comparisons and links around how the new language is different or similar to their own. Having strong foundations is particularly important for the parts of language you don't 'see', like the grammar and social conventions of speaking.
Kerstin Kramar Kerstin grew up trilingually in the heart of Transylvania. This experience taught her much about the important relationship between one’s language, a positive cultural identity, and respect for others. She considers a parent's language a child's treasure and investment that no money can buy. Kerstin and her husband are raising two very bubbly multilingual children. She works as a clinical psychologist with children and families in private practice in Wellington.
Anna Heino Amaya
Resources www.multilingualparenting.com Rita Rosenback (2014). Bringing up a bilingual child. www.bilingualkidsrock.com www.multilingual-matters.com Parents' and Teachers' Guide to Bilingualism (2014) by Colin Baker
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Anna grew up speaking three languages, which inspired her to become a speech language therapist. She has worked with children with communication difficulties in London, Finland and New Zealand, and has a special interest in bilingual language development. Anna and her husband now live on the Kapiti Coast and are raising their two daughters bilingually.
The product most recommended by doctors for pregnancy stretch marks. Colmar Brunton, 2012
“I’ve known about Bio-Oil for a while now, and I’ve used it on and off for scars, and for this and for that. So when I fell pregnant I used it a lot. I really didn’t want to get stretch marks, so I was quite diligent. At one stage I had three bottles, my mother-inlaw gave me one, I bought one and I think somebody else must have given me one. And I was lucky – I got no stretch marks, not one!” Pam with Kain
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.com. Bio-Oil is available at pharmacies and selected retailers at the recommended selling price of $20.45 (60ml). Individual results will vary.
clean without drying A pioneering clinical study by Professor Tina Lavender, Professor of Midwifery at the University of Manchester found that washing baby skin with Johnson’s® baby Top-To-Toe® is just as safe as water alone and does not lead to increased dryness on newborn skin. In fact, when analysed at two weeks, it was found that skin hydration increased in those babies who used Top-To-Toe® when compared to those who used water alone. Prof Lavender adds: "Women can be confident that using this specific baby cleansing product on newborn skin is equivalent to bathing in water alone. These results should provide parents with much needed evidence-based information giving them the option to support the skin care cleansing regime chosen by individual parents for their newborn babies”.1 Developed especially for newborn skin, TopTo-Toe® contains effective yet ultra mild cleansers to wash away waste materials after nappy change. This helps ensure that a baby’s first line of defence, (the stratum corneum) continues to function as it should – protecting the body from bacteria, irritants, allergens and environmental attacks. Top-To-Toe® has passed 2000 safety assessments and been approved by independent dermatologists. It’s 100% soap-free, PH balanced, dye-free and has been allergy tested and so mum can rest assured even the most delicate and sensitive skins will be well cared for. With Johnson’s unique No More Tears formula, Top-To-Toe® is as gentle to the eyes and skin as pure water, and a convenient way to cleanse baby skin and hair without drying it out. �
1. Research was published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynaecologic and Neonatal Nursing, 19 February, UK.
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My baby skin is ten times more sensitive than yours, mum. So I like the gentleness of JOHNSON’S® baby TOP-TO-TOE® bath. It’s as mild as pure water, and just right for my brand new skin. Relax, mum. You’re using the gentle stuff.
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– Te Reo Maori
- reo toku - ohooho, Ko toku - whakakai marihi. toku mapihi maurea, toku My language is my precious gift, my object of affection, and my prized ornament. - Whakatauki/Proverb Maori
Recently there has been a lot of debate about who we want to be as New Zealanders in the future. The visit of the British royalty in April stimulated some interesting questions such as what flag do we want to fly over Aotearoa, should we become a Republic, and actually how unique are we as a nation? Many visitors to New Zealand will comment on how lucky we are to live here. Despite a few scratches to our ‘clean-green’ image, our children are lucky growing up in an ethnically colourful and culturally rich country for sure. Part of our uniqueness is that our nation is based on the Treaty of Waitangi, that we have Te Reo Maori, and that as a nation we celebrate our officially bilingual and multicultural nation on Waitangi Day. Traditionally Matariki symbolises new beginnings just like the birth of a baby. So it may be quite timely then to reflect on what sort of New Zealander will this little pepi be in the future? What treasures will we put in their little basket to nurture them on the way? Language is such an essential part of who we are as a person and as a nation and Te Reo Maori is such an integral
part of Aotearoa especially for the generations to come. We asked Whaea Erin Robertson to share with us why Te Reo Maori is one of those treasures that we ought to put into our children’s basket to nurture them as they grow up.
Why is Te Reo Maori important for all children in Aotearoa? Like all languages, Te Reo Maori is so much more than just speaking another set of words – it is about who we are and our tikanga, that is how we do things. Te Reo Maori and its culture are unique to Aotearoa and are so intertwined that learning one means learning the other. When tamariki know what makes them unique and special, they will grow up with a secure identity that is marked by high self-esteem and pride. Language is part of children learning from those around them and with it comes learning about how we relate to each other and the world around us, our culture, and our history. Our tamariki learning Te Reo Maori – and us with them – means we are supporting them to tap into their potential of becoming
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biculturally and bilingually competent. Our children grow up at a time when these competencies are expected of them, especially as they forge their own successful career. Our tamariki are our treasures who will be the ones responsible for safeguarding our nation’s treasures for the generations to come – this includes Aotearoa’s - . And after all – unique Te Reo Maori so many of us wish that we grew up bilingually. Te Reo Maori is right at our doorstop to help us achieve this.
Speaking Te Reo Maori, what will be the benefits for our children in the short-term and in the long run? Learning more than one Reo has significant benefits for our children’s overall development including their verbal, cognitive, problem-solving, and interpersonal abilities. People who are bilingual are known to be more appreciative of other people’s points of view and looking at a situation from different perspectives comes naturally for them – that means they tend to be more creative and better communicators. When tamariki are immersed in English
and Te Reo Maori simultaneously, they do not realise they are learning two different languages; from their point of view it is just having different words for the same thing and they use the one that best suits the situation. Once they have learnt two languages, they will have built the neuronal pathways for language structure and they will learn additional languages more easily later on. Knowing Te Reo Maori
will also mean knowing a different worldview which will enrich our children in many ways. And for those wha- nau thinking about the economic advantages of speaking another language: People who speak Te Reo Maori or who have some level of knowledge of the Reo have clear advantages in the workforce across many sectors in Aotearoa. Te Reo Maori opens many doors to many unique opportunities.
When should our children start learning Te Reo Maori and how do they best learn this? From the moment you are pregnant is not too early! It is never too early and never too late but we also know that ‘the earlier the better’. - pi hears in your womb What your pe will become their natural comfort language. So whatever Reo you use and you immerse yourself in is what your baby will recognise as familiar and natural when they are born. You don’t have to wait to become fluent or even to be able to string two or three words together. Use whatever Te Reo Maori you have or that you can access – listen to music, the TV, the radio or try a karakia/ prayer, and greet others with kia ora instead of hello – that is a really good start. If you want your tamaiti - , it is a great to learn Te Reo Maori opportunity for you and your wider family to learn too. From there seek out as many resources as you have available (e.g., internet, library) and getting together with others in the community who are similarly minded can be really stimulating and set you up for supported life-long learning.
How can we support our children to learn Te Reo Maori outside the home? The more your tamaiti is immersed
in a Reo the more comfortable and fluent they will become and the more benefits they will reap from being bilingually and biculturally competent. Once you are thinking about your tamaiti to be cared for in a setting other than your home, it’s good to look into childcare options that will facilitate their use of Te - . There are a range of Reo Maori options available to parents these days ranging from low immersion English-medium early childhood education services to high immersion early childhood education services - hanga Reo such as Te Puna Reo or Ko centres. It is really important for you as parents to think about what level of Reo you want your tamaiti to be immersed in. However, it is equally important that you find the centre that best fits your tamaiti’s and wha- nau’s needs and that you feel comfortable with. So talk to others who are similarly minded to find out more, explore what is available around you, then go and have a look to get a feel for it, and ask questions. After all, it is about the place and the people who will look after your most precious treasure that you entrust in their care. �
Useful words and phrases for using with Under Twos � About 5-10 would be good that are relevant to using lots in everyday life; (eg, greetings, gentle hands, washing hands, time for a sleep/food/drink/nappy change, sit down/stand up). - wari – Be gentle Kia nga
Haere mai – come to me Horoia o ringaringa – wash your hands Awhi – cuddle/help - moe – Sleeptime Wa - tini kope – Time for Wa nappy change - kai – Eating time Wa
Tena koutou katoa No- Te Whanganui a- Tara ahau I tipu au i te maru o Tarikaka mauka, ki te taha o Kaiwharawhara te awa. - Tahu I ako au i taku reo Maori ki raro i nga- parirau o Ngai - Tahu tana - iwi Kei ahau tetahi kotiro, ko Ngai Kua mahi au ki Te Puna Reo o Nga Kakano, tatahi kohungahunga kei Thorndon - ikoa Ko Erin Robertson toku
- ikoa Ko Erin Robertson toku I am a proud Wellingtonian, born and bred. I was raised monolingual in English and have spent the years since catching up with others in Te Reo Maori. I have one daughter who has Ngai Tahu whakapapa. I have worked for the last five years as Tumuaki at Te Puna Reo o Nga Kakano in Wellington and previous to this I managed – - Tahu bilingual centre in Otautahi/ a Ngai Christchurch where I strengthened my Reo and - Tahu. It is my passion to not only increase my own Reo developed my dialect Ngai - to fluency but to see revitalisation through our next generation of tamariki/ Maori children learning bi or multilingually with Te Reo Maori.
subscribe online at www.kiwiparent.co.nz –
apathy is not an option On 20 September 2014, Kiwis will head to the polls to vote in the 51st General Election. So … does this really have relevance to everyday New Zealand families? The democratic and legislative process we live under shapes the country we live in, it moulds the nature of our world and creates the environment in which society (hopefully) thrives. You only have to look into your own lives to see what difference policies have on the parenting environment – health and education policies, paid parental leave, maternity services provision, economic environment – there are hundreds of bits of policy and legislation that that affect you and your family. Some people will not vote because they feel isolated or disenfranchised from the process: “I am not interested in politics”, “What they get up to in Wellington doesn’t affect me!” Whether you love our politicians or despair of them they still play a huge part in how our lives play out day by day. Voting is not compulsory in New Zealand, but in the period after the Second World War participation levels exceeded 90% as voters took an active interest in the future of the country depleted by the war years. At the other end of the scale, the 2011 Election in New Zealand was notable for its very low voter turnout. To find a New Zealand election with lower official turnout than 2011, we have to look back to 1887, well before the time when women attained voting rights.
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New Zealand turnout in 2011 was the lowest ever experienced in the country under conditions of full adult suffrage. Analysts often respond to news of declining turnout in New Zealand by pointing out that current levels remain acceptable by the standards of many other democracies, but the voter turnout in 2011 was low when compared with countries of a similar population and democratic history. This election will be important for New Zealand families. So, in the spirit of informed consent, we asked readers to submit questions for the political leaders of all our major parties. We did our best to formulate pertinent questions but if you don’t see what you need we encourage you to make contact with your local MPs. Ask them the hard questions and then let us know your questions and their response via our website or Facebook page, other parents could well find their answers interesting. In the next issue of Kiwiparent we will publish the party responses in detail to our questions, but watch our website for updates in the meantime. Families have important decisions to make for the future. In order to make good decisions we need to be informed beforehand and then be active on election day. We need politicians to create a supportive environment where parenting is valued. So, if you drive on national roads, have ever called on emergency services, have a child at school or preschool, have taken paid parental leave, have enjoyed
spending time in national parks or have given birth in New Zealand, get out and vote – policies have already shaped our environment and will continue to do so after the elections in September.
Did you know?
The questions we put to party leaders were:
Kate Sheppard is recognised as the leader of the fight to win the right for New Zealand women to vote. She and other pioneering women campaigned so effectively that in 1893 New Zealand became the first self-governing nation in the world to grant the vote to all women over 21.
Parenting environment Taking into account housing affordability, the rising cost of food and power and high rates of inflation, what is your party's view on creating the right environment where mothers and fathers can parent effectively?
Family violence What will your party do to ensure facilities and resources are available for families to help those at risk free themselves from violence?
� Kate Sheppard, 1847-1934
Kate was also involved in the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, founded the National Council of Women, established the first women owned newspaper in the country and was a pioneering cyclist.
Paid parental leave Does your party support paid parental leave in its current form or have plans to extend the provision? How do you plan to support families who do not qualify for it?
Education What priority do you place on early childhood education versus the role of the parent in raising their child and what policies does your party have to allow parents sufficient time with their children for attachment and connection to occur?
Subsided childcare Affordable childcare is a barrier to many parents returning to the workforce. Will your party support and extend provisions for subsided childcare?
Breastfeeding How does your party plan to encourage and better support breastfeeding women?
Health Dollars invested in early intervention and primary health care are expected to deliver outcomes. What policies does your party have to ensure a high standard of health care is available for all New Zealand families?
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Childbirth education classes Parents Centres believes that all parents should have access to childbirth education. What will your party do to ensure childbirth education classes can be universally delivered throughout New Zealand by qualified childbirth educators? �
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raising healthy risk-takers Our children are our most valuable treasures. They are the apple of our eyes, we turn our world upside down for them, we would give our lives for theirs. We want them to be happy kids with good self-esteem, who are caring, successful, assertive, and responsible. To achieve these goals we should best keep them as safe as possible, shouldn’t we? So why is it then that the top two statements on the list of the Most Crippling Parenting Behaviours that Keep Children from Growing Into Leaders read: “We don’t let our children experience risk” and “We rescue too quickly”?
Have we, in our well-meaning attempts to keep our children safe, taken out the developmentally necessary stage of risk-taking in childhood? Have we inadvertently communicated to our children that they are not capable of keeping themselves safe and negotiating the world around them? Fair questions I think.
The fact is that children are programmed to take risks. If they never take risks and get out of their comfort zone, how will they learn new skills, develop mastery of a task, and have good self-esteem through experiencing self-efficacy? For example, a child learning to walk is clearly at risk of falling on their bottom in the process of becoming a runner. Risk-taking behaviours are simply a part of the learning process and they help children to assert independence and develop autonomy. Risk-taking is a normal part of development – it allows a child to define their identity and grow as an individual. But of course they need to survive too!
So let’s get some facts straight. The statistics tell us that when we allow or even encourage our children to take healthy risks, they are less likely to get injured in the first place and if they get hurt it is likely to be less serious. Most fatal accidents to children result from them not having learned, or not being allowed to learn, how to look after themselves. That means by avoiding dangers we can expose our children to greater dangers. Avoiding hazardous activities means that they do not acquire skills to manage risks, and consequently every activity becomes more dangerous. So rather than risking injury from taking extreme risks, children are more likely to be injured as a consequence of having taken too few risks.
Researchers are now looking at keeping children safe and allowing them to take risks with the same pair of eyes – we need to keep a balanced view to develop the right vision for our children’s future. Most parents of previous generations would agree that we have gone from keeping our children not safe enough at times to trying to keep them maybe “too safe”. Oh yes, health and safety issues everywhere – we have cut down trees because Johnny climbed up there and he couldn’t get down and oh yes we don’t throw lollies from the floats at the Santa Parade any more because they might poke someone in the eye. But are these measures really keeping our kids safe in the long run?
20 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
Researchers in child development have come to the conclusion that if we want our little immature kids to grow into responsible and assertive big kids and then teenagers (temptation with alcohol, drugs and fast driving, not to mention unprotected sex), our goals should be keeping our children safe and empowered at the same time – this means keeping them as safe as necessary, not as safe as possible.
Risk-taking not only avoids negative consequences but it leads to the development of important abilities. If you encourage your child to get out of their comfort zone you can expect an improvement in gross- and fine-motor skills, language and vocabulary, as well as problem solving and creativity. It helps them keep healthy and enhances their resilience, influences their perception of themselves and their self-esteem, and provides excitement and pleasure. This way children feel empowered physically and emotionally.
If we don’t do this then what will happen when there is no caution tape or six warnings before the child reaches the edge or there isn’t someone ready to grab them before they run into the sea? Healthy risk-taking prepares our children to make good decisions and teaches them about boundaries and their own limitations. Many early childhood teachers would say give children real risk and they rise to it, they learn how to handle it. In contrast give them sanitised play spaces, and children often are less conscious of risk and have accidents, or they take outlandish risks for the sheer excitement of it all. So, given taking risks is an integral part of development our children need to partake in order to become safe in the long run, how can we support them to be safe through risk-taking?
Healthy risks and unhealthy risks We need to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy risks. Healthy risk-taking behaviours are the ones that children engage in when they step outside of their comfort zone and participate in a new activity such as learning to eat with a fork instead of a spoon or going down the stairs. If your child practices these behaviours they become more skilled and independent. Unhealthy risk-taking behaviours put your child in real danger and they cannot learn to master the skill with practice at their stage of development and in their environment, such as a toddler using a sharp knife or playing with washing powder instead of sand.
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Risk competence Children need to have free space and opportunities to be active. They need to be allowed to take risks in order to develop risk competence. Even infants and toddlers have the potential to become risk competent. Risk competence is the process of becoming knowledgeable and skilled in assessing risks and therefore acquiring the competence to take risks more safely. Children who have had opportunities to develop their physical abilities and motor skills, a good sense of balance and rhythm, and to experience their bodily limits will be more risk competent in things like climbing a tree than children who have little or no sense of coordination, of gravity, of how much weight their arms will hold. This makes it not only unsafe to climb a tree, it affects the entire everyday life – accidents are more likely to have serious consequences for those children who do not develop risk competence than for those who have learned how to run without losing control, how to land when jumping, how to fall without hurting themselves.
Teachable moments: Stop, Talk, Show, Do As a parent, you can curb unhealthy risk-taking behaviour and support healthy risk-taking behaviour. When your child engages in unhealthy risk-taking behaviour, don’t panic or in a loud roar remove the risky object. Stop
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roaring and turn that incident into a teachable moment. Research shows that parental interventions after unhealthy risk-taking behaviours can minimise such behaviour in the future. So, stop them and talk to your child about the risks in a way that is developmentally appropriate. Then tell and show them how to do it safely or better alternatives. Finally, get them to show you how they can do it themselves while you watch them. It is also important that you role model appropriate risk-taking behaviour and involve your children in potentially risky activities such as cutting an apple with the knife.
Challenge for the grown ups: Allowing healthy risk-taking behaviour Engaging in healthy risk-taking behaviour means doing something that your child has not done before or may not be fully competent doing. It’s often those situation when you feel your hesitation and avoidance boiling to the point of denying your children to engage in an activity that you know other children their age are allowed to do. Of course some children are natural risk-takers because of the temperament they are born with. These children take risks without realising it because it is in their nature to be adventurous – yes, sometimes too adventurous. Parents need to teach these children more actively to slow down and assess the risks and possible consequences in order to be safe. Then there are children that are generally more fearful of taking risks because of the temperament they are born with. For these children, parents need to find ways to encourage risk-taking and sometimes this means getting over their own anxiety of risk-taking first.
For parents: Step by step healthy risk-taking behaviour for children 1. Understand the value in taking risks and why you should encourage your child to do it. As adults, risktakers sometimes start their own business, travel the world or climb mountains. Through risk-taking children become more creative, confident, resilient, and less fearful. Allowing your children to take more risks means that you are providing them with opportunities to reach out beyond their current situations and strive for more. 2. Lead by example: Be aware of your attitude and propensity to risk-taking behaviour. Are you engaging in unhealthy risk-taking behaviour or do you avoid healthy risk-taking behaviours? Your children will do as you do, not do as you say. What you model has a significant influence on their judgement of risk. 3. Learn the difference between healthy and unhealthy risks. Some risks can clearly have lifethreatening consequences and it is your role to evaluate that potential. If your child can practice a behaviour,
22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
become more competent, and master it as a result, then it is likely to be healthy to engage in. 4. Use teachable moments: If the risk-taking behaviour possibly has a negative consequence, but that consequence is not serious, then consider allowing your child to take that risk. For example, if your toddler falls down a slide after trying to climb it, use that situation to explain that slides are made for sliding down, show them, then let them show you and praise them for doing it the right way. Let them show you how they can use their walking feet around their baby sister’s playmat while you watch them close nearby. 5. Provide safe and healthy opportunities for your children to take risks, and then stand back – just sometimes in hand reach. For example, let your baby play with the plastic rattle despite a possible bump on their nose or let them have tummy time while you watch them that they don’t burry their head in the play mat for too long. Risk-taking behaviour in very young children is often sensory exploration. It is very important that you try not to avoid engaging in these despite the messiness (eg, baby using their cereal spoon to draw mushy pictures on the table and splatter some of it on the floor before it may touch their lips). So what’s in it for you as parents if you encourage your children to become healthy risk-takers that are competent? Do you belong to that group of parents whose kids have the worst bruised knees, more plasters stuck on to them then fingers to count them, and stapling plasters stuck to their eyebrows? Well, all those things may earn you weird looks – but be assured that your children are those that are happy with good self-esteem, who are caring, successful, assertive, and responsible … and that they are well on the way to growing into leaders. Those plasters and bruises could suddenly earn parents a lot of admiration and prestige. �
Kerstin Kramar Kerstin is the clinical director and consulting Psychologist at Mind & Heart Psychology. She has a particular interest in working with families and children who experience anxiety. She has been supporting families to become more resilient from such experiences and parents to raise their children to become confident, responsible and caring young people. Kerstin has worked as a psychologist overseas before moving to New Zealand with her young family. She currently works as a clinical psychologist with children and families in private practice in the Wellington region.
top 10 tips
Helping you out from weeks 14 to 27 Tips from The New Zealand Pregnancy Book.
GO on a babymoon Take the opportunity to enjoy a well-earned holiday – it's the most comfortable time for extended travel, by car, train or plane. Discuss international travel plans with your LMC before you book.
Get those swimming togs out!
Boy, girl or surprise?
Walking, jogging, swimming, yoga, aqua aerobics – all help prevent loss of fitness for mum, and make you smile! Mild and moderate exercise is best, but discuss any concerns with your LMC. Check out our Exercise Room for more ideas.
Many New Zealanders get that nesting feeling and so think now is the right time to make some home improvements, decorate the nursery or move house. Do this now! Don't leave it until baby is due.
Are your jeans becoming too tight around the waist? Feeling frumpy in your baggy t-shirts? There are some great NZ maternity stores out there and if you're on a budget, check out TradeMe for some nearly-new options. At some point during weeks 14–24 you'll find some of your old wardrobe just doesn't have room for you and baby anymore!
At about 20 weeks, your ultrasound anatomy scan can show baby's gender, so decide if you'd like to know the sex before you go in. Your baby's anatomy and spinal health is checked here and it can be a very emotional time seeing baby on screen, so take along a partner or support person.
As your growing uterus pushes on your tum, heartburn and indigestion are very common at this stage in pregnancy. Take note of the foods that induce heartburn and try to avoid them. Help by eating small meals and eating earlier in the day – and avoid going to bed after a big dinner.
Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition
ial specer off
Now that the nausea has begun to improve, it's a good time to think about the good nutritional value of your food. Check out our top tips on eating well for advice on a balanced diet.
Aches? Pains? Pressures? As the ligaments of your lower back and pelvis stretch to make room for baby, it's important you look after your back and posture well. Don't lift heavy objects, get daily rest, take exercise and when standing and sitting, avoid high heels and maintain the normal curve of your spine – try not to stick out that bum or tum!
Butterfly tummy If it's your first baby, you may feel the baby move somewhere between 18 and 22 weeks – or as early as 16 if it is your second or third. Some women describe it as butterflies or a fluttering sensation – be sure to share the news as it is an exciting stage of pregnancy!
J.O.B. Most women find that they can work at their usual job until at least week 28 and often continue happily until week 36. It depends on your job however – heavy physical work, stressful situations or environmental hazards are all things to consider. Discuss parental leave with your employer or check out the official guidelines (www.dol.govt.nz/er/).
Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at www.nzpregnancybook.co.nz 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! �
The New Zealand Pregnancy Book by Sue Pullon and Cheryl Benn, 2008, Bridget Williams Books, $49.99, is great source of information, covering every kind of topic for pregnant women, along with personal stories. Order online from www.parentscentre.org.nz Find out more at www.nzpregnancybook.co.nz
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If I cast my mind back to growing up in Christchurch in the 1970’s thoughts turn to running barefoot around the backyard. My feet were so hardened by all the adventuring that I could happily trot along the asphalt footpath to the dairy with no shoes on, something I would not find as natural today. This Kiwi kid style of running around barefoot is actually the topic of increasing amount of research into the impact shoes can have on children’s growing feet. And some findings are very thought provoking. With barefoot running increasing in popularity in adults (perhaps partly due to the popularity of books like Born to Run) there seems to be something of a barefoot revolution going on. Our feet are sensitive and we had better listen to them. Feeling the ground first, they let us know if the environment is dangerous or comfortable. Preparing us for a rolling rock or the edge of a stair and unshod we experience the wonderful aliveness when walking in soft warm sand. Once described as “little leather coffins”, shoes deprive the feet of sensation. Prominent Wellington Osteopath Dr Philip Beach noted how shoes diminish the raw data stream that feeds from the sole of the foot into our lower back, a data stream that establishes our posture right through the whole body in relation to the ground below us. “Unshod” author Dr Wikler noted toddlers keep their heads up more when walking barefoot. Information is gathered instantly at foot level via touch sensitive
nerves, and delivered straight to the core muscles around the spine. This increases toddlers’ safety and stability.
Slip and trip Toddlers in shoes use their eyes more to look at the ground to establish their position, compromising their balance. Adding to the danger, shoes extend beyond the perception of the toes often leading to stumbling and tripping or kicking obstacles. As an early toddler my son had one leg substantially turned in. For five months he stopped short of walking, falling when he stood on his rotated foot. Yet after two weeks of standing barefoot on uneven grass at a campground, where the foot’s micro muscles and supporting structure were made to work correctly, he walked confidently on perfectly straightened legs. In that natural environment he experienced a stream of input into his nervous system and we watched him self correct, aligning his leg into a normal position and allowing the progression through walking and running. If your child appears pigeon toed or a bit clumsy on their feet, encourage barefoot walking on natural grass
26 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
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fields and uneven surfaces. Turning on the data stream from the soles of the feet to the brain. You can also play with their toes, wiggling them can help give them the advantage to progress naturally. Now good news for barefoot devotees, Dr Wikler found barefoot children had better feet. They were statistically less deformed, stronger with more functional movements (in their feet and hips), flexibility and greater agility. Although by school age children’s feet are fully formed, it is still a good idea to consider the kind of foot wear worn to maintain your child’s natural biomechanics. Schools permitting students the comfort and health of bare feet were once the norm. It is interesting to note that the picture of the old physical education school book (below) showing children running barefoot would likely be banned in today’s environment. Unfortunately in seeking to protect our children’s feet we have limited the expression of their natural movement and reduced their core functioning. Are we depriving our children of the full body experience of being human? When my child and I are barefoot in public, well meaning parents point out that shoes protect children’s feet. Barefoot, my son’s feet are developing tough protective skin, much less likely to be punctured than the tender feet of a chronic shoe wearer. Personally, I prefer to play in safe areas, without dog poop, dirt or glass (my house, my friends houses, most beaches and playgrounds fit into this category). Because as much as the child’s feet are in contact with the area, hands and knees also come into contact with the ground. I love being a mother and watching my little boy walk run and play, he’s getting a little of that same Kiwi kid experience I had of running barefoot on the beach. I know its good fun and something memories are made of. Perhaps it will also pay dividends for his health and posture in years to come. �
It is interesting to note the picture of children playing in this old physical education booklet. Such activity would likely be banned in today’s environment. Given the discussion in this article, I am not sure we have progressed – in seeking to protect our children’s feet we have limited their expression of our human movements. By reducing core function depriving us of the full body essential experience of being human.
28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
Janine McKenzie-Minifie Janine is a Clinical NeuroMuscular Therapist (CNMT) and a mother of three. She owns Total Performance Health Limited with offices in central Wellington and in Ngaio. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science and Certification in CNMT, Therapeutic Massage, Pharmacy, Nutrition and Exercise. She is passionate about her work helping clients to reduce pain and improve their health.
getting a solid start
When Maia was about five months old, well meaning people suddenly started enthusing about introducing solids. It came as a bit of a surprise to me initially simply because we’d had a tricky start to breastfeeding and it felt as though things had only just settled down.
I was in no hurry to give my baby ‘alien matter’ as I thought of it. But other people were. And when she continually pushed spoons away and showed no real interest in mushy bowls of baby rice well past six months, I couldn’t help hearing the other voices even though I knew she was thriving on my milk. This went on for several months. I tried all sorts of mushed-up homemade concoctions to no avail.
How I wish someone had told me about the advantages of letting a baby eat appropriate food from a parent’s plate; so called “baby-led weaning”. To this day Maia doesn’t like sloppy food, in fact she likes to see exactly what she is eating and she doesn’t like things touching! Looking back I feel I could have saved myself a lot of time and energy. Over the decades the age at which health professionals have recommended solids be introduced has varied greatly. During the first half of the last century it was about six weeks! Can you imagine? When I was born, yes 50 years ago, it was about four months. The World Health Organisation says: ”Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional
requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond.” And, by and large, most other leading organisations in the US, UK and Canada, agree that six months is the time to start solids. But it’s not an exact science. Even at an early age, babies sometimes watch eagerly as your fork goes from your plate to your mouth. And this is one indicator that your baby is starting to be interested in eating like you. But there are a lot of other signs that can help you know when your baby is ready. If your baby is sitting up unsupported and can reach your plate, grab a handful, put it in her mouth, chew, swallow and reach for more – she is ready for solids.
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One of the best bits of information I’ve seen is in the wonderful Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. “Maybe you’re thinking that other foods would help your baby sleep through the night. Not according to research. In fact, your baby might sleep less well because of the indigestion that too-early solids or formula can cause. Babies sleep through the night when they are able to, which sometimes happens at around six months, but not because of the solids.” And it goes on: “His insides are designed to be ready for solid food once his outside has developed enough for him to eat it on his own.” Of course this doesn’t mean that some things won’t end up in his mouth sooner. But if you’ve noticed him pushing things back out with his tongue, well that’s a defence mechanism to protect his digestive tract from anything foreign in his mouth. If you’re worried about choking be reassured that your baby’s gag reflex is an effective defence mechanism; designed to eject food pieces too big to swallow. Your baby’s pincer grip (the ability to pick up objects with thumb and forefinger) naturally develops at about eight months, so the chances of her putting tiny things like raisins in her mouth before she is able to handle them are slim. Nevertheless you’ll want to
be close at hand during early meal experiences anyway. Waiting until six months also allows your baby’s digestive enzymes to be up and running thus reducing the risk of allergies. So if he can eat by himself as well, it makes sense that around six months is the time to start. If I’m honest, I wish I’d waited longer with Maia. All that fuss about baby cereals, which after all have little nutritional value, would have been avoided. If I’d just let her eat from our plate, when she was ready, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so stressful for me. So what starter foods can your baby eat from your plate? Most soft or stewed fruits, avocado, cooked vegetables, hummus, slivers of chicken or fish (watch for bones obviously!). Very quickly it’ll be much
of what you are cooking for the rest of the family; a well-balanced and varied diet with foods as close to their natural state as possible. It sounds easy enough but if you need some good ideas, check out the 50th anniversary edition of La Leche League’s Mothering Time Cookbook. It’s packed full of some easy to prepare and nutritious meals and snacks – and a third of the price of other recipe books. Visit LLLNZshop. org.nz for information. Oh and a word about iron and breastfed babies. I repeatedly heard that Maia needed solids because she wasn’t getting enough iron from my milk. True, breastmilk doesn’t contain a lot of iron but it isn’t supposed to because it is very readily absorbed. Feeding your baby too much iron will end up feeding the wrong bacteria in his tummy. �
I’d love to hear your views on the global picture. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org And if it’s the societal issues that interest you try Gabriel Palmer’s book The Politics of Breastfeeding. It’s thought-provoking to say the least.
Lisa Manning Lisa Manning is a former TV journalist and presenter. She is married to the British actor John Rhys-Davies with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter Maia. Lisa is an at home mum and La Leche League Leader in Pukekohe.
30 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
Our ten top tips for
to 1 Commit breastfeeding
Make a decision that you will breastfeed and then do it. Once you have made that decision, it gives you a clear path forward. Believe in yourself and your ability to breastfeed your baby!
your family 2 Get on board
Talk to your partner and whanau about your decision to breastfeed. Work out together how they can support you in the best way. Surround yourself with positive, encouraging people who are committed to your breastfeeding.
3 Inform yourself
Learn as much as you can about how breastfeeding works and what is normal for your breastfed baby through classes, midwives, books, and your breastfeeding friends. Knowing what is normal will help give you confidence.
4 Skin to skin
It’s mummy’s magic! And babies love it. Skin to skin helps baby to ‘get organised’ and start thinking about breastfeeding. Often a crying baby can be calmed in seconds by being placed in skin to skin contact with her mother. Strip baby down to her nappy and hold her upright between your bare breasts. If it’s chilly, you can put a cardigan or blanket around both of you. Then just wait for your baby to show hunger signs. Rubbing her face against your chest (rooting), nodding her head against you and flopping over to one side are all ‘breast seeking behaviours’.
to 5 Respond your baby Learn your baby’s feeding cues and respond by feeding them when they ask. Letting your new baby set the pace will ensure a happier, well-fed baby who cries less. It will also ensure a good supply of breast milk.
6 Avoid teats
Avoid giving milk to your baby in a bottle if things get difficult in the first few weeks. If for some reason your baby is not latching on to your breast, you can give him expressed breast milk on a spoon, in a cup or via a plastic dropper syringe, to minimise his confusion between latching at the breast and sucking on the end of a teat.
7 Ask for help
If you have any concerns at all about your breastfeeding, ask for help sooner rather than later. Ask someone who has experience with overcoming breastfeeding challenges, such as your midwife, a lactation consultant, your local Plunket Karitane Family Centre, La Leche League and local groups like Mama-Licious.
why 8 Remember you are doing it There are many, many wonderful reasons for breastfeeding. Write down your personal top three and stick them on the fridge. If things get tough you can remind yourself why it is worth the effort!
9 Look after yourself
Make sure you are eating a balanced diet and drinking lots of water. Some daily fresh air and plenty of rest are also important for keeping you in tip top shape to be the best mum you can for your baby.
10 Breastfeed exclusively All that your baby needs until they are six months is your beautiful breast milk. Avoid stressing her digestive system and putting your milk supply at risk by supplementing. Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby. �
Mama-Licious Breastfeeding Education runs breastfeeding courses around the Wellington region. These classes are aimed to be complementary to Parents Centre antenatal classes. To enrol, or for more information, visit our website www.mamalicious.co.nz © Mama-Licious Ltd. To be used with permission only.
" I want my baby to have breast milk for the first six months" mums told us. Our simply intuitive™ electric and manual pumps ensure maximum eﬃciency and comfort. Their soft touch feel mimics the natural action of your baby breastfeeding to encourage fast let down and eﬃcient expressing. Both pump packs come with everything you need to sterilise, express, store and feed.
The result? Breastfeeding for longer has never been easier.
switching on for success
– the first three years will set your child up for life These days we understand much about how a child’s brain develops and how it is affected by experience in either a positive or negative fashion. This development starts before birth and continues through the teenage years when adolescence adds further complexity to the young person’s development.
From the first few days of conception our brains begin to form – from rudimentary cell tissue. As the foetus develops, in the brain, layer upon layer of nerve cells (or neurons) migrate to their ultimate anatomical positions. They send out their axons to meet each other and become connected enabling communication with each other. The organisation of our brain in this way is primarily genetically determined.
The neurobiology of infant brain development and some of the more recent advances in our understanding of this topic mean we now realise just how important the first three years are in a human’s life.
In later foetal life, and particularly from the moment of birth, experiences interact with our genes to ‘switch on’ our connections. Thousands of new connections occur as we develop synapses in response to the environment we find ourselves in.
The key to understanding the link between early childhood experience and subsequent behaviour is in the age-old nature versus nurture relationship. There is a complex interplay here that is at the core of human emotional development and behaviour. Our genes are not a static blueprint; they can actually alter with experience in the sense that they can be ‘switched on’ or ‘switched off’. Nature and nurture operate together to fashion our brains. This process occurs throughout our lifetime but it occurs at a much faster and more intense rate in childhood.
When a child is nurtured, played with, sung to, cuddled and stimulated positively, he or she will be programmed in a positive fashion. This type of experience sets a child up for life.
32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
Each sensory experience modifies and ‘sculpts’ the thousands of surrounding neurons and in this way our brain becomes ‘wired’. This process occurs regardless of the post-natal environment but the subsequent pruning and refining of the pathways is environmentally determined. All drugs – including alcohol – that the mother ingests, will be received by the foetus. Many of these, including alcohol, can have direct harmful effects on the brain. In addition, there may be less obvious but equally important effects on brain connection formation that will cause behavioural issues such as attention deficit and hyperactivity.
Wiring the brain There are critical and sensitive periods in brain development during which rapid changes take place, and after which it becomes difficult if not impossible to re-capture those developments: learning a musical instrument is a good example of this. Attachment to a consistent caregiver is another. The connections that occur with an attachment relationship need to be made within the first 18 months before the window of opportunity is lost. If this fails to occur there are likely to be problems in many areas in later life as the child grows up unable to establish firm trusting relationships with other humans. Lack of early attachment has been shown to correlate with poor social competency, lower teacher ratings of educational competence and other outcomes in teenage years. The experiences essential for activating neurons and promoting synapse formation need to be the right ones. When a child is nurtured, played with, sung to, cuddled and stimulated positively, he or she will be programmed in a positive fashion. This type of experience sets a child up for life. If they are negative, then the hard wiring that takes place retains all the negative connotations including the emotional memory of the experience. This includes triggering the physiological and somatic sensations that accompany a negative experience such as a smack or witnessing family violence. Therefore if a child is repeatedly smacked, put down, ignored or abused they may become ‘hard wired’ for these emotions and after two or three years it becomes more difficult to change. Lack of stimulation or neglect – lack of positive input – can be equally devastating. The connections will be weak or may never develop. When negative interactions occur in infancy, the physiological associations that accompany the experience include the release of hormones including adrenaline and cortisol. This has been described as a ‘fight or flight’ reaction. Unfortunately cortisol, although a crucial hormone in normal amounts, when secreted
What is cortisol? � While cortisol is an important and helpful part of the body’s response to stress, it’s important that the body’s relaxation response is activated so the body’s functions can return to normal following a stressful event. Unfortunately, in our current high-stress culture, the body’s stress response is activated so often that the body doesn’t always have a chance to return to normal, resulting in a state of chronic stress. Higher and more prolonged levels of cortisol in the bloodstream (like those associated with chronic stress) have been shown to have negative effects.
at inappropriate times and at much higher levels can interfere with the developing brain and there may even be structural changes occurring that are irreversible, along with loss of myelin. The brains of chronically deprived and abused children have been shown to be smaller than normal. The evidence for the link between early childhood experience and subsequent brain development comes from a number of sources and is still accumulating. Neuro-imaging techniques, animal studies, autopsy findings, and blood analysis of hormones can all support the hypothesis.
Your brain develops throughout life Up until recently the focus has been on the brain changes occurring in the first few years. Brain development continues at different rates in different areas throughout life. Functional and structural MRI scans are showing us just what the extent of this brain development is, particularly in late childhood and adolescence. It seems that there is a burst of neuronal activity, with increased connectivity and subsequent pruning of lesser used connections similar to that which occurs in the first three years, in the prefrontal cortex, corpus callosum and
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“The connections that occur with an attachment relationship need to be made within the first 18 months before the window of opportunity is lost.”
The connections that occur with an attachment relationship need to be made within the first 18 months before the window of opportunity is lost.
in other parts of the brain. The pre-frontal cortex is the area of the brain that controls ‘executive functioning’ or reasoning and judgment. Prior to 15 or 16 years of age we tend to make decisions based on our emotional (‘gut reaction’) rather than our rational thinking. This is based in the amygdala
where emotional values are processed. Functional MRI scans show that teenagers use this part of the brain when making decisions. From the early teen years there is a transfer of decision-making to the prefrontal cortex where decisions are more rational and objective, and consequences are thought through. The prefrontal cortex denotes social behaviour and knowledge and allows us to control impulsive behaviour. At the same time the corpus callosum (the bundle of fibres connecting the two sides of the brain) changes and grows. This allows problem solving and creativity to develop and assist us in planning. Throughout adolescence we slowly become more reasoned, and our decision-making reflects the fact that we are using this important part of our brain in everyday life. Impulse control, planning and an understanding of the rules of conduct become incorporated into our thinking. There is a sex differential with boys lagging two or three years behind girls in this developmental process.
How poverty of experience disrupts development.
34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
The implications are huge. Teenagers are not the same as adults in their ability to think rationally or make sound judgments – the teen brain and the adult
Have fun with brain are both anatomically and physiologically different. The forces that shape this adolescent brain development are still unclear. Obviously this is biologically driven as part of puberty, but just how important environmental factors such as nutrition, parenting, education, physical activity, peers, drugs, infections and many other factors are not yet fully understood.
Get l! ica s u M
What is abundantly clear is that a baby’s brain is unique and precious. The way it develops will determine who he or she will become. While genes may establish a child’s potential, it is day to day experiences that will help your child to fulfill their potential. And most of your baby’s brain actually develops after the birth – and in the first three years of life. �
Dr. Simon Rowley Simon is a neonatal paediatrician at National Women’s Hospital as well as working with children of all ages in private practice in Auckland. Simon’s concern for the health and wellbeing of our children led him to become a trustee for brainwave as well as a presenter. His clinical experience, depth of medical knowledge and relaxed friendly manner make him a popular speaker to medically oriented groups as well as at conferences, seminars and talks to parents and caregivers.
Resources Fergusson D (1998). Christchurch Health and Development Study; An Overview and some Key Findings. Social Policy J of NZ 10:154-176 Fergusson D, Horwood L (1998) ‘Exposure to Interparental Violence in Childhood and Psychosocial Adjustment in Young Adulthood’. Child
Enjoy ! ime T a e T
Abuse and Neglect 22: 339-357 Fergusson D and Woodward L (1999) ‘Maternal Age and Educational and Psychosocial Outcomes in Early Childhood’. J of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 35 (3) 287-96 Fox et al Child Development January/February 2010 volume 81, no.1 p 28-40 ‘How Timing and Quality of Early Experiences Influence the Development of Brain Architecture’ Peter Huttenlocher; Developmental psychology, vol. 16, 1999 ‘Dendritic and Synaptic Development in Human Cerebral Cortex: Time course and Critical Periods’ Ronald Prinz. Prevention Science. Vol 10 No 1 March 2009 ‘Population Based Prevention of Child Maltreatment: The U.S. Triple P System Population Trial’ Silva P and McCann M. ‘An Introduction to the Dunedin Study’ in Silva P Stanton W (eds) (1996) From Child to Adult Oxford University Press New Zealand Auckland How poverty of experience disrupts development
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Buggy reviews Mountain Buggy Smart
Mountain Buggy Nano
Lux Toni Shanks
It is fair to say, I have stroller envy! This is one very cool, multi-faceted, user friendly piece of stroller technology. I'm always a bit apprehensive when an item calls for `self assembly' – but I found the instructions were easy to follow, and I felt strangely empowered that I managed to setup this stroller without extra assistance. Once construction was complete, I tried out different seating configurations with my five month old (except the capsule mode as it requires adaptors which are sold separately). With a push of a button, a click of a clip, or a turn of a dial, this stroller intuitively transformed from a bassinet to a toddler seat with ease. It has various reclining positions to accommodate different developmental stages and resting states. It also has an extendable sun shade which I imagine would be very useful. It is light and easy to manoeuvre and it has the option of swivel wheels or fixed. It travelled smoothly over the suburban terrain and I could steer it quite confidently with one hand. My husband noted it had a rigid chassis, which was great for negotiating steps and for general drive, but even with the front suspension it was a bit bumpy over uneven surfaces. The height of the handle was great for me as I am 5'8", but this might be an issue for shorter people and it doesn't appear to be adjustable. When I first used the foot activated braking system, it didn't fully de-activate which meant the buggy moved but with resistance and a clicking sound. Due to the angle of the pedal it does means that you have to very consciously depress all the way down it to fully release it. The overall verdict is, this is a clever wee stroller with oodles of great features. The storage basket underneath is huge and the fabric looks like it would be durable and easy to clean. Not being one that likes a lot of baby paraphernalia cluttering the house, the Smart Lux really does seem to be an all-in-one solution for transporting your precious bundle from birth to toddlerhood (Up to 20kgs) in style. It folds away easier and compactly and it looks great.
36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
The Nano is marketed as the ultimate travel stroller, and with good reason. It is tiny! With no big plans for air travel or tourist adventures, however, I have given it a rigorous workout as an everyday buggy for those with not much space. It was quick to assemble from the box and easy to click into place, in fact, so easy that my seven-yearold unfolded it with minimal instruction. As a family of five we are squished into a small two bedroom home; space is sadly lacking. Our antiquated three-wheeler is currently relegated to the shed. With the Nano occupying a third of the space of Old Behemoth, I’m in no hurry to reinstate it. My first task was getting it in the car. It is so minute it will fit in our people-mover’s boot with at least a weeks worth of groceries, with no trouble at all. I then took it to the local mall for a shopping test-drive. My midsized baby bag fitted easily in the under-buggy storage. I visited three major department stores and a few boutiques. Every aisle accommodated us, it is an ideal shopping companion. Just to see how intrepid we could get with our travels, we left the city centre for a lunch-time bush walk. It was not impossible, but seeing the baby’s cheeks jiggling around the light gravel track convinced me that this is not an “off road” buggy. The Nano is probably best paired with a baby carrier for such excursions.
What I love: All the catches are hidden so curious older children won’t collapse the buggy without knowing exactly what they are doing. It is so sturdy and robust, and yet so light and easy to push around. It has a very tight turning circle, and using one hand can almost do a complete turn on the spot! Its frame is skinny enough to fit in all those tight spots. It comes with a carry bag for travel.
I would love for it to have accessories. At this stage there is not much in the way of customisation or add-ons, other than rain/sun cover and sleeping bag insert. My munchkin hates to be separated from me. If Mountain Buggy could squeeze in a facing mummy feature, I would rush out to buy it. I’m guessing they had to compromise a little functionality to create such a compact travel buggy. �
The origins of style
what not to buy If you're one of those types who likes clothes shopping, you will adore having children. Voila – not only have you doubled your weight, you've also doubled your shopping opportunities (even if your capacity to pay for it has considerably diminished). Before my baby was born, I'd coo over teeny, ickle, delicate things at designer baby stores. I actually bought a rectangle baby wrap for 30 bucks (plain stretch cotton with an overlocked hem) because there was no way I wanted my teeny, ickle, delicate, designer baby to be wrapped in the same thing from Philp-Wrights at 2 bucks a metre. What an idiot I was. Then he was out into the world and I belatedly realised that babies grow FAST. What fitted perfectly yesterday barely slid over pudgy arms today. Domes popped eye-wateringly at the crotch and terrified screeching became our regular morning chorus as his enormous alien-like head was wedged inside a too small collar. Before I knew it, the designer baby stores were traded in for T&T and Farmers, and then it was Savemart and a world of hilarity. There's nothing funnier than dressing your kids in original 70's baby clothing. Our parents had a great time doing it and I can see why. Orange corduroy! Ba ha ha ha. There's the joy of Playgroups and their boxes of free clothing (sometimes known as the Lost and Found but whatevs), and the awesomeness of a friend who drops by with a bag of clothes out of the blue. Love, LOVE that. I was especially lucky to have a boy and a girl. Boys clothes are lame.
Tops and pants in a variety of leg and arm lengths. Yawn. But girls! Dresses, skirts, pants, leggings, skorts, tunics, tights... so many opportunities to satisfy the shopaholic – if only they weren't all in various shades of bloody pink. Which brings me to the point of this ode to shopping:
What not to buy � If your baby can't sit up, don't buy anything that does up at the back. Babies do not lie obediently still with their faces mashed into the bed while you stuff around with fiddly buttons. There's also that whole breathing thing. � Pyjama Onesies. The legs are never the right size and the domes are smaller than ants. Use nightgowns for easier night time changes. (Boys can wear nightgowns too – Wee Willie Winkie wore his with pride). � Overalls without domes at the crotch are the stupidest invention ever because you have to strip the whole damn thing off to change the nappy. Life is too short for that kind of crap. � Scratch mittens. Your baby has just spent months in the dark touching, sucking and feeling her way with her fingers. It's an important part of learning and helps her feel secure. Don't stuff it up because you're too scared to keep her nails short. � Knitted booties with ties. What are you – a shepherd? You don't live in the Middle Ages. Get socks. � Button up collared shirts. Who irons? Nobody irons. Who loves wasting time using their giant fingers to fumble around with miniscule buttons? NOBODY. But hey – if you want your baby to
38 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
look like a crumpled, misbuttoned sales exec after a boozy night out, go for it. � Denim is hard and unyielding like concrete. Your baby is soft like a marshmallow. Why are you putting marshmallows in concrete? Jeans on babies are just plain wrong. � Babies don't walk. THEY DON'T NEED SHOES. � Onesies for older babies. Try snapping crotch and leg domes together when your baby is mobile. Just try it. Then throw out all your onesies and admit I was right. � Dresses look best when they're sashaying. Flouncing. Twirling. Dancing. They do not look at their best lying in a crumpled heap on a flaccid baby. And if your baby is crawling she will only get her knees stuck in the fabric and start crying. Dresses on babies equals pointless. I hope this helps. If I have managed to save you five bucks then my work here is done. Happy shopping! � www.oncewasapartygirl.blogspot. co.nz/
Stephanie Matuku Popular blogger, Stephanie Matuku, is an accidental stay-at-homeMum to two busy pre-schoolers. In a previous life she was a radio creative writer, voiceover artist and occasional actor. She is an award-winning playwright, sporadic exerciser and aspiring novelist. She regrets once being a childless person who liked to dispense parenting advice. Sorry.
In this section
A new direction for Parents Centre
Those who can, do. Those who can do more, volunteer!
Volunteering in the family – West Auckland
A volunteer is an exceptional person. They are someone who is socially conscious and well aware of the benefits that go with giving something of themselves and their time without needing payment as a reward. Volunteers are the lifeblood of Parents Centres around the country. We wouldn’t exist without the extraordinary enthusiasm and energy of so many generous and proactive people nationwide. Volunteering is rewarding, skill-building, good for communities and, let’s not forget, it can be great fun! It fosters a strong sense of belonging and community connection.
‘Baby and You’ parent education programme Centre News
Go to www.parentscentre.org.nz/volunteers to find out more about volunteering for your local Parents Centre.
Time and again our volunteers are people who are full-time parents, have paid jobs to undertake as well as other commitments, yet who still manage to find time to volunteer for their Centres within their communities. In this section read about some of the exceptional volunteers in Parents Centre, including Joan Hay, Manager Capability Development, whose career began as a volunteer at Palmerston North Parents Centre in 1982, and Daniel and Nicola Mapletoft, proud parents and Centre volunteers at West Auckland Parents Centre today. Parents Centre’s proud history has been built over six decades by volunteers working for the rights of parents. To all of our volunteers who have been before, who are with us now and will join us in the future, Parents Centres are thankful for your input and honoured to work alongside you for the betterment of parenting in New Zealand.
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Moving in a new direction Viv Gurrey, Parents Centre New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, writes about the new strategic direction for Parents Centre. A huge amount of constructive feedback from National Support Team, Regional Co-ordinators, Childbirth Educators and Centres has clearly shown that there is a grassroots driven wish to restructure so as to give greater autonomy to our Centres and to recognise and use the unique skills and contributions of volunteers around the country. There is a strong desire to move away from an organisational model where control is centralised, although there is still recognition that Centres want to maximise the benefits that come from being part of a national organisation. We have been asked to let go of an overly regional bias and instead become truly nationally focused. The feedback has fed directly into the new structure and we are redeploying our resources to fit the new model Parents Centres. This is where our new position Manager, Capability Development comes in, to lead new initiatives which strengthen volunteer involvement and performance, including developing systems and processes for delivering a wide range of training opportunities. We are delighted that Joan Hay has accepted this role and we know our Centres will benefit from her wealth of experience and the strong relationship she already enjoys with Centres.
As Parents Centre stalwart Joan Hay moves onto a new role, she chats with Eleanor Cater about the challenge of being ‘an enabler of volunteers’. Joan Hay says she never tires of acknowledging the tremendous efforts and successes made by the founders of Parents Centre. “The climate was extraordinarily difficult and the journey they embarked on in the 50s was tough.” She believes what has been achieved by so many volunteers and the wider organisation across the years is nothing short of incredible. As Parents Centre now transitions through an exciting time of change with a new structure and strategic plan, led by Chief Executive Officer Viv Gurrey, the journey continues. “I am particularly motivated with the opportunity I personally have in my new role as Manager, Capability and Development. The prime goal for this role is to bring training and development and to implement processes, methods and systems that will build capability for our volunteers.”
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Joan’s Parents Centre journey began as a volunteer in 1982 in Palmerston North and she has held a variety of roles in her Parents Centre career, working her way through positions ranging from volunteer ones on the Invercargill committee and onto national roles including National Trainer, National Co-President and a stint as a national Board Member. For the past 11 years Joan has been employed as Centre Operations Manager at the National Support Centre in Wellington, leading the operations of over 50 Centres around the country. While her own personal journey continues she remains enthusiastic about the opportunities there are to strengthen the volunteer pool and services and to call on so many skills that already exist across the Centres. “We continue to be recognised as the leading and respected provider of antenatal education, parent education and support networks. Volunteers have always been and continue to be at the heart of Parents Centre and we are committed to providing the best information and support to enable them to maintain the journey. I like the word “enabler”. It’s strong and means something really important. The National Support Team is focused on enabling volunteer teams and Centres as we launch into our new structure and strategic plan.” Building capability and development is the key function of this new role. Joan believes that identifying training and development needs and implementing effective professional development opportunities is paramount to success for volunteers today. “Our Centres range from small to large; from rural to urban and experiences across our volunteer teams are vast. We are keen to call on those skills; volunteers will have a wide variety of opportunities to contribute their knowledge and skills for the betterment of the organisation and to benefit other volunteers. We won’t be reinventing the wheel, we will ensure easy access to information as and when required – we will implement processes and strategies to enable volunteers and invigorate Centres. This is what excites me!“ “My desire is to be an enabler of volunteers and to be an integral part of an organisation that values and recognises volunteers. There’s a saying … ‘passion differentiates the ‘want to’ from the ‘have to’.’ If you ‘want to’ as opposed to ‘have to’ you will be more likely to be motivated, have a clearer understanding and a desire to be involved! I am certainly looking forward to continuing to be part of a strong Parents Centre as we progress into the 21st Century – with your passion and your ‘want to’ we can continue our journey running!”
Each edition of Kiwiparent profiles one of Parents Centres renowned parent education programmes.
spotlight on ‘Baby and You’ ‘Early parenthood is a life-changing experience into which we all go unrehearsed.’ 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, play and grow can be an extraordinary experience. You will have feelings of tenderness, closeness and a sense of awe at the miracles of ‘first milestones’ – smiling, crawling, steps and games. 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 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, 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. The programme also recognises the heavy demands babies have on parents’ time and attention. It is common for parents to feel a real loss of independence, a huge lack of sleep and worries around employment and financial 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 www.parentscentre.org.nz to find out about booking into this programme at a Centre near you.
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Keep it in the Family
- Daniel and Nicola Mapletoft, West Auckland Parents Centre Volunteers
Nic and Daniel
Daniel Mapletoft is not a typical Parents Centre newsletter editor. Daniel, dad to Zac (12), Ryan (6) and Poppy (18 months), works as a senior software engineer and also volunteers for West Auckland Parents Centre. Daniel’s latest newsletter editorial reads like this: ”why do signs like this exist? This one is at Pak n Save in
Pukekohe. Apparently it’s ok for my wife to shop there, but they do not want my money if I have Poppy with me. Maybe, I dunno, it’s a dumb sign though isn’t it? One would have thought we could’ve dispensed with all this gender nonsense by now. We’re all on this parenting journey together, let the poor man park with his baby if he wants to!” It’s a good reminder that gender bias, which so often goes unnoticed, continues to permeate parenting today. Daniel and his partner Nicola are longterm volunteers for West Auckland Parents Centre. Nicola is also a Childbirth Educator running around 13 antenatal programmes a year, but she has always volunteered on the side. Their involvement began in 2008, Daniel contributing as a columnist to the Centre newsletter and Nicola as an antenatal class host. Since then Daniel has worked on developing the Centre’s website, produces the bi-monthly 40 page newsletter (“everything from sourcing the material to stuffing the envelopes!”), finds advertisers as a source of revenue and is currently Vice-
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President at the Centre. He is even training to become a certified car seat installation technician so the Centre can offer installation checks at their events. Nicola’s involvement began as a class host for both antenatal and parent education classes, as well as managing the Centre’s social media, library, equipment hire, grants and funding. She had found her antenatal classes so good she was inspired to train to become a qualified Childbirth Educator, and completed this training in 2010. She now runs classes across Auckland and has also been volunteering as a Regional Coordinator since 2012, a role which is currently being phased out in favour of a new structure. Nicola is excited about opportunities the restructuring will bring and says, “That is the great thing about Parents Centre, you never know where it will take you! For me it is about being part of an important parenting organisation that has an amazing history in advocating for parents and making real changes in our nation around parenting.” She is keen to be involved in some upcoming project
teams, especially those that work on enhancing childbirth education and parent education programmes which are run nationally. Daniel says that his involvement has been influenced by Nicola’s passion and involvement over the years. “Nicola had been doing lots of hosting and was also completing her Childbirth Educator’s diploma and I think, to a certain extent, her interest piqued my interest. I knew a lot of people on West Auckland's committee and it became a fun thing to do. Becoming a father raised my consciousness of parenting and I wanted to share that.” “I like to think I'm part of a team helping new parents, at what can be a confusing time, with helpful information and support. I've also made plenty of new friends, many of whom remain so even after they have left our Centre. It's a common bond between Nicola and myself and a source of pride reading the awesome feedback the Centre gets from her classes.”
Nicola agrees, saying her roles bring great job satisfaction. “I love that we create the opportunity for communities to interact and support each other. I think we have largely moved away from villages raising children which has made parenting much harder. The work that our Centres and organisation does is changing this and making positive differences for families.” The couple see Parents Centre continuing on as a central part of their family’s life, and encourage their children to also become involved where they can. Nicola urges other parents to do the same. “We often feel we don't have time or skills to get involved but any amount of time is valuable to volunteer organisations. It could be the place for you to meet a new friend, learn new skills or even a new career path and also provide you with the opportunity to use your skills to make a positive change to the world for your children, grandchildren and families all over New Zealand.”
Parents Centres Week is on from
15–21 June go to our website to see an up-to-date list of events happening at a Centre near you! www.parentscentre.org.nz
Nic and Poppy
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PARENTS CENTRES NEWS n Ashburton Parents Centre are celebrating their 25th anniversary during Parents Centre Week (15–21 June) and have a number of events planned to help them celebrate this huge milestone, including a fun activity afternoon for the kids and a pamper evening for the mums. Happy anniversary celebrations Ashburton! n Onewa Parents Centre has a new home! It has been a long-held dream of theirs which became a reality when local MP Jonathan Coleman officially opened their new rooms at the local community centre. It’s the first time in their 40 year history that they have had an official place to call their own! “Our committee has often talked about how awesome it would be to have our own dedicated space rather than having our classes in two or three different venues and all the challenges that brings,” says Raelene Fraser, Onewa Parents Centre Vice President. “We put it down as one the four goals in our Centre plan not expecting to achieve it within a year, let alone a few months.” Great work Onewa and good luck with your new and expanded services in your new home! Regional coordinator Kylie Johnston (left) and Raelene Fraser, Vice President with MP Jonathan Coleman at he official opening of Onewa Parents Centre’s new rooms.
n Thanks to the Taupo Parents Centre dads can now stay overnight in the Taupo Maternity Unit. The Centre is donating three brand new La-Z-Boy chairs for dads to use while their partners are staying in the postnatal rooms. The recently redeveloped Maternity Unit, attached to the Taupo Hospital, has received the first of three LaZ-Boys from the Centre, as well as some bright duvet covers, laundry hampers and a set of table and chairs. Taupo Parents Centre childbirth education convenor and rangiatea host Charlotte Worthington said, ‘‘This comes from our close relationship with Taupo Maternity. We have done a lot of fundraising and are really trying to promote the importance of family bonding.” Taupo Parents Centre would like to thank Briscoes and Freedom Furniture for giving them a good deal so they could afford to purchase these items for the maternity unit.
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Taieri Parents Centre recently hosted an evening with Nigel Latta, psychologist, parent advisor and entertainer, where he shared his unique insights into parenting the 0–10 year age group. The event, held at Taieri College, was a sellout and raised over $4,000 for the Centre! Emma Currie, Centre President, said “The feedback has been awesome and it was an evening thoroughly enjoyed by mums and dads alike. His messages were both entertaining and common sense. He talked about key things like sleep, food, behaviour, siblings, play. He made total sense and was hilarious.”
Nigel Latta performs to a full auditorium.
Gore Parents Centre ran their annual ‘Walk in Wardrobe’ ladies night recently. The venue was sold out with 26 sites selling a range of pre-loved clothing and accessories as well as businesses selling new products. Gore's Jenny Mitchell (3rd place on 2013 New Zealand’s Got Talent) provided musical entertainment. The committee says that a great night was had by all and approximately $1,000 was raised thanks to some generous sponsorship of the venue and supper by Heartland Hotel and Mataura Licensing Trust.
Walk in Wardrobe event at Gore Parents Centre.
Manukau and Papakura Parents Centres were determined to provide a fabulous Children’s Day event in March and, they say, they “didn’t let a shoestring budget, busy committee members and fast-approaching deadlines stand in the way!” Using their community
connections they were able to offer a hall filled with fun activities, just for under 5s, run on the day by just six committee members. “The groups we approached were keen to join in and the event came together really quickly from there,” says committee member Belinda Barnett. With a bouncy castle, mini gym course, action song sessions, craft and colouring tables, a heuristic play area and some fabulous face painters there was plenty to do. Parents were also able to find out about local groups including: a Toy Library, Kindergarten, Learning Centre, Gymsport provider and La Leche League too. This was the first time the Centres have run the “Celebrating Under 5s” event but it was such a great family day the committee says “it is sure to be back in 2015.”
Bronwyn Billinghurst and Belinda Barnett at Manukau and Papakura Parents Centres Children’s Day.
Nelson District Parents Centre held a Family Fun Evening recently in conjunction with the Nelson Modellers Society (who run rides on miniature trains and boats.) The evening was in celebration of the society winning their ‘Family Friendly Awards’ which the Centre ran for the first time in 2013. Centre representative Bec McEwan said “The evening was a huge success with train rides, facepainting, fairies, and food and 300 people plus attended!”
Tegan, Kiera and Fairy Lou at Nelson District Parents Centre’s Family Fun Evening
Celebrating our volunteers Every month, in conjunction with Huggies products, Parents Centres New Zealand acknowledge the extraordinary contribution volunteers make to their communities through their local Parents Centre. To find out more about volunteering with Parents Centre visit www.parentscentre.org.nz/volunteers
constantly looking for opportunities to market Mana Parents Centre locally. It’s work that has been noticed by many, you are a real inspiration Brooke!
Volunteer of the Month: Brooke Fryer, Mana Parents Centre The committee says that when Brooke joined them “it was like she changed their sustenance of choice from petrol to rocket fuel!” There were many jobs that were in the ‘nice to have’ category, that just didn’t quite happen. Brooke took many of those ideas and just got them done. Some of Brooke’s achievements have been: taking over the Newsletter Editor role, expanding the newsletter and recruiting further advertising, instigating a great reciprocal relationship with PORSE and the Whitby Toy Library, organising car seat safety check clinics, successfully joining the Kiwiparent editorial board as a committee representative, masterminding a recent change of premises so the change was seamless and did not impact adversely on members, working to secure a new sponsor for first coffee group meets and
Volunteer of the Month Brooke Fryer with husband Barry and baby Isaac
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volunteers The lifeblood of the community Researchers, volunteering coordinators, and volunteers agree – volunteering is good for your mental health. After all, to "give" is one of the Five Ways to Wellbeing. Most people who give their time to communities and organisations find that volunteering doesn't just allow them to give back to others, but they get something out of it, too. Claire Teal, Programme Manager at Volunteering New Zealand, says that the most common motivation to volunteer that she hears is that people simply want to "give something back." Fiona Millar, Volunteer Coordinator at Global Volunteer Network agrees. "People realise the value of what they have, and want to spend time helping those less fortunate," she says. "We find that people who've lost their jobs are turning to volunteering to keep themselves connected and mentally healthy when times are hard," Claire reports, "and in the same vein young people who are looking for work after graduation are volunteering to develop their skills and do something positive with their time."
Volunteering increases life satisfaction Studies show that volunteering leads to increased happiness, irrespective of age or ethnicity. Spending time volunteering has also been shown to result in decreased levels of
depression, and those who volunteer are more likely to live longer. Other research shows that volunteering results in improved selfesteem and confidence, and gives people the opportunity to learn new skills. Volunteering allows people to find roles that have meaning and rewards that they may feel are missing from their lives. Because volunteering offers the opportunity to participate in regular, altruistic activity, these things have been shown to be important for most people's mental health. The resulting increase in overall lifesatisfaction is significant.
Volunteers come from all walks of life Anyone can volunteer – and those working at volunteer agencies report that the people who give their time to volunteer truly come from all demographics – from children to those who have long-since retired, from highly skilled professionals to people who have never had a job. Pauline Harper from Volunteer Wellington says who the diversity of people looking to volunteer is extraordinary. "We get volunteers from all walks of life, from people who are high-powered professionals to those who haven't got any work experience at all," she says. She sees several hundred people every year that can't work because of mental illness come to offer their time to help the community. "It's an important step to stay involved (or return to involvement) with the community," she says.
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Claire agrees. "For many people, especially if they have experience of mental illness, it can be a massive thing to seek a role in the first place. It can be scary and overwhelming to go into a new environment and meet new people, but contributing, making a difference, and getting positive feedback from the people you work with does wonders for people in terms of recovery." Volunteering isn't just good for individuals; it's good for us as a country. According to a study by the Sanders et al (2008), volunteering is a $9.8 billion industry – it adds a net value of $7 billion to the country's GDP. The same study reported that volunteer efforts translate into nearly 134,000 full-time equivalent workers in New Zealand. New Zealand has one of the highest rates of volunteering in the world, with 9.6% of the population participating in some form of volunteer work. The evidence is undeniable – volunteering is great for mental health, and for the wellbeing of individuals and communities. It's not just about helping those less fortunate – it's about being connected to communities and to the people in them.
Sophia Graham Sophia is the senior communications manager for the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand.
Five ways to wellbeing
Find out more
If you would like to volunteer in
your community, contact New
� Take Notice
Zealand Volunteering. They will put you in touch with your local
� Keep Learning
volunteering organisation so you
� Be Active
can find the role that's best for you. Alternatively, Global Volunteer
Network offers opportunities to
Dulin, L., Gavala, J., Stephens, C., Kostick, M., & McDonald, J. (2012). Volunteering predicts
volunteer in 18 different countries,
happiness among older Māori and non-Māori in the New Zealand health, work, and
in a diverse range of fields - from
retirement longitudinal study. Aging & Mental Health, 16(5), 617-624.
childcare to construction, from
Howlett, S. (2004). Volunteering and mental health: A literature review. Voluntary Action, 6(2), 55-72. Sanders, J., O'Brien, M., Tennant, M., Sokolowski, S. W., Salamon, L. M. (2008). The New
Zealand non-profit sector in comparative perspective. Wellington: Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector. Smith, K., & Dickson, G. (2011, December). Experiences and legacies of Rugby World Cup
conservation to community building. www.parentscentre.org.nz www.volunteeringnz.org.nz www.globalvolunteernetwork.org
2011 volunteer programme – summary report. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington.
Why I volunteer with Parents Centres Stacey McEvedy
President, Greymouth Parents Centre
Vice President, Onewa Parents Centre
The benefit of volunteering for me is being able to support/ provide for my community within an organisation that I’m proud of and passionate about. I choose to volunteer as it is part of giving back to my community and helps me along the way towards my own personal growth.
I grew up seeing my parents volunteer for community organisations and our local school. It was just something they did and I think that rubbed off on me as I’ve volunteered for a range of organisations since I was 16.
During my volunteering journey for Parents Centres so far I have grown as a person (there was lots of things I would never have done before I became a volunteer, including public speaking!), made some life-long friendships and gained a better understanding of the people in my community.
I joined the Onewa Parents Centre committee on Auckland’s North Shore in July 2011 when my first child was nine months old. The experience my husband and I had with Onewa Parents Centre through our childbirth education, Baby & You, coffee group and parenting hot topics had been so positive that I wanted to be involved and give something back. I initially came on board as the newsletter editor, which I did for two and a half years. In my pre-baby life I worked in corporate communications so the role allowed
me to use my past experience and skills. It also meant I could put my volunteer “work” on my CV so there wasn’t a big gap in my work experience while I was at home raising our family. But being on committee provided me with many more opportunities than just utilising my skills. I have met some amazing parents who are inspirational, dedicated and passionate about supporting expectant and new parents in our local community. Each and every person on committee is contributing to our goal of ensuring parents have access to education, support and information. I have also attended the volunteer symposium and regional meetings which have been great training opportunities. My children have also had opportunities they may not have had otherwise, including being in the Birkenhead Christmas parade which is an annual tradition for our committee, and they have also made friends with other committee children.
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the best of both worlds Jodine Lee volunteers in Wellington as the President of Johnsonville Plunket and has experienced her own ‘Plunket journey’ from being client to giving back to other parents, and using her skills while volunteering After working for six years in Wellington in Treaty Settlements and family violence/child abuse policy, Jodine moved to London where she built a career over several years as an IT project manager and business analyst. She returned to New Zealand whilst pregnant with her first child, Samuel, who was born in 2009 and she continues to work on and off part time for Child, Youth and Family National office. Jodine says that before her babies were born, she couldn’t volunteer because of her work commitments, but when she became a full-time mum she found that there were some aspects of her work that she missed. “I always wanted to volunteer,” explains Jodine. “I tell people that Plunket ‘saved my bacon’ when my first born was little! In 2009, I found myself moving from a full time career to caring for a three month old baby that fed every two hours (day and night!). The Karitane Nurse at the Family Centre was awesome. She gave me all the advice I needed to get my baby into a better sleeping pattern.
“I was SO grateful for this I decided that this was the organisation I wanted to give something back to. I love what a difference this service can make to the lives of mumslike-me. And it feels good to share the things I have learned with other parents” “Another thing I really like is the way that volunteering allows me to get my children involved from a very young age. My son is only four but he knows I work for Plunket. He might see a Plunket poster, or something about Plunket, and he knows that ’mummy works there’. My children understand that I give something back and they think it’s good.”
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Jodine has met the most amazing mums through Plunket. “We come from a whole range of different backgrounds so we might not have met if it hadn’t have been through our volunteer work. I find voluntary work less pressure than paid employment. People come together because they have a passion for a particular cause – we are very issue-focused. Because resources are scarce, I find the work more creative as we look for clever solutions – we are not as constrained as in the paid workforce. If the children get sick, you just put your voluntary work on hold, and go back to it when life returns to normal. “The great thing about volunteering is that I can keep my skills alive by taking on project work, I get to meet new people and bring my children along as well. It is the best of both worlds from my perspective!” �
Together, the best start for every child | Whanau awhina
photo competition Be in to win these great prizes! See pages 53â€“54 for more information.
PLUS The overall winning photo may be used as a cover shot for Kiwiparent
rules & conditions of entry 1. The contest is open to all Kiwiparent magazine and website readers.
7. Only photos with the following file types will be accepted: .jpg, tif, png, pdf, gif.
2. Photos must be submitted to: email@example.com
8. Entries for all categories will become the property of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc and PCNZ reserves the right to use any photos for publicity and promotion purposes.
3. Each email must contain only one photo. Any number of photos may be entered. 4. The category must be clearly stated in the subject line of the email and all contact details (name, address, phone number) must be in the body of the email. 5. The name on the file submitted should contain the surname of the person who took the photo (eg smith1.jpg). 6. Photos submitted should be no larger than 1mb. Please advise the file size of the original photo as winning photos may be eligible to be reproduced in the magazine.
9. The judgesâ€™ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 10. Prizes are not exchangeable or transferable for cash. 11. Entries must be received by 4pm on Friday, 3 October 2014. Winners will be notified by email or by phone, and the results of the competition will be published in the December/January issue of Kiwiparent.
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Category 2 Touch perfect We all know how tactile babies and children are, so Bio-Oil would love to see photos that illustrate the importance of touch. Capture that precious moment of connectedness with your child and be in to win one of four fabulous Bio-Oil prize packs. Bio-Oil is a specialist skincare oil that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. It is also effective for aging and dehydrated skin. Each prize pack contains: 1x Bio-Oil Towel
1x Bio-Oil Flexible Water Bottle 1x Bio-Oil Mug 1x 60ml bottle of Bio-Oil 1x 200ml bottle Bio-Oil
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Be in to win these great prizes! Category 1 Pregnancy and birth
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Photograph your family’s treasured moments during your pregnancy and in those early months with your precious new baby.
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52 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years
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What little one doesn’t love playing in water? Send us the most gorgeous pic of your baby or child during bath time or enjoying water play and be in to win 1 of 10 Johnson’s® prize packs.
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Capture your little angel ‘sleeping like a baby’ to be in to win this fabulous pack of sleep solutions from the sleep specialists ‘The Sleep Store’.
Kiwi families love getting out and about with their kids to enjoy our amazing scenery. Send us photos of your colourful children making a vibrant splash on the outdoors and be eligible to win a Phil&teds escape carrier - in limited edition black.
The prize pack includes a cosy sleeping bag made from merino wool and cotton, and two comforters designed to be breathable, soothing and snuggly for baby. It also contains a Zen Swaddle with gently weighted zones designed to mimic being cradled is super relaxing for baby. The useful pop-up blackout blinds help keep the daylight out of baby’s room, and the Happiest Baby DVD has proven tips and techniques that help to calm a crying baby and relax them for better sleep. 1x Woolbabe Duvet Weight Sleeping bag in Toffee Apple 2x Cuski comforters 1x Nested Bean Zen Swaddle
This strong and compact baby carrier has more features than a craggy face! Extra padding and breathability for maximum comfort , while the child harness cradles and secures. There is great storage capacity and a hydration bladder pocket as well as a zip-off day pack. The escape carrier also has a sunhood with removable wind/rain cover. Just perfect for heading out doors! Prize worth $299 www.phil&teds.com
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Food labels tell you what you are eating so you can choose what to include in your diet. They also indicate any precautions you may need to take, such as storage or cooking instructions. A food label also contains information that is required by law.
on the food label? All food sold in this country must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code for labelling. The Ministry for Primary Industries administers the Code which covers labels among other things, so that there is information available regarding the safety and suitability of the food you are about to eat. Labels may also indicate any precautions you need to take, – things like storage or cooking instructions, date marks and whether it contains allergens.
What must be on a food label? Nearly every food product requires a label, with varying degrees of detail. A food label must be in English (other languages can be used in addition to English, as long as they do not contradict the information). In general, these items must be shown on a food label: The name of the food The lot identification, which identifies the premises where the food was packaged and/or prepared and the batch it came from, to assist should there be a food recall (this may also be the date mark) The name and address of the supplier and business in New Zealand or Australia who can be contacted if more information about the product is needed
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Mandatory warning statements, advisory statements and declarations to identify certain ingredients/substances that may trigger allergies or be of concern Ingredient list in descending order of in-going weight including any food additives, such as preservatives, flavours and colours, which are identified by their function and name or code number (e.g. Thickener (pectin) or Thickener (440)) Date marking is needed for most packaged food with a shelf life of less than two years, most commonly these are ‘Use By’ and ‘Best Before’ dates Directions for use and storage (where needed) to ensure the food will keep for the period indicated by the date mark, and/or how you should store the food to stop it spoiling or reduce the growth of pathogens that may cause illness Nutrition Information Panel to allow you to compare the quantities of seven key nutrients per serving and per 100g or 100ml of liquid Percentage labelling of characterising ingredient Net weight or volume.
Food made and packaged where it is sold, or food packaged in front of you Ready-to-eat food delivered to order (eg, pizza) Whole or cut fresh fruit and vegetables in transparent packages Food sold at a fundraising event Food in an inner package not designed for sale without the outer package.
Ingredient list The ingredient list shows any ingredient in the food, including added water, food additives and compound ingredients (those ingredients that are themselves made up of two or more ingredients e.g., chocolate chips or icing).
Code numbers of food additives The three-digit codes in the ingredient list are unique international identification numbers for food additives. Food additives are natural or synthetic chemicals added during manufacture to extend the product’s shelf life, or make the product more appealing. The code numbers save space and avoid confusion over similar names.
Which foods don’t require a full food label? Certain foods are exempt from these labelling requirements, which means some or all of the label components can be left out. However, specific health and safety information must be displayed nearby or be available if you ask for it, for example if food contains caffeine or substances that can trigger allergic reactions.
Additives are listed according to their function and name or code, e.g., Thickener (pectin) or Thickener (440). The Ministry for Primary Industries has a free booklet Identifying Food Additives will help you interpret which additives are used in the foods you most commonly buy. If you need to know more about a specific additive (e.g., whether it’s derived from plant or animal origin), the manufacturer’s contact details are on the label.
Date marks and storage instructions
Foods that don’t require any label at all include:
A date mark indicates the end of a food product’s shelf life, or when it may start to deteriorate. Most packaged foods with a shelf life of up to two years require a date mark, except for individual portions of ice cream, or for food products in small packages (such as chewing gum) where there is no food safety concern.
Small food packets such as chewing gum Foods for catering Alcoholic beverages.
Breastfeeding help - by mothers for mothers La Leche League is about helping you understand and respond to the unique needs of your baby, and meeting and being supported by a wonderful network of women. It is about learning to a be a mother and cherishing the mother-baby bond. It is the human touch that no book or clinic can offer.
CONTACT US: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.facebook.com/LLLNZ www.lalecheleague.org.nz
Nutrition information Servings per package: (insert number of servings) Serving size: g (or mL or other units as appropriate)
What do the different date marks mean? The ‘Use By’ date indicates how long your food should keep safely if the storage instructions are followed. You should not buy or consume food when the ‘Use By’ date has expired and it is illegal to sell food with an expired ‘Use By’ date. The ‘Best Before’ date indicates when the quality of the product may begin to change. It is not a safety issue. Food can be sold beyond its ‘Best Before’ date provided it is still fit for consumption. The ‘Baked On/Baked For’ dates are used on bread products with a shelf life of less than seven days. Safety-related storage instructions are required on certain food products in conjunction with date marks to guide your handling of the food so that its safety or quality isn’t jeopardised before the date mark expires. Pathogens such as salmonella, campylobacter and listeria can grow to levels that may cause illness if your food is not stored correctly. These instructions may also indicate how to store the food once the package is opened (e.g., ‘Refrigerate after opening’).
Allergies and warning statements Because allergies to certain food proteins (allergens) can be life threatening, the eight most common food allergens must be declared on a food label, or information about them should be available at the point
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Average quantity per Serving
Average quantity per 100g (or 100mL)
Fat, total – saturated fat
Carbohydrate – sugars
(other nutrients, or biologically active substances)
g, mg, (or g, mg, (or other units other units as as appropriate) appropriate)
of sale. Labelling allows you to avoid those foods that may be of concern. Allergens must be declared if they are added as an ingredient, part of a compound ingredient, an additive, a processing aid or component of these. The eight most common allergens that must be shown on a label are: Cereals containing gluten and their products (eg, wheat, rye, barley, oats and spelt) Crustacea (e.g., crayfish, crabs, prawns) and their products Egg and egg products Fish and fish products Milk and milk products Tree nuts and sesame seeds and their products Peanuts and soybeans, and their products Added sulphites in concentrations of 10mg/kg or more. A warning statement is required for products that contain royal jelly, because any allergic reaction can be severe. Advisory statements are required on some foods that contain less well-known allergens, or may be a health risk to particular population groups, or contain substances that don’t need to be listed in the ingredients but can pose a risk to some sensitive individuals.
Advisory statements are required on: foods that contain bee pollen, aspartame, quinine, guarana, phytosterols, phytosterol esters, and propolis low fat milks (including soy and rice milk), kola beverages containing caffeine, unpasteurised egg products, and unpasteurised milk and milk products. When a complete label is not required (e.g., on takeaway food), if the food contains common allergens or substances that require an advisory/warning statement, the information must be displayed alongside the food, or be available if you ask for it. The statement “May contain traces of xxx” is not required by law, but is often used by manufacturers for foods that may unintentionally contain traces of allergens from cross-contamination. It is up to you to decide whether this statement has any merit.
Nutrition Information Panels – what are they for?
Alcohol content (standard drinks) The number of standard drinks a beverage contains, or the amount of alcohol content by volume must be shown on the label. (One standard drink means the amount of that beverage which contains 10 grams of ethanol, measured at 20°C.) For example, a 750mL bottle of wine of 12.5% alcohol by volume would be labelled as ‘Contains approximately 7.4 standard drinks’. Because the alcohol content itself can be a significant source of energy (kJ/Calories), it is still possible without a NIP to calculate the minimum energy level based on the number of standard drinks the beverage contains. One standard drink contributes approximately 300 kJ (about 70 calories) to your diet. � Find out more from www.foodsmart.govt.nz Download Identifying Food Additives from: www. foodsmart.govt.nz/elibrary/food-additives.pdf
The seven key nutrient components of food are listed in the Nutrition Information Panel (NIP). This helps you compare products for the overall energy (kilojoules or calories), the level of saturated fat, sugar and sodium, among others. These quantities are shown per serving (with an indication of what this might be, e.g., two crackers), and per 100 grams (g) or millilitres (mL). The quantities must be expressed as an average, maximum or minimum. Some food packages don’t require a NIP, for example, if they are very small (like chewing gum) or have minimal nutrition (such as herbs, spices, herbal infusions, tea or coffee, vinegar, salt, water or jam setting compounds). Alcoholic beverages (including kits for producing them) also don’t require a NIP.
Nutrition claims or active ingredients When there are claims made about specific nutrients or biologically active ingredients, their levels should also be declared with the appropriate quantity measures. For example, if there is a claim about the calcium content of a food, the NIP must also show the level of calcium present.
Alcoholic beverages and foods containing alcohol Alcoholic beverages and foods containing alcohol have many of the same labelling requirements as regular food. However beer, fruit wine, wine, and spirits, including liqueurs, don’t require an ingredient list, nutrition information panel, or percentage labelling.
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baby balance… harmony with homeopathy Babies – they are always so small… but so strong! Parenting tiny babies can be a time of confusing signals, unknowns and emotional ups and downs for the whole family. Here, homeopathy can be truly magical! Babies crying all night (and all day) turn into quiet little lambs. Horrendous eczema can just ‘evaporate.’ Nappy rash, hormone spots and constipation all do very well with homeopathy. Visiting a homeopath in these early days as your baby adjusts
to the outside world can be a positive, supportive experience. There is nothing worse than a constantly upset baby in the house and homeopathy is one of the most natural ways to assist in settling your new family member, thus contributing to calm in your household. It is often said that homeopaths look at health much like the layers of an onion – the centre being the place we aspire to reconnect with; the place of best health. These layers of the onion (or rings) are the contributing factors that lead to an individual being out of balance. Years ago, we used babies as an example of near perfect health – the
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place we all aspired to get back to. Nowadays, many babies already have a lot to contend with by the time they are snuggled into their first woolly singlet. Even with the very best of love and intentions, modern life produces a range of ‘causative factors’ that homeopaths believe subtly contribute to the imbalance of the child. Modern research points to the fact that genetic inheritance not only includes physical and disease characteristics passed down through the generations but also tendencies to hold stress in the tissues. Examples such as ongoing intergenerational Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) have been
used in some studies to illustrate that behaviours of war victims have been seen in grandchildren of the sufferers. This sort of emotional connection has been a long held belief amongst homeopaths but has only recently been validated with scientific evidence.1 Research continues to explore emotional disorders potentially passed down to babies from stress e.g. holocaust and 9/11 survivors. This new wave of thought gives us a clue as to how we might help to calm an unsettled child. A multitude of situations may contribute to the arrival of a baby, to a greater or lesser degree also depending on family susceptibility. Consider some of the following scenarios that often occur before and during pregnancy: The health, wellbeing and diet of both partners prior to conception Difficulty in conception resulting in stress, anxiety, guilt for one or both partners Fertility treatments, especially drugs and their side effects Morning sickness and the resulting diet of the pregnant woman as well as the physical stress of vomiting Regular ultrasound scans2 Ongoing diet during pregnancy (a major topic of its own) Drug use – prescription and recreational Environmental toxicity – overexposure to EMFs, noise, chemicals, sprays Sleep patterns and relaxation levels of the mother
Shocks and stresses occurring during pregnancy The birth – difficult, speedy, medical induction, caesarian and the resulting reaction of both mother and baby Drugs during birth and after Difficulties in establishing feeding These are just a few of the factors that contribute to the baby’s state of wellbeing. They are not outlined to trigger feelings of guilt in parents, but rather to create an awareness of possible causations in an ‘unsettled’ baby. Homeopaths look at each child as an individual and one of the most helpful things in selecting a remedy or remedies to assist the wellbeing of a baby is assessing factors they have been exposed to prior to and during their birth process. The great news is that appropriate remedies have a resonant effect when individualised and can assist in lessening the trauma held in the DNA, which may result in unsettled behaviours. The gentle action of a professionally prescribed remedy can contribute to calm, helping unravel layers of stress in the tiny baby, enabling their systems to concentrate on growth rather than continually
having to overcome obstacles. A professional homeopath will also look at the ongoing needs of the mother, as keeping her health to an optimum level is paramount to family wellness. Other family members can also benefit from treatment too, as the arrival of a new baby changes family dynamics, which may need addressing. Let your time with your new baby be a memorable phase in your life. Don’t suffer it out if your baby seems out of sorts. Treat yourself to professional homeopathic help, which will benefit the long-term wellness of your baby as they grow. A local homeopath becomes a trusty friend, assisting with ailments as they arise and individualising treatment to suit your family and your philosophy. � For a registered homeopath in NZ visit: www.homeopathy.co.nz 1. http://www.nature.com/neuro/journal/v17/ n1/abs/nn.3594.html NATURE NEUROSCIENCE | ARTICLE: Parental olfactory experience influences behavior and neural structure in subsequent generations, Brian G Dias & Kerry J Ressler 2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/ pubmed/16949653 Quantification of risk from fetal exposure to diagnostic ultrasound. Church CC1, Miller MW.
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.
power planning Do you want to make a decent dent in your mortgage? Get retirement savings underway? Pay off your credit card? Upgrade your car? Take a family holiday? Financial goal setting is a smart choice, can be very rewarding and can help you meet your personal goals – so here are some ideas to help get you on the right foot financially.
Ready, set, goal! Having your own financial goals is an important step to working out how to use your money smarter and achieve those goals. It’s about putting you in charge of your money and your life. The first step is working out where you want to be financially and your priorities. Everyone’s goals are different: it might be specific, like buying a home, a car or a holiday, or more general, such as building a retirement nest egg. Whatever it is, if you're clear about your destination, you'll have a greater chance of getting there.
Putting pen to paper When it comes to setting your goals, be realistic and write them down – I read somewhere that goals not written down are only dreams... an interesting thought. Writing down your goals and reviewing them regularly helps keep things on track so it’s definitely worth putting pen to paper. It’s also important to ensure your goals are SMART (you might remember this one from school!) – Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic and Timely. There’s no doubt that goals are more achievable when they’re specific and realistic – for example, aiming to save a set amount each pay (whether it’s $20 or $200) is more achievable than simply 'aiming to save.' My family and I like to take a holiday each year so we make sure we put $50 away each pay – it certainly makes the holiday more enjoyable!
Short, medium, long . . . In terms of timeframe, it’s helpful to figure out if you’re setting a short, medium or long-term goal so it’s a good idea to ask yourself:
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� Where do you want to be this time next year? � Are you planning to save for a deposit for a house or set up a business in the next five years? � Is there a longer term goal you're planning for like children's education or a holiday house? What’s the difference between these goals? Essentially short-term goals focus on the immediate future and may include making extra repayments on your credit card, starting a savings plan or saving for a holiday. Medium-term goals consider the next three to seven years, for example paying off personal loans or other smaller debts, upgrading your car or buying a house. And long-term goals look further into the future, like growing retirement savings or paying off the mortgage.
Taking action Once your SMART financial goals are set, it’s time to take action! Consider the steps you need to take to reach your goals – for example if your goal is to pay a certain amount off your mortgage in a set period, your action could be to change to fortnightly repayments of at least half the amount you’re paying each month
– this will pay off your mortgage faster and save on interest; or you could increase your repayments by a small amount that won’t significantly impact your weekly living costs. Alternatively, if your goal is to pay off your credit card, make sure you put a set amount aside each pay.
Review your progress regularly on a date you’ve noted in your diary or calendar. When you achieve your goal, make sure you celebrate – you deserve it! Then it’s time set yourself a new challenge.
Think of your financial goals, your lifestyle and the steps you need to put in place to achieve those goals.
With the power of financial planning and setting SMART financial goals, you’ll be well on the way to
achieving your goals, whether it’s a holiday, paying a specific amount off the mortgage or, personally, that fabulous new handbag (strangely my husband doesn’t agree on this one)! � Source: Davidson Institute, an education initiative of Westpac Banking Corporation www.davidsoninstitute.edu.au
Kari Adams Westpac New Zealand’s free Managing Your Money workshops and online tutorial are here to help you and to help you help your children. Visit www.westpac.co.nz and click on the ‘Your Money and Tailored Packs’ tab for helpful tools including saving and budgeting calculators and online tutorials. You can also check out if there is a workshop coming up near you. There’s even an online ‘Kids’ space’ seminar that includes some cool online games to get kids thinking about money and how to save. This information is a guide only and doesn’t take into account your WE S 1 4 4 4 personal K i w i _financial p a r esituation n t A . or p goals. df Pa ge
2 9 / 0 6 / 1 2 ,
Getting back to work? We can help it work for you. Now you can balance your career with your family and help them both grow. We’ve got a variety of exciting career opportunities available, including roles with flexible hours to suit your busy lifestyle. With positions available on a casual, part time or full time basis, there’s sure to be something to suit you. If you have the drive and passion to deliver a great customer experience, and want to join a team of people that are passionate about helping Kiwi’s get ahead, then we want to hear from you.
Interested? Check out westpac.co.nz/careers for all your options.
Westpac New Zealand Limited
1 1 : 4 4
Kari is a part-time working mum to a twoyear old girl with another on the way. As Senior Sustainability Manager at Westpac, Kari is responsible for programmes relating to financial education, social AM and affordable housing and diversity.
Readers birth story
scene By Pip Hiles
When I went to bed on Saturday night, the 12th of February I had no idea that the next day I would have my baby. No idea. Although I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions for a few weeks. When I woke up at 6am to sort out two-year-old Jimmy’s bottle and felt a contraction I couldn’t believe I was “on”. I was 39 weeks pregnant. (Strangely I had also delivered Jimmy at 39 weeks and had my first contraction with Jimmy at 6 am as well.) I had decided to have a homebirth with this bubba as Jimmy had come pretty fast (20 minutes after I had got to the hospital). By 7am I was up and pacing, googling pre-labour signs. I didn’t want to get everyone excited and it be false (I love living in denial). By 8am I had called my mum to come and collect Jimmy. The contractions were needing concentration and more intense than the pre-labour stuff with Jimmy – they were about ten minutes apart. At 9am Jimmy was collected and I began to think maybe I was going to have the baby today. I called my midwife Helen Cussins who had just got home after delivering another baby and was going to get a few hours sleep in. Her husband would drop off a pool to us as he was on his way out. I chose some baby clothes for the baby to wear and started firing instructions at hubby Chris. “Is there anyone else coming?” he said, I guess a little anxiously. “Just the two midwives,” I replied. Just then my sister Ange rang to check in and asked Chris if he wanted company. “Yes please,” was his reply. Ange missed Jimmy’s birth as she was in the car park of Wellington Women’s applying her eye make up when he was born (2:20am!). Half an hour later, whilst I was in the shower Ange arrived – newspaper in hand (in anticipation for the long day ahead). It was 10am. Contractions were still ten minutes apart and increasing in intensity – I was needing to concentrate through them, breathing away and clutching at the wall. Once I was out of the shower I started my labour rituals – pacing the floor, drinking lots of water and resting in between, doing some breathing/vocal exercises to let
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go of the contraction (thanks drama school). I get quite loud and primal. I also hate to be on display so I asked Ange and Chris to leave me to it but be on standby. Ange started emptying the dishwasher. Things were intensifying quickly and I was calm and going with it. Contractions were speeding up and sometimes could last 40–50 seconds and sometimes last ten seconds but by 10:30am they were coming thick and fast and then I felt the head drop down, and I got the urge to push and I thought “Man! I’m about to have this baby!” We decided to call Helen who said she would come now; Chris said I was fine and all was well. I don’t think he realised the baby was actually coming as it was happening so fast. I then requested quite assertively to open my shower curtain for the floor and I knelt and began pushing. This was fairly full on and I was nervous as Helen wasn’t there. I was squeezing Chris’ arm and trying to be brave in between contractions although I was scared. I could hear him wincing a bit when things got a bit tough, and he and Ange were really calm giving me lots of fantastic encouragement. I just wanted Helen there.
Anyway once Ange knew the placenta didn’t need to be addressed until later on I think she felt OK (she had three babies of her own and has seen a few deliveries). I kept asking her to catch the baby and she assured me she would. At one stage I got her to get a mirror to show her the baby was coming – couldn’t see too much just a slight opening. I was trying to verbalise what was happening inside me which was difficult.
It was so nice having Helen to assist me into my chair where I held and fed and gazed at John. I did have a big cry as well, and then a beautiful cup of tea and a chocolate bar.
Anyway … a few more contractions and then Ange said she could see the head. I remembered from Jim’s birth to blow raspberries in between contractions to avoid tearing, which I was doing. I was telling myself lots of brave thoughts (“You can do this!’’) and then one big involuntary push and SWISH, out he came into Ange’s capable and ready hands! He was here.
Promoting and celebrating positive birth experiences!
Phew. Amazing. I hid my face in my hands as I was in shock. I couldn’t talk. It had been so fast. Ange so lovingly wrapped him up, Chris was in tears and it was beautiful. Then Helen arrived – and so good to see her, she could help reposition me so I could have a hold and sort out the placenta. It was a glorious sunny day and the curtains were pulled and it was an awesome scene. I was happy and relieved and shocked at the speed. We called John’s time of arrival 10:50am. Helen called it 30 minutes of established labour. Ange never got to open her newspaper. The pool never made it inside and the dishwasher remained full.
It was everything I had hoped for and more, John’s birth. �
Kiwiparent welcomes stories from readers about their births. We recognise every birth is unique and special, and we encourage informed decision making which empowers parents to make choices that are right for them and their families. Liz Hibberd, Childbirth Education Manager, Parents Centres New Zealand Inc
Contact the editor with your submission: email@example.com
â€Ś parents demanding extra protection for their precious cargo
Baby on the Move Car Seat technician checking installation at a Parents Centre child restraint check in Porirua. Photo courtesy of Kapi Mana News.
64 kiwiparent â€“ supporting kiwi parents through the early years
They say a picture tells a thousand words. Just prior to baby Prince George’s visit in April, Plunket New Zealand published a photo of his perfectly installed forward facing carseat. In doing so a golden opportunity was missed to internationally promote extended rear facing and its safety benefits. Now before I cop the inevitable “the Palace asked for the seat to be installed this way!” let’s look at the background and the recent surge in support for extended rear facing of child restraints. It wasn’t so long ago, in September 2010 to be exact, that Onewa and Christchurch Parents Centres attempted to pass a remit at our national conference recommending extended rear facing of child restraints. This remit failed to get support from Parents Centres across the country, amid much discussion of it being ‘over the top’ and ‘unnecessary’.
restraint which enables parents to rear face their babies for longer. In other words there are an increasing number of child restraints that now accommodate higher weight/ height limits for rear facing so you can protect your precious cargo for longer. Plunket have also changed their recommendations to rear face until the age of two years. With knowledge spreading parents buying habits have been changing. Many are requesting extended rear facing seats, something which only a few years ago was not a common practise.
Do you think the law should go further towards protecting our precious cargo? Write to your local MP, Minister of Transport and Minister of Health and ask them to champion or to support a law change. Join online discussion groups and share information. Join your local Parents Centre committee and have your voice heard!
Around this time rear facing of child restraints became national news when a policeman ticketed a mum for having her three-year-old rear facing in their family car. In March 2011, the American Academy of Paediatrics changed their recommendations to supporting extended rear facing until the age of two. It was a bold move based on the increasing body of research and science of how much safer it is for infants whose heads are larger and heavier in proportion to their body. The Academy agreed that the evidence was conclusive: babies’ ‘top heaviness’ means they are far more susceptible to injury, particularly head, neck and spinal injuries. At the time we ran newsletters to our database and a major article in Kiwiparent about the science and the new recommendations. It got a lukewarm response at the time, with grumblings of it being another recommendation that ‘piles just another heap of guilt’ on parents. This was understandable as the reality in 2011 was that many existing child restraints could not meet the extended time recommendations. Over the past few years imported car seats have improved and today it is much easier to buy or hire a child
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So, while Plunket may have missed a golden opportunity for continuing to educate on the safety benefits of extended rear facing, it’s certainly been heartening to see such powerful support in parent communities for it. Social media and chatrooms exploded with comments critical of Plunket for not leading by example. Once again we see that knowledge is incredibly empowering for parents! It’s a glaring example where New Zealand legislation sadly lacks behind international recommendations and widely-held parenting practices. Let’s face it, we have our children in child restraints for one reason – to keep them safe. We know that rear facing is so much safer. In my view we are overdue for a law change New Zealand to ensure that we all keep our most precious cargo, including visiting Royals, as safe as we possibly can.
The views in this article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Parents Centres New Zealand.
Eleanor Cater Eleanor Cater is Brand Manager at Parents Centres New Zealand, a freelance writer and mother of three.
Rear facing for longer – the research and the recommendations Over the past decade widespread research has shown that rear-facing a child in their restraint is five times safer for babies and small children than forward facing.
So why is it so much safer? It’s largely to do with a child’s growing body and skeletal vulnerabilities. Babies’ heads are typically 25% of their body weight which makes them very ‘top heavy’.
Further, the skeleton of a young child is soft and still developing. This ‘top heaviness’ and skeletal softness means they are far more susceptible to injury in a crash, particularly head, neck and spinal injuries. By far the most dangerous car accidents are frontal collisions. They are the accidents with the highest speeds and the greatest forces. In a frontal collision, the child is flung forward at enormous force, and caught by the harness. This puts extreme stress on the child’s neck, the spine, and the internal organs. If a child is in a rear facing child restraint they are flung into the back of the seat and the force of impact is distributed across the whole seat. The neck, spine and internal organs are not subjected to anything like the full impact.
I’ll never forget an interview I held several years ago with the mother of a 20-month-old who was in a car which was involved in a serious crash. Her car seat was forward facing and the force of the crash almost had her ‘internally decapitated’ (her mother’s words and a horrific thought!) The little girl now faces years of treatment for her serious spinal and neck injuries. Scandinavian children are rear facing until they are four to five years old, which has resulted in a much lower number of children injured or dead in car accidents compared with other countries. Typically in societies where rear facing is normalised children accept it as how they travel in cars and death and injury rates are much lower.
At Parents Centre we know rearfacing is the safest way for a child to travel – but don't take our word for it, do your own research! There are many websites with great information about the benefits of rear-facing, see the links below. www.plunket.org.nz/your-child/ safety/car-safety/stage-1-rearfacing-car-seats – questions and answers section. Plunket recommends rear facing until at least 2 years of age. www.babyonthemove.co.nz /Car-Seat-Safety
American Academy of Pediatrics www.aap.org British Medical Journal www.bmj.com Further information about approved standards for child restraints and a list of certified child restraint technicians who can provide advice and installation can be found at: www.nzta.govt.nz/childrestraints
www.childrestraints.co.nz /rearfacing.php www.rearfacingdownunder.com
Rearward facing car seats are safer. Introducing the Britax Max-Way and Britax Multi-Tech II
Rearward facing car seats for children from approximately 9 months to 6 years (9kg - 25kg). The MAX-WAY is a compact seat, (rearward facing only) allowing more room in the front and back of the vehicle for other passengers. The MULTI-TECH II can be used rearward or forward facing, and also converts to a booster.
Freephone 0800 222 966 www.babyonthemove.co.nz
Do you want to see what the international experts say? Search these websites below:
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celebrate mid-winter People have celebrated reaching the mid-winter milestone for thousands of years. The festivities of feasting, fires and ritual offerings were specially designed to mark the beginning of the return of the sun and longer hours of daylight occurring once the shortest day was reached. Just as the northern hemisphere prepares for spring and new growth on the first of January during its New Year celebrations, six months later, Matariki is our time to mark the movement from one year to the next in New Zealand. So, why donâ€™t you plan to mark the coldest, wintriest time of year by celebrating with a Matariki themed evening or hold a Kiwi midwinter Christmas party? I hope you enjoy these wintry photos of my children Teela, Johnny and Hazel and enjoy making my decadent celebratory chocolate cake!
Celebrate with a midwinter Christmas
year around about the winter solstice when we have
A uniquely kiwi tradition, midwinter Christmas gives
friends and family and warm up with a great company
us the chance to celebrate Christmas-themed social
and great food!
events with a real wintery theme.
Generally celebrated during the coldest time of the the shortest day (this year on June 22) midwinter Christmas is a great chance to get together with
3 layer Chocolate, Banana and Custard Cake with Meringue frosting I had a few ripe bananas left in my fruit bowl and didn't want them to go to waste, and typical me, couldn't just make a simple banana cake! I had to try something different! So, I searched the internet for inspiration and found a recipe on http://www.theglobeandmail.com/
that I knew I had to try. Here is my yummy creation along with a recipe for you to try, it’s just right for cheering up the longest night of winter! Enjoyed with a nice cranberry fruit tea :-)
Step 1 – Make the cakes Ingredients
A banana mashed
1 ½ cups self raising flour
1 cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa
½ cup plain yoghurt
1 tsp baking soda
I tsp vanilla essence
½ cup boiling water
Method Preheat oven to 180ºC. Beat together butter and sugar, add egg and mix well. Mix in yoghurt and vanilla essence and then banana and sifted dry ingredients. Stir through baking soda dissolved in hot water. Pour mixture into a greased, lined cake pan (22 cm). Bake for 30–40 minutes until cake tests cooked. NB I actually made two cakes and cut them in half once cooled but only used three of the layers for this cake.
Step two – Make the frosting Ingredients
1 egg yolk
¾ cup of sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 heaped tablespoons allpurpose flour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 whole egg
½ cup butter, softened 2 tbs icing sugar
Method In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar and flour together. Beat in the whole egg and egg yolk. Add the milk. Mix well. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Place over a medium heat and whisk while cooking until mixture begins to boil and thickens. Take off the heat and leave to cool completely. In another bowl beat the butter and icing sugar together until well combined. Add the cooled custard mixture to the butter mixture. Beat on high for 5 to 7 minutes until thick and spreadable. Set aside.
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Step 3 – Putting the cake together Ingredients 2 large or 3 small ripe bananas 1 tbs lemon juice
Method Thinly slice the bananas and coat with lemon juice. Line the edges of a serving plate or cake stand with baking paper (it helps keep the plate clean). Place one of the cake layers in the paper and top with a thick layer of custard. Top the custard with half the banana slices. Top bananas with more custard and set the second cake layer on top. Then add the final layer of the cake on top of the custard. Cover the entire cake with the custard frosting. Set cakes aside while you make the meringue.
Step 5 – Decorate the cake Method
1 pinch cream of tartar
Coat the entire cake with meringue. Apply texture to the cake as desired. Add some banana chips to the bottom of the cake if you like and some pretty sprinkles on top. Remove the baking paper from the plate. If you prefer, you can brown the meringue with a kitchen torch.
1 cup egg whites (from 5 or 6 eggs)
1 cup icing sugar
Step 4 – Make the meringue
Method In a large bowl, whip the egg whites until foamy with an electric hand mixer. Add cream of tartar and beat on medium speed until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and gradually beat in the sugar until the whites are glossy and hold stiff peaks.
Kelly Stone Although she has been practicing law for many years, Kelly’s true passions are spending quality time with her three adorable children and photography. She shoots what she loves, capturing those special and unique moments that she sees and feels in her heart. She enjoys learning new skills, appreciates her family, is thankful for her good friends, loves chatting openly and honestly to friends over a good cup of coffee, going for walks, and relaxing on the deck at home watching her children play.
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