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the first love affair – Tiny tots' transitional toys

nothing to be ashamed of – Talking to children about sex

hey Dad, are you ok? – Adjusting to being a new Dad

butterfly moments – Amazing milestones


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The magazine of Parents Centres New Zealand Inc

Parenting tips • Childbirth • Family finances • Breastfeeding • Lifestyle • Family health

finding what

worked for us

When my children were young I used to wonder what I was doing wrong. Their eczema was so bad, that every day was a struggle. They were so itchy at night, and their sheets were bloody by morning. We tried absolutely everything to try to ease their symptoms - from using corticosteroid creams and applying emollient moisturisers five times a day, to altering their diet, pulling up carpets and buying specialist bedding. No matter what we tried, nothing seemed to work. A turning point came for us, when a close relative recommended we try Aveeno's oatmeal products. Within days we noticed their symptoms had eased. The moisturisers helped control their eczema, almost completely getting rid of the itchiness.

As a mum, for me it was the Holy Grail that worked for our children. Layla is now eight and Kiaran is six – they can manage their own eczema with regular moisturiser and only use steroid cream when needed. I want to cry when I look at pictures of how bad their eczema used to be. Aveeno oatmeal products might not work for everyone; but they certainly worked for us. 

Taslim Parsons, Wellington

Symptoms of eczema

Itchiness Excessive skin dryness Impaired skin barrier due to dehydration Redness and rash High sensitivity to irritants, allergens

Kiaran at 18 months Kiaran and Layla today

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Photo Credit: Courtesy mokopuna |

Mya Simpson

Special Features


The first love affair

Finding what worked for us........................................... 1

Kerstin Kramar............................................................................. 8–11

Letters to the Editor............................................................. 4–5 Product page............................................................................ 6–7

Beat the bed-wetting blues............................................... 12–15 Understanding vaccines and immunisation Dr Nikki Turner............................................................................. 16–21

The first three months of pregnancy......................... 24–25 Express delivery Lisa Manning................................................................................ 30–32

Straight from nature – My Foodbag kitchen......... 34–35 A new life with the help of a midwife....................... 22–23 Adjusting to being a new dad Brendan Smith............................................................................. 26–29

What’s for dinner? ............................................................... 36–38 Shaping our future – The Healthy Heart Awards........................................... 46–49 Kiwiparent Photo Competition..................................... 50–53 Butterfly moments Kelly Dugan................................................................................... 66–68

Parents Centre Pages........................................................... 39–43 Tough but worth it! Kylie Matthews............................................................................ 44–45

Setting the scene for informed decision-making............................................... 54 Help for busy mothers Judy Coldicott................................................................................ 58–59

Sowing the seeds Kate van Praagh.......................................................................... 60–61

Kia Ora – Welcoming new migrants......................... 62–65 Winners from the last issue............................................. 73 Find a Centre........................................................................... 74 Directory page......................................................................... 75

Nothing to be ashamed of

Shopping Cart......................................................................... 76–79

– Talking to children about sexuality........................ 70–72

Giveaways.................................................................................. 80


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years



Haere mai! Welcome! The first love affair We cannot spoil babies by meeting their basic needs, in fact it is better to do so if we want a baby who is settled, placid, and sleeps well. So comforting your baby is key and ultimately teaching them how to soothe themselves is an important part of growing independence. What can help something that comforts them when they feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Understanding vaccination and immunisation Children are exposed to thousands of germs, some of which are potentially harmful to their health. Immunisation is the most effective way to help protect your child from many preventable diseases, ranging from rotavirus through to whooping cough and measles. But every parent and caregiver has the right to make informed decisions regarding their children's immunisations.

Nothing to be ashamed of Everyone has a story about how they found out about sex – and it’s usually hilarious, embarrassing or both! While sex is no longer the taboo subject it once was, talking to children about sexuality is something that many parents still struggle with.

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

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

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

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


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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

Over thirty years ago, my husband and I took our baby, three suitcases and a whole lot of optimism and left South Africa to make a fresh start in New Zealand. Our reasons for leaving were complex and compelling – suffice it to say that they were significant enough to uproot us from the security of all we knew and loved and travel to the other side of the world in search of a place where we could raise our family in a way that allowed us to live out our values. I still remember those early months after arriving in Auckland in the early 1980s with an 18-month-old and a new baby on the way. Overwhelmingly, we were so delighted to be here, that I recall far more positives than negatives. It was little things that caught us by surprise – familiar fruit and vegetables called by unfamiliar names, so much greenery, so many sheep, and houses made from wood to name a few. Some things still make us laugh. I remember the challenge we had in getting used to intersections with traffic circles instead of robots (yes, traffic lights were called robots in South Africa – this gave rise to several hilarious complicated conversations when we first arrived and asked for directions). There was also the bewildering issue of what Kiwis meant when they asked you to bring a plate to a supper. Was supper the same as dinner, and were you supposed to bring a plate for each member of the family? Should you offer to bring cutlery and glassware as well? It took only one embarrassing visit for us to realise that being asked to bring a plate meant one plate containing food to share. When you were asked to tea, that often meant an evening meal – not for a cup of tea and a scone. Being sociable was a minefield of potential faux pas waiting to trip up the newcomer. But we were aware that for us the transition to become Kiwis was not too onerous. We shared a common language, we came from a country that was also in the southern hemisphere, many of the laws and cultural context was familiar as South Africa, along with New Zealand, had a shared history as a colonial country. I am sure we would have had a much more challenging time if we moved somewhere where the language, religion and social context were greatly different to what we were used to. I remember how welcoming people were and how much it meant to us when we were accepted and included in our community. A kind word and a warm invitation means everything when you are a newcomer. Migrants and refugees have been in the media a lot lately as the desperate plight of the thousands of boat people fleeing Africa to seek a future in Europe or Asia make pitiful headlines. I can only imagine how terrible their lives have been to cause these families to risk everything to try for a better future. For those lucky people that manage to come to New Zealand from every corner of the world, nau mai. I hope your lives here are rich and full of potential and that you find peace and acceptance so that you can raise your children to be the best that they can be. Leigh Bredenkamp


letters to the editor Top letter winner

Top letter

Congratulations to the top letter winner Mary Sykes who receives a $150 gift voucher from mokopuna.

An amazing midwife I thought you might like to hear about this amazing lady. Carole Wheeler is a midwife in Masterton who works for the Wairarapa District Health Board.

Way back in 2010 she saw a need for a container for women to take their placenta home in that could be buried and would biodegrade. She was being told regularly about placentas being buried in plastic, like ice cream tubs etc. She researched and practised making some different ‘Ipu Whenua’. After a while she found what worked and what she liked.

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She made the containers out of flax bags ‘kete’ and decorates them with paua shell or flax flowers, feathers, seashells, dried leaves and seed pods, anything pretty which will biodegrade. Inside is a corn starch bag.... all biodegradable. She created a slide show about how to make these with step-bystep instructions and sent them to interested Healthcare Providers and childbirth educators who contacted and showed interest in the project, She attended the NZCOM midwifery conference in Wellington in 2012 where she gave out DVD's and fliers with information. She did this in her own time and own cost. Now, with the help and support of her colleagues and the DHB, Masterton hospital provides all new mums with a Ipu whenua free of charge. So far they have given out about 700. Carole also makes tiny "Ipu Taonga" for

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miscarried babies and also ones big enough for still born babies up to about 22 weeks gestation. It was so distressing for parents to be given their miscarried "baby" in a plastic hospital sample pot. They now have a beautiful container to take home. Carole has spent many hours of her own time and funded a lot of it herself too. Please could you help spread the word. She sells ipu for a little more than the cost of making them plus postage, any change supports the free ipu taonga work. Carole also provides step-by-step instructions for those who want to make their own personal Ipu Whenua or who otherwise may not be able to afford it. Here is a link to the website. http://ipuwhenua.

Mary Sykes, Masterton

A welcome discovery Why have I only just discovered Kiwiparent? I was given the April May edition the other day. I have just started to read it and I love it already! The infant sleep article made me quite emotional knowing how different my two babies were and how I responded to each one accordingly – resulting in two hourly naps with my second baby. I just kept thinking how quickly this time passes and just to go with it despite people telling me to let her cry it out or train her up!

o ur ow Y Circle r G

I have a really happy ten month old now who (mostly) sleeps through the night. I am now pregnant with my third baby and this article has just reinformced my parenting style is not a style at all, but just a mother’s instinct and I will again respond to my new baby in whatever way works for her.

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I can’t wait to read the rest of the magazine now, I was wondering about the origin of Mother’s Day…

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

Thank you Kiwiparent

Tory Kaye Burns

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Connect We had some fantastic feedback to our last cover story!

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

Kate Haworth: Fantastic article on same-sex parenting! Well done Kiwiparent for publishing this! Well worth the read! :-) Like · Reply · Jen Edlington: Awesome! What a beautiful family and so rad to see such lovely support x well done Kiwiparent Like · Reply · Bronwyn White: Congrats Krin and Bex on a great article! You’ve got great writing skills Krin! And don’t worry, big age gaps get the same nosey questions too!:) Beautiful parents with beautiful kids. Like · Reply ·


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Kiwis like it smooth We all know that fruits, vegetables and healthy eating are good for us. But thanks to kitchen gurus and Kiwi kitchen ingenuity, there’s no need to force down platefuls of greens to feel like we’re getting our 5+ a day. The blender is fast becoming a favourite household appliance because of its ability to support a fresher yet still flavourful lifestyle. Oster, the number one blender brand in the United States has launched a range of blenders to the New Zealand market just as statistics are showing blending is rising sharply in popularity. A recent survey of more than 2,000 Kiwis found that 85% of New Zealanders regularly use a blender, and of that number 79% use their blenders for smoothies because of the health benefits. Cooking and blending with Oster products is easy – they do all the hard work. The Oster Versa even heats soup as it blends! Oster blenders are available at leading appliance stores nationwide.

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kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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thetots’ firsttransitional love affairtoys As new parents – and even as second-or thirdtime parents – soon after birth we ask ourselves: how do I best settle this baby? Emerging into this world and getting used to it is a huge change, the biggest adjustment I believe a human being is ever challenged to face. That is why the first three months of a baby’s life are often referred to as the fourth trimester of pregnancy. During this time there is a lot happening as baby adjusts to life on this planet. Just imagine having to leave a warm, tight and soft space that was dimly lit and full of quite loud but regular sounds such as your mother’s trusted heartbeat and breath … day and night. And best of all, you got moved around and you did not experience any frustrations such as hunger, thirst, wetness, or being either too hot or too cold. This


kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

was all you ever knew until suddenly one day, you felt cold, your body had no boundaries, you got prodded and squeezed, and were exposed to shrill and irregular sounds, and you suddenly felt this huge discomfort we call HUNGER. I think we would all launch a massive SOS call in that situation with the message: HELP– STOP–I–FEEL OUT OF CONTROL–FULL STOP. To compound matters, you have no idea what would help you feel safe in such a confusing situation, and have limited ways to communicate your needs. Every child comes with its own unique needs and, as parents, you are the most important people to find the tools that help their situation. However, there are some common things that are well known across cultures, which can help in the first three months such as swaddling, sucking, or rocking. They all speak to the baby’s senses, which are their main way to learn about this world, to assess that it is an okay place to be and hence settle down.

Comforting your baby is key Some of these strategies are commonly known and accepted such as swaddling while others are hotly debated such as using a pacifier, rocking or carrying. Some people still believe you can spoil a baby or make them dependent on such things ... and some parenting books still say this too. However, the message from the research is clear – babies who get their primary needs met through their senses are a lot more settled at six months of age and from then on than those whose needs were not met. It is clear that we cannot spoil babies by meeting their basic needs, in fact it is better to do so if we want a baby who is settled and placid, and sleeps well. So comforting your baby is key. First your baby will need you to comfort them then, as time goes by – usually from about four months of age – they start developing their capacity to comfort themselves. At some times they can do this better than at others, it is harder when new things happen or they are in unusual environments when these changes can overwhelm their coping capacity and they will need you more. However, ideally over time your baby, toddler, and young child will be able to self-soothe without you, initially in their familiar environment (e.g., their own bed) and then further away from you (e.g., at a sleep over). What can help in this process is something that comforts them that is independent of you as a parent. Many children have them: things like cuddlies, comforters, blankies, teddy or a favourite toy to clutch when they feel anxious or overwhelmed. Sometimes it is as simple as a piece of your clothing or a string of hair. It’s surprising what kind of cues can trigger a child’s comfort centre in the brain and it is often not something that looks very pretty but is very well loved. The technical term for these often dishevelled and sucked on things is ‘transitional objects’. Do you remember Linus from the Peanuts comic strip? He is infamous for carrying around his security blanket while sucking his thumb. An estimated 60% of young children in Western cultures use soft objects, such as blankets, pillows, and stuffed toys, as soothers or comforters when they are going to sleep or are mildly distressed. These special comforts help children make the emotional transition from dependence to independence. They work, in part, because they feel good: they’re soft, cuddly, and nice to touch. They’re also effective because of their familiarity. As your baby gets older, you will notice some major developmental changes that usually happen between six and eight months. These include things like crawling, the transition from three daytime naps down to two, as well as an increase in your baby’s separation anxiety. And as they experience separation anxiety over this newfound independence, so they begin to crave comfort. Babies in this age range are also beginning to realise that they are individuals separate from their parents. In an effort to ease these anxieties, many children try to bridge the gap by latching on to transitional items. This love affair often lasts through toddlerhood, sometimes into childhood and even

occasionally into adulthood. According to some surveys, adults will take comfort objects away on business trips to remind them of home and about 35% of British adults still sleep with a teddy bear. Allowing their child to have a transitional object is one way that parents can help baby feel safe and secure. They can even help your baby during their partial awakenings and soothe them back to sleep at night or when they are teething. The blanket and stuffed animal are common examples, but a transitional object does not have to be either. I know of children who only want to sleep with a piece of their sheep skin rug or their grandma’s bathrobe. The important thing to remember is that a transitional object is something that your baby bonds with and of course it needs to be safe. It is important to note that not every child will bond with a transitional object naturally. If you want to get them used to one don’t give up. Many children have been completely disinterested in such a thing when they are small, but as they grow, they may chose to ‘adopt’ a particular object.

The benefits

Tips for parents

Despite myths to the contrary, transitional objects are not a sign of weakness or insecurity, and there’s no reason to keep your child from using one. In fact, a transitional object can be so helpful that you may want to help him choose one and build it into his nighttime ritual. They are often a sign of a strong bond between parent and child. A child who seeks comfort with a security object is often one whose need for love and attention has been met consistently by his parents. Not only are these objects a sign of healthy development, but also they serve a valuable purpose. Comfort items are helpful in any situation where a child feels anxiety or stress. When your child is separated from you (e.g., at daycare, or for that first sleepover) it allows them to take along a little piece of home that reminds them of their ultimate place of comfort and belonging.

So now you know how important it is to allow your child the pleasure of having a comforter you might even want to encourage them to use one. Here are a few things to consider:

A transitional object can be so helpful that you may want to help him choose one and build it into his night-time ritual. They are often a sign of a strong bond between parent and child. A child who seeks comfort with a security object is often one whose need for love and attention has been met consistently by his parents.

Use your baby’s preferences to help pick his transitional object. For instance, if your baby is a hair twirler, look for a blanket with a fringe or a stuffed animal with a similar feature (e.g., an octopus or jellyfish with tentacles). If your baby likes to rub and massage things, try a small thick blanket. Incorporate the transitional object into your baby’s routine. Have the comforter as a part of your day. Use it to play peek-a-boo, or snuggle with you during feeds. And most importantly, incorporate it into the bedtime and naptime routines. Make it personal. When you’re first trying to introduce the item that you hope will become your baby’s new companion at night or when you are

It’s surprising what kind of cues can trigger a child’s comfort centre in the brain

away from them, you may want to ‘wear’ it (e.g., place it under your shirt for a few hours) to impart your smell and help baby with that comforted feeling. Another way to do this is to snuggle it between you and baby during quiet times, such as feeding times or reading stories. Choose a safe comforter and wash it regularly. It is difficult to predict what your child will choose as a comforter but make sure it is not a choking hazard or you might be able to remove such accessories (e.g., ribbons, buttons, small plastic parts). If it is a stuffed toy, ideally it would be filled with cotton or acrylic batting, not beans or plastic beads. Also it needs to be washed regularly for general hygiene but also to decrease the risk of your child developing allergies. Make sure it won’t pose a danger when sleeping. It is all very well for your baby to bond with a blanket or soft toy, but remember the safe sleeping rule of ‘face up, face clear’. Make sure the transitional object won’t pose a danger when your baby is asleep. What happens if it gets lost? One drawback to your child's affinity for a particular comforter is the risk that it will get lost and that you will have to face the tearful consequences. As soon as your child shows an attachment to a comforter, it is wise to buy a few identical spares. Just be sure to use them interchangeably otherwise they will not smell, look, or feel the same, and your child will know the difference right away. Alternatively let them know that there are a few of the same and that when one goes in the wash they have the one that is sleeping on the shelf for now. Set sensible limits. If your child drags the comfort object everywhere you go, you may want to establish some parameters especially as they get older. So bunny might stay in bed or in the car when you go out, or it stays in the bag until you arrive for the sleep over. Ask them to choose a safe and comfortable place for their blankie while they are busy playing with their friends, such as the teachers’ office at daycare. They should be able to have access to it if they need it. Don’t fret. If you are concerned that your child will be toting his teddy to college, relax. For a variety of reasons, most children usually choose to give up these objects by themselves. By age four or five, children have been in a wide variety of social situations, such as birthday parties and play dates. For the most part they have a much easier time making transitions than they did earlier and simply do not need the added comfort. However, do not be surprised either if they do want to take it with them in their suitcase when they leave for university the first time round. Most importantly, do not push your child to give up their treasured comfort object. Putting that kind of pressure on your child may actually make them more attached to their comforter.

Children’s needs differ when it comes to transitional objects. Some children never have a security object, some jump from one object to another in short periods of time, and others cling onto one favoured item for years. As long as the relationship doesn’t inhibit the child’s development of social or language skills, there’s no reason to be concerned. Transitional objects help the child deal with their independence … and remember that they can help you to have some independence from you child and feel okay about it. 

Kerstin Kramar Kerstin is a Clinical Psychologist with 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 lives in Wellington with her husband, 13-year-old son, two-year-old daughter and new baby who is now six months old.


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beatbed-wetting the blues While most children make the transition from nappies to using the toilet and finally to being dry at night, for some children bed-wetting just is a habit that is very hard to break – despite their best intentions. This can be very distressing for the child and make for a lot of additional work and worry for the family. Unfortunately, the link between bed-wetting and low self-esteem has been firmly established. Children who experience bed-wetting often go through a tumultuous mix of emotions which can contribute to a drop in confidence and sometimes related issues also surface.

12 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Bed-wetting is different for every child, depending on its frequency, duration, and the coping skills each child is equipped with. The most common reactions that your child to may have to bed-wetting are: embarrassment shame a sense of isolation. Damaging self-perceptions stemming from these feelings are frequent contributing factors when it comes to low self-esteem.

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Reader’s story

Social stigma

The hardest thing about my son’s bedwetting wasn’t the endless wet sheets or the repeated nights of interrupted sleep, it was the look of disappointment on his face when he realised he had wet the bed again, sometimes multiple times a night.

Self-esteem issues stemming from bed-wetting can not only affect your child at home but they can also go on to have a negative impact on their school and social life. The stigma associated with wetting the bed can be difficult to shake.

With professional advice we used various options to help him; nasal sprays, a programme of setting an alarm at various times of the night, a bed alarm and regular chiropractic appointments. I struggled to find new ways to encourage him as understandably my words of “you will grow out of this; this will end; we will find a solution” stopped carrying any weight for him – after all, I had been saying them for years. Despite us always telling him that it didn’t matter and that we knew he couldn’t help it, there were times when we struggled to stay positive in front of him and I wondered just when will he grow out of it? As he got older he was keen to go on sleepovers but was also apprehensive in case he wet the bed and his friends found out. He really hated having to sneak pull-ups on when he was 8 and 9. School and Cub camps presented another challenge for him. He always looks like the kid that’s taken way too much stuff as he takes a second sleeping bag just in case. Together we identify a ‘safe adult’ that he is comfortable (or least uncomfortable) with me approaching beforehand so that he knows he can ask them for help the next morning should he need to hide a bin liner full of wet stuff. Approaching teachers / leaders to discuss this isn’t always an easy thing to do – even as an adult. Our son is 10 ½ now and has only stopped wetting the bed regularly in the last six months. It’s been a long, emotional journey, one which has often had us all exhausted. When our twins came out of nighttime nappies some mornings we would have four brolly sheets, a waterproof top sheet and occasionally a duvet to wash and dry. But now we are having a lovely “dry” winter and our son is a lot happier.

Hang in there and stay positive So if you’re going through this – hang in there! Seek help, have plenty of spare bedding and above all try to stay positive – hopefully your child really will grow out of it!

Catherine Short is mum to 6-year-old twins and a 10-year-old boy.

14 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

There are many social situations where feelings of shame will be compounded. Sleepovers, for example, will very likely become something to be dreaded. Wetting the bed at home is one thing – having an accident and having friends find out is quite another. The fear of “the whole school finding out” is one that can cause a lot of anxiety and can echo across so many aspects of your child’s life.

Getting cross will make your child tense and stressed. Keep them relaxed by staying calm. If your child constantly, or even sporadically, here are a few tips and tricks that can assist in a having dry night and reducing the anxiety for everyone.

Get into good habits Remind your child to go to the bathroom right before bedtime. Every night. Reduce the amount of fluids your child drinks after 4pm. Drink more earlier in the day if possible. Avoid fizzy drink and any drinks containing caffeine. Use bed-wetting products, such as DryNites. They are especially great for sleepovers. This combination of steps will show your child that they can take control of the situation, making them more confident at home and away. 

TOP TIPS for Toilet Training Children learn how to use a potty or toilet in their own time. It is a complicated process, so try and be calm and patient and avoid power struggles.

Look for signs When they’re getting ready to learn children might: Stop playing and make noises or faces Take themselves away and want to be alone Start having a time of day when they have a dirty nap Let you know when they are wet or smelly Show an interest in your visits to the toilet Want to copy others using the toilet Prefer to be clean and dry. You can encourage them by: Teaching them the words your family uses about going to the toilet

Decide on a routine, for example when they wake up, after breakfast, mid morning, after lunch, mid afternoon, at bath time and before bed Praise the success and keep calm when there are accidents – there will be quite a few Dress your child in clothes that are easy to take off quickly Don’t be surprised if they want to explore other toilets or they become scared and refuse to go anywhere else but home Staying dry at night takes longer than during the day. And remember, don’t feel pressured by other people's comments. Your child will be dry when they are ready.

Letting them see that you use the toilet and telling them they will be soon too Getting them a potty so they can practice on and off They can still have their nappy on when they do this Reading picture books about other children learning to use the potty Make sure everyone is ready. Summer is a good time to start

Give away

Be in the draw to win 1 of 6 packs of DryNites 4–7yr featuring Spiderman/Frozen. Each pack RRP $13.99 Enter online at and follow the instructions. Entries must be received by 5pm 1 September, 2015 Winners will be published in Issue 268


Take the hassle out of bed wetting

understanding vaccines and immunisation Vaccination has been around since ancient times, with traditional Chinese and Indian medicine using weakened forms of live viruses to protect against smallpox. Luckily we don’t need to inhale powder from pulverised smallpox scabs anymore, as the advent of a modern smallpox vaccine eradicated the disease in the 1970s.

Your immune system responds to a disease or a vaccine in the same way. Special cells recognise the foreign germs and tag these cells for destruction by other special immune cells. Memory cells are also created so that if the germs should appear again your body will get rid of them even quicker.

way to ensure the good health of your child is to protect them from getting the diseases at all. The immunisation schedule is structured to provide the best protection for our children when they are most at risk. Starting at six weeks, children can be protected from the potentially dangerous diseases that they may encounter.

Instead of the dangerous germ, vaccines are made of components of the germ that can’t cause disease or from weakened versions of viruses. Through the delivery of a vaccine, the immune system is taught to respond to the harmless version of the germ so that it can respond quickly when faced with a real infection and stop us from getting sick. The vaccine doesn’t cause the disease, but teaches the immune system to recognise the invaders in the future. Teaching the immune system how to respond to germs before we are exposed to them gives us an advantage when we're faced with the real bug!

The immune system is badly affected by the measles virus, including leading to the loss of immune memory and previously acquired protection from other diseases. Children who have had measles are unable to adequately fight other diseases up to several years following infection. Measles infections could be implicated in as many as HALF of all childhood deaths from infectious disease. So the measles vaccine not only prevents measles, but also reduces the number of childhood deaths due to other infectious diseases, even in high income Western countries.

During childhood, children are exposed to thousands of germs, some of which are potentially harmful to their health. Immunisation is the most effective way to help protect your child from many preventable diseases, ranging from rotavirus through to whooping cough and measles.

Vaccines during pregnancy

Some of the diseases that we immunise against are very serious in young children. Some, like measles, are highly contagious and usually fairly mild, but pose a risk of serious complications. The safest and most effective

Research has clearly shown that a whooping cough vaccine booster during pregnancy helps protect your baby in the first few months of life, in the critical time before they can receive their full primary vaccination course and when they are at highest risk. Baby gets antibodies from the mother through the placenta. This is called ‘passive’ immunisation as the baby doesn’t produce the immune cells, but uses ones provided by mum to help protect against disease.

Immunise on time every time The Immunisation Schedule is a series of vaccinations that help protect your family against preventable diseases. If you’re pregnant, you are also eligible for a free whooping cough booster vaccine and flu vaccine during flu season. These can help protect you and your new baby before they are fully immunised.

Immunising on time gives the best protection. The Immunisation Advisory Centre provides evidence-based information about the NZ Immunisation Schedule and the diseases it helps protect you and your family against.

Call us weekdays on

0800 466 863

or visit

Pregnant women who get influenza have a much higher risk than non-pregnant women of developing serious complications such as pneumonia, being admitted to hospital, or even ending up in intensive care. Young infants have a very high rate of flu compared to other ages but are too young to be immunised themselves. Influenza immunisations are recommended and funded (during flu season) for pregnant women, and offer protection for and the newborn baby and the mother.

How well does it work? Immunisation typically works very well to prevent a wide range of serious diseases. Sometimes it isn’t completely successful – in cases like this, children can get the disease, but often don’t get as sick as they would if they weren’t immunised. While vaccines can’t provide 100% protection to all people, the more people that are immunised, the less the diseases will spread through the population. For many diseases the people who are protected against the disease can protect the people who aren’t by reducing the risk of exposure to the germs.

Making an informed decision In New Zealand, parents and caregivers have the right to make informed decisions regarding their children's immunisations. Making informed decisions means being able to find and understand relevant information, be given the opportunity to discuss it, and make the decision that is right for you and your family. It is best

if you can make these decisions before your child is due their immunisations, so that should you decide to go ahead, they can benefit from the best possible protection the vaccines can provide. Being informed about the benefits and risks of immunisation will mean you fully understand what advantages immunisation provides your family, as well as understanding the risks associated with any given vaccine or disease. The right to make an informed choice and give your informed consent when using a health service is guaranteed under the Code of Health and Disability Services Consumer Rights. The health professional who will be offering immunisation for your child or you is required to provide you with accurate, objective, relevant and understandable information to help make an informed choice. They need to explain: that you have a choice why you are being offered the vaccine what is involved in what you are being offered the probable benefits, risks, side effects, failure rates and alternatives and the risks and benefits of not receiving the treatment or procedure. Every parent or caregiver has different information needs when it comes to immunisation. Some are interested in how easy the diseases are to catch, whether they are treatable, and the effectiveness and safety of vaccines. Others want information about the

The National Immunisation Schedule Age

Diseases Covered and Vaccines

6 weeks (2 injections, 1 oral dose)

• Diphtheria / Tetanus / Whooping cough / Polio / Hepatitis B /Haemophilus influenzae type b

3 months (2 injections, 1 oral dose)

• Pneumococcal

5 months (2 injections, 1 oral dose)

• Rotavirus

15 months

• Haemophilus influenzae type b

(3 injections)

• Measles / Mumps / Rubella • Pneumococcal

4 years

• Diphtheria / Tetanus / Whooping cough / Polio

(2 injections)

• Measles / Mumps / Rubella

11 years

• Diphtheria / Tetanus/ Whooping cough

(1 injection) 12 years (funded for girls only)

• Human papillomavirus 3 doses given over 6 months

18 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Nutritional support for a healthy pregnancy and growing baby

Naturally, when you’re looking to become a mum, or on your way to becoming one, you may be looking for a pregnancy supplement that’s formulated with essential nutrients to meet the recommended daily dose of folic acid¹ and iodine ². Plus an organic form of iron that’s gentle on your stomach. That’s FABFOL, a once a day tablet* providing nutritional support for a healthy pregnancy and growing baby. FABFOL, available at all good pharmacies.

Always read the label. Use only as directed. Vitamin supplements should not replace a balanced diet. *Each FABFOL tablet contains folic acid 500 mcg and iodine 150 mcg. ¹Australian Medicines Handbook 2014: folic acid recommended dosage is 500 mcg once daily before and during the first 3 months of pregnancy. ²NHMRC Public Statement: Iodine Supplementation for Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women, 2010. ® Registered trademark of Care Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd. ABN 30 009 200 604 TAPS CH4393

risks of delaying vaccines and any alternatives. There are many different places to go to gather information on immunisation and vaccine preventable diseases.

Vaccines that can be purchased There are other important vaccines that are licensed and available in New Zealand, but not provided free on the National Immunisation Schedule. Chicken pox is very common and, in a small number of cases, the complications from this disease are very serious. In a typical year, New Zealand is estimated to experience approximately 50,000 chicken pox infections, of which about 400 result in hospitalisation, and one to two cases result in long-term disability or death. There are two different chicken pox (varicella) vaccines available, so the timing of the immunisation will depend upon which vaccine is given but the earliest dose can be at ninemonths-old. While most people will have to pay for this vaccine, some who are more likely to get very sick can get the chicken pox vaccine for free. Talk to your family doctor about purchasing this vaccine.

Common concerns expressed by some parents All vaccine ingredients are tested and approved for human use at the quantities present in a vaccine. Many vaccine ingredients are already present in our body – aluminium for example is in the air we breathe, the water we drink and breast milk. Formaldehyde occurs naturally in your body as an essential building block for DNA. The important thing to note is that too much of anything can be toxic, including water. Most vaccines use dead or inactivated parts of the disease germ, so it is impossible for them to replicate and give you the disease. Live vaccines use a weakened form of the germ (e.g. measles, rotavirus). You might get some symptoms similar to getting the disease, but it will be milder and not last long. The vaccines a baby gets today contains a relatively small number of antigens for their immune system to respond to. From the moment your baby comes down the birth canal they’re bombarded with millions of different things that your immune system deals with. Researchers have calculated that an infant has the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10, 000 vaccines at any one time. Six at a time is a walk in the park and cannot in anyway overwhelm the infant immune system. The way immunity works, whether stimulated by a disease or a vaccine is much the same, what can vary is the duration of immunity. If you catch whooping cough once, there’s no guarantee you won’t get it again. Choosing to risk the complications of a disease is certainly a parent’s choice; immunisation is not compulsory. However, there is no way to predict how serious the outcome will be. Normal healthy people can be hit just as hard by a preventable disease as anyone.

20 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

The immunisation visit Many children (and parents) find immunisation visits are an easy and relatively pain-free experience. Here's some basic information to help you manage the visit as well as possible. Children can easily tell when their parents are anxious and, as a parent, you need to be aware that your child will look to you for comfort and reassurance. Try to remain calm and relaxed, even if your child becomes upset. Bring along a stuffed toy or blanket for your child to hold during the immunisation, or use it to distract them. Hold your child firmly during the procedure, talking calmly and gently stroking the child’s arm or back to reassure them. Breastfeeding (if possible) throughout the process can greatly reduce any stress or discomfort.

After being pricked by the needle your child may cry, it’s their way of coping. Your job is to comfort, hold, and talk to them supportively. Feeding your baby straight after their immunisation will help them settle. You will need to remain in the clinic for 20 minutes after the immunisation. Use this time to help your child settle, this can make the next visit easier. While most children experience little or no ill effects after immunisations, some minor effects reported are mild fever, tenderness or swelling and redness at the site of the injection. Here are some ways to make your baby or child more comfortable after their immunisation: Don’t rub the injection site Give your child lots of cuddles and lots of fluids If you are breastfeeding, give lots of feeds An ice pack wrapped well in a dry cloth or better still a cool cloth, can be held over the injection site if it is sore If your child gets hot, undressing them down to a single layer, for example a singlet and pants, can help

on international and New Zealand scientific research regarding vaccine-preventable diseases and the benefits and risks of immunisation. The National Influenza Specialist Group (NISG) was formed by the Ministry of Health to increase public awareness of influenza, its seriousness and the importance of immunisation to prevent the disease.

Other resources Both the Ministry of Health and IMAC have booklets, brochures and fact sheets that may be of assistance. Call 0800 IMMUNE (466 863), available Monday to Friday 9 am to 4.30 pm to talk to a qualified nurses with extensive immunisation and vaccine-preventable disease knowledge. They also have access to doctors with specialised knowledge, should that be needed. If you want to talk through the various questions you may have about immunisation, call your family doctor to arrange time to talk to them or the practice nurse. Your midwife or Plunket nurse will also be able to help, if you are expecting a baby or they are still looking after you and your child. 

Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold. If your child is unsettled, miserable because of a fever or seems to be in pain, you might consider giving them paracetamol or ibuprofen to make them feel more comfortable. You must follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. It is dangerous to give more than the recommended dose. Giving babies and children paracetamol before and repeatedly after immunisation just in case they feel unwell is NOT recommended and can interfere with the immune response.

Internet-based resources Although the internet has a vast amount of good information, it also contains websites of dubious quality. The challenge is knowing what to believe. It is best to identify websites that provide information that comply with good information practices. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reviewed a number of sites for adherence to the credibility and content criteria The Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety has recommended a list of criteria that sites providing information on vaccine safety should adhere to.

Ministry of Health immunisation-handbook-2014 The Immunisation Advisory Centre provides a local source of independent, factual information based

Dr Nikki Turner Nikki is a General Practitioner and an Associate Professor in the Division of General Practice and Primary Health Care, University of Auckland. Nikki specialises in primary health care, preventive child health issues and immunisation. Nikki has developed and evolved the Immunisation Advisory Centre since its inception in 1996. She has ongoing involvement with short term international consultancies with the World Health Organization and other NGOs around immunisation and child health.

a new life

… with the help of a midwife activity, foods to avoid, weight gain during pregnancy, immunisations, smoking cessation and not drinking alcohol during pregnancy. She will discuss screening tests for abnormalities, provide information on antenatal classes and help you put your birth plan together. In effect, your midwife gives you fully personalised, one-on-one education appropriate for you and your family’s overall health and well-being.

Where to give birth? By the end of your second trimester (28 weeks of pregnancy), you and your midwife will have talked about where you would like to give birth.

Whether expecting your first or your fourth baby, long before you meet and get to know your newborn, you will get to know the healthcare professional who will provide care for you both. In New Zealand, more than 90% of women choose a midwife to be their Lead Maternity Carer (LMC), who is the main person responsible for providing her and her baby with continuity of care. An LMC can be a midwife, general practitioner or obstetrician. The midwife LMC provides care from early pregnancy, through labour and birth, and for up to six weeks after the baby is born. Midwives work in partnership with each individual woman, building a relationship based on mutual trust and respect – she brings her knowledge and expertise to the partnership while the woman brings her self-knowledge, intuition and expectations. It is this partnership that holds the key to a nurturing, positive birth experience.

Antenatal appointments If you suspect you are pregnant, you can see a midwife for a pregnancy test. All maternity care is fully funded, meaning it is free for eligible women (this includes NZ citizens and residents, see for full details), except for ultrasound screening scans which normally require some co-payment. A good place to find a midwife who feels right for you is the website, which has a pregnancy calculator so that you can work out when you baby might be due and which midwives are available at that time. At each appointment your midwife will assess the health of you and your baby. At the first meeting she will explain how she works and who provides care as the back-up midwife when she is having time off. As your pregnancy progresses, your midwife will discuss with you a variety of issues such as nutrition,

22 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Research shows that the place of birth can have a big impact on a woman’s birth experience. For a healthy woman who is having a healthy pregnancy – which accounts for 70–80% of women – the likelihood of having a safe and normal birth without unnecessary interventions is much higher if women give birth at home or in a primary birthing unit, rather than in a hospital. A primary birthing unit is a home-like environment but is midwifery-led and has all the necessary equipment to keep you and your baby safe. For home births, midwives also ensure a mother and baby are safe, by carrying all the necessary equipment and advising transfer to a hospital if any concerns arise. The medical interventions available in hospitals are of course required when there is a risk to the mother’s or baby’s health, however not all intervention is necessary and can come with risk. Inducing or accelerating labour, for example, can interfere with the normal physiological birthing process and lead to further intervention. This is known as the spiral of intervention.

Ultimately, the best place to give birth is where you feel the most comfortable as this will enable the process of labour to flow naturally.

The birth day is imminent As you move into the last weeks of pregnancy, you will have detailed your birth plan, including flexibility in case your baby’s birth doesn’t unfold as you hope or expect. The midwife will help to allay any anxieties you may have, discuss ways of coping with the pain of labour and support you to be confident about the birth process and your body’s ability to give birth in its own way. You will know the signs of labour and when and how to make contact when labour begins. As labour becomes established, your midwife will generally visit you at home to assess your labour and to determine when it is time to move to the birthing facility (or to prepare for your home birth if that is what you have chosen). Throughout labour she continues to provide support, information and encouragement to you and your partner or support person. She works with your birth plan, and provides you with information to make further decisions as necessary. During labour she will support you with ways to help you cope with the pain, and reassure you when normal pain shows that labour is moving closer to the birth.

Baby arrives At last, the moment you’ve waited months for: meeting your new little person. As you get to know your baby, your midwife continues to provide information and support on early parenting, feeding your baby, immunisation, newborn screening and other ways of ensuring your baby stays healthy. Your midwife will have explained the benefits to you and your baby of skin-to-skin contact immediately after the birth, and the health and emotional benefits of breastfeeding.

(Up to 97% of New Zealand women initiate breastfeeding, one of the highest rates in the world.)

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During the next 4–6 weeks, your midwife visits you regularly, continuing to monitor, assess and advise on the health of you and your baby. Her role is to support you as you adjust physically and emotionally to being a mother, and as you and your partner grow into confident parents. Congratulations, the journey of parenting this little person has well and truly begun. 

It takes a lot of training to qualify as a midwife Midwives complete the equivalent of a four-year degree programme that combines theory and practice, gaining experience by working with registered midwives in hospitals or the community. This is followed by registration with the Midwifery Council of New Zealand and entry to the Midwifery First Year of Practice Programme. This programme is compulsory for all newly qualified midwives who wish to practice in New Zealand and provides clinical support via an experienced midwife mentor, further clinical practice education and midwifery standards review (MSR). MSR is the quality assurance programme required for all midwives every two years. Midwives reflect on the care they provide, discuss professional development, and review feedback from the women they have cared for (feedback forms are available on the New Zealand College of Midwives website, www.midwife. Midwives are the only health professionals in New Zealand who require and support feedback from their clients as part of their continuing professional expectations.

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24 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

1. Am I pregnant?

6. Breast (ouch) tenderness

If you think there’s a chance you may be, confirm it with a pregnancy test asap. You can buy a home pregnancy test or visit your GP, medical centre or self-employed midwife for a free test.

Watch out for breast tenderness, your nipples especially may become super-sensitive – even before your period is missed.

2. First take folate Take folic acid tablets during early pregnancy and if you can even before you conceive – it cares for your baby’s brain and spinal cord development.

3. The drugs don’t work Avoid recreational drugs as they can affect your developing baby, causing miscarriage or abnormalities. Check with your GP about any prescribed drugs you may be taking.

4. Auditioning your LMC Start looking early – this is a special and important relationship during your pregnancy. Your Lead M aternity Carer could be a midwife, a GP or specialist obstetrician. Call freephone 0800 MUM 2 BE for LMC’s in your area or check out

5. The beginning of a beautiful friendship

Meet your LMC for the first time once your pregnancy is confirmed. Remember to ask any questions you may have, your LMC will be asking lots of you – it’s very helpful to remember the date of your last period and take a pen and paper to make some notes!

ial specer off




7. Toilet tripping Feel like you are constantly taking trips to the bathroom? You may have interrupted sleep as a result of night-time visits to the toilet.

8. That sicky feeling Get more rest to help with morning sickness. Eat very small portions every 2 to 3 hours. Try ginger, homepathic remedies or acupuncture. Remember, it generally gets better after weeks 11 to 15.

9. Let’s talk about sex You may feel changes in your desire for sex or notice differences in the experience itself. Some lucky women enjoy it more, others not as much.

10. ZZZZZZzzzzzz… Rest. Put your feet up. Go to bed early. Listen to your body and relax! 

Visit The New Zealand Pregnancy Book online at The website includes a searchable preview of the book, fantastic photos and feedback from the NZPB community, links to friends and Facebook and much more!

ents Centre all Par r o f online shop $40 m the SPE CIAL OFFER o r f ble members – availa THE New Zealand guide to: + pregnancy + birth + baby’s first 3 months

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11/04/14 10:15 AM kiwiparent 25

adjusting to being a dad

As a new father, I sank into depression while trying to cope with the needs of my partner and two babies. I noticed the changes when my children were six weeks and 22 months old, after trying to help my wife who was struggling with similar issues.

Even though I'd heard the term postnatal depression, I didn't really understand it. I didn't like going to work and I didn't want to see my mates. The symptoms continued for about a year, even after I left my role in IT to become a stay-at-home dad. I eventually became a support worker for Father and Child, a Trust set up by fathers for fathers, originally from Christchurch. I spend my time working with other Auckland dads, helping them to adapt to their role as a father and understand their own emotional and physical needs, as well as those of their partners and children. From early pregnancy and during those vital first parenting months, an involved father can help, support or arrange to meet the needs of both the mother and child. A fully informed dad is vital to recovery from a birth as well as through relationship changes and perinatal adjustment. Men are prewired to be caring parents and children benefit immensely from the ways dads are different. From a child’s earliest days, through childhood and in their teenage years, dads add extras – whakapapa understanding, family traditions. By being an involved dad they help develop their children’s self-esteem. Modern science has found that a good bond with both parents sets a child up for life. Dads play in a different way to mums – often with physical contact, bringing healthy connection in the form of tickle or play fights. This play encourages vital skills in resourcefulness, understanding strength and developing resilience. While the quantity of time nurturing is important, dads can be providers and focus on smaller amounts of quality time too. For investment in a child’s productivity, the model of at least one happy, successful parent is paramount. However, men’s lack of awareness about the changes in their relationship that having a baby brings, is increasingly recognised as a factor in relationship break-ups. Having a first child is a major transition in both a man’s and a woman’s life, and

in many cultures has high spiritual relevance. Changes in the relationships between new mothers and fathers are often related to: their ideas about themselves as father or mother their expectations of each other as a father or mother their higher physical support needs at this time. Our ideas of what makes a good girlfriend or boyfriend are not necessarily the same as a good mum or a dad. What we expect changes our perceptions and the way we see the person we have possibly lived with for years. For men, it may be the first time that they held anything back from their partner, for fear of upsetting her during a time when she is fragile. Expectant mums may become quite assertive about their needs during pregnancy, and are rightly encouraged in this. Coupled with a man’s sense of responsibility for his partner, this may lead to a relationship no longer being mutually supportive, but becoming a bit more like a one-way street. For men this can be devastating, particularly if their partner has been their only emotional support, as is so often the case in Western culture relationships. Traditional male support networks, such as working men’s clubs, sports clubs, or even the evening in the pub, have broken down in many communities, or they include mixedgender situations, which can make it difficult for a man to talk about relationship issues. Accessing support and information for both parents during pregnancy helps. Yet, because so much attention is focused on the mother, and as she has such obvious needs, dads are even less likely to receive outside support than in other life situations… and are much more likely to feel guilty about asking for such support in the first place. Men also often cannot see the difference between their relationship with their partner and with their baby. It can be said that while a mother has individual relationships with her partner and each of her children,

How are you? Father & Child Trust is a community organisation run by dads to help and support each other. Anybody can become a member, or subscribe to our magazine, but neither are required for you to visit or phone us at our Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch bases. Visit us online at

When to call? CALL US OR DROP IN even just to show off your baby, have a coffee, socialise or talk to us. Or call and make an appointment outside these hours, especially in these cases: PREGNANCY: 1: If you feel uncomfortable about your partner’s pregnancy or parenting. 2: If you or your partner have children from other relationships and you’re worried about how it will come together. 3: If you feel overly anxious about becoming a dad. AFTER CHILDBIRTH: 1: If the birth was Caesarian or complicated and difficult. This may catch up with you if you don’t talk about it. 2: If your partner has postnatal depression. 3: Any of the reasons under ‘pregnancy’ above. WITHIN THE FIRST YEAR: 1: If your child has developmental problems that worry you. 2: If feel sidelines and have problems asserting yourself. 3: If you feel down regularly. 4: If you are the primary or the sole caregiver of your baby.

Father & Child Trust • AUCKLAND: Onehunga Community Centre, 83 Church Street (09) 525 1690. Drop in: Mon-Fri 10-2 • CHRISTCHURCH: 1/369 Hereford Street (03) 982 2440. Drop in: Mon-Fri 10-2 • WELLINGTON: (04) 909 7294. • ANYWHERE: or call Christchurch (03) 982 2440.

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Plan to be an involved dad to your new baby Be at the birth, support mum to hold and treasure baby Support mother and new-born baby heaps, especially in the first few months Understand the gradual changes and slow recovery of new mums

a man often has a relationship with his family. Her actions will be directed towards what she sees as being best for the individual child or her partner, his actions tend towards the well-being of the family as a whole. Fathers may feel they are doing a good job if they can provide their partner and child with choices: career opportunities for mum that do not arise from financial necessity, a safe “nest”, opportunities for activities as a family, and for quality childcare or education. While this attitude was useful at a time when a provider/caregiver split in men’s and women’s roles existed, it can be counterproductive in modern situations. It can lead to role confusion and adjustment issues. Something that is not widely known is that fathers can suffer from postnatal depression themselves. According to some studies postnatal depression is as common in men as in women (20–30% of all births). At the core of such adjustment problems for men are often: Uncertainty about their role (how much or how little does their partner want help) Mixed messages about his role from friends, family, and the media His own understanding of fatherhood is not matching others’ expectations

Bonding with their baby is frustrated by an exclusive mother–baby bond He may feel he is not earning enough He may find reality different from expectations, particularly in his initial relationship with the baby He may feel ‘trapped’ in the family, i.e. the loss of emotional attention from partner, coupled with no real gain in emotional attention from offspring may make a father perceive family life as unrewarding, while at the same time social pressures prevent him from doing other things he might enjoy

Enjoy bonding, including lots of skin-to-skin Support breast feeding, as long as possible Change nappies, get baby ready for feed-time Help with bath-time, hold baby in the water Stimulate baby with funny faces, noises, play Take care of baby, give mum a break

He might be unable to help or resolve problems with his partner

Play peek-a-boo and hidey-go-seek!

He may feel trapped in relationship he was unsure about, even if a keen father

Gently fly baby on airplane rides…!

He did not recognise or foresee signs of depression in his partner.

Postnatal Clinical Professor in the Child Study Centre at Yale University, Kyle Pruett, makes several suggestions to help men develop a strong connection with their children. “What I mean by fathering is involved fathering,” he writes. “This is male behavior beyond insemination that promotes the well-being and healthy

28 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

development of one’s child and family in active ways.” Then, with the caveat that “a list of behaviors can’t possibly encompass all important aspects of fathering,” he names a few of the ‘everyday characteristics’ of an involved father: 1. Feeling and behaving responsibly toward one’s child 2. Being emotionally engaged 3. Being physically accessible 4. Providing material support to sustain the child’s needs 5. Exerting influence in childrearing decisions

Loving involvement requires more than words. A father must be plugged in to the daily operation of his family so he can clearly see his children’s needs. It is increasingly evident that fathers can’t sit on the sidelines or let mothers parent alone. Are fathers necessary? Based on the statistics, the right type of father is in high demand. In fact, loving, engaged and committed fathers are perhaps more important than ever before. No man is perfect. The first thing a dad should realise is that you cannot be a perfect parent in all

aspects but you can try to be a good one. We all commit mistakes but we should learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of others and better ourselves. So, how to be a good father to your children? How to be a father your kids would be proud of? What are the traits or qualities one should develop to be a good father? The simple fact that you are thinking about these issues means that you are already well on the way to being the best dad that you can be. 

Brendon Smith Brendon is a support worker with Father and Child Trust. He grew up in Manurewa, loves music, stories and sport, especially football. His work with dads has led him to understand counselling, legal basics and group support work. His dreams include seeing fathers better supported around NZ and one day, having grandchildren.

Spark their imagination With 107 kindergartens and four early learning centres Auckland wide we offer: - All day (approx. 9am - 3pm) and sessional hrs - Safe enriching learning environments - Qualified and registered teachers - 20 hours ECE

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express delivery Pumps come in many shapes and sizes giving you more questions to ponder; electric or manual, double or single, cheap or expensive.

Becoming a mum means making a lot of adjustments. There is so much pressure on us as parents and coping with a newborn baby is allconsuming. As mums we are constantly wondering why and how. Why is my baby unsettled? Is she getting enough milk? How can I get her to sleep? What’s normal? It can be hard to articulate concerns and even harder to trust your own instincts.

Having support can make all the difference, especially when it comes to questions about breastfeeding. One question you may find yourself considering is how to pump your milk. There are numerous reasons a mum may need to express. You may have a premature baby or a baby with physical conditions such as cleft palate. You may be hospitalised with a serious illness or be returning to work or study. Expressing milk will provide your baby with food as well as keep your milk production going. Pumps come in many shapes and sizes giving you more questions to ponder; electric or manual, double or single, cheap or expensive. Before you make a decision to spend next week’s rent on a pump, consider if you really need one. In the good old days women had no choice but to handexpress when they couldn’t be with their babies, it’s free and portable but it can be a bit tricky to master. However if it’s just to see you through when your baby can’t be roused from a deep sleep and you are feeling very full, learning the technique may be worthwhile. A pump on the other hand might allow you to multi-task and help you save time. There are so many different types on the market, it’s worth doing a bit of research to help you find the right one for your circumstances.

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding explains why: “An effective pump mimics (as closely as it can) the sucking action of your baby. A baby’s suck isn’t continuous. It stops and starts in a suck-release-suck-release rhythm, or cycle. Babies also have a suck strength that’s enough to draw out the milk without causing tissue damage. A pump has to balance this cycling and suction in a very precise way. If the suction is too strong or the cycles are too long, it can bruise or wound your nipples. If the suction is too weak or the cycles too short, it may not collect milk well.”

" 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.

There are basically three different types of pump to think about: Hospital-grade electric pumps are very expensive and so they’re usually rented rather than sold. Lactation consultants and pharmacies may be sources of pumps for hire. These pumps have a variety of cycles and closed systems where the working parts don’t come into contact with your milk. It is usually necessary to purchase a kit of parts that come into contact with your breasts Consumer-grade electric pumps vary hugely in price and you get what you pay for. They can be great if you have an established supply and are not pumping exclusively. The pricier ones allow double pumping and may have different settings. Some include battery options. They are designed to be used by one person and not shared by friends over several years, or sold second hand. Manual pumps are cheaper and suitable if you only want to store milk in case of an emergency. It’s best to talk to friends about what worked for them or talk to a La Leche League Leader who can also provide information about how often you might need to pump depending on your circumstances. The information sheet ‘A Guide to Pumping Your Milk’ should answer all your questions.

It’s important to remember that if your supply drops a bit when you are separated from your baby, even if you have been able to pump regularly, breastfeeding frequently when you are back together should rebuild your supply quickly. Expressing milk can be a bit tedious and rarely empties the breast as well as a thriving baby can. But it is invaluable to many mums and certainly supports the breastfeeding relationship in a variety of circumstances. If you would like more information about pumping and how to store expressed milk get in touch with your local La Leche League Leader via our website.

Find out more 1. Wiessinger D., West D., Pitman T. The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition). La Leche League International - Ballantine Books, 2010. 2. ‘A Guide to Pumping Your Milk’. La Leche League International, May 2009. Available from ; Code IS570, price 50c.

Expressing by hand Here are a number of tips to help you pump more effectively and avoid tissue damage: Start gradually with the least amount of suction to get you started Make sure your nipple is in the centre of the flange, and that the flange is the right size Gradually increase the suction level Find a place where you can relax and have some privacy. Stress can inhibit your ‘let down’ It may help your ‘let down’ to have a photo of your baby nearby or something containing his scent Massage and jiggle your breasts before starting, to encourage milk flow, or take a break midway and massage/jiggle both sides Try not to watch the clock; feel your breasts to see if they are lighter and softer If using a single pump you may need to express each breast more than once to remove the milk After you’ve finished pumping, spend a minute hand-expressing to get out the last drops. Every bit increases your output and thus your supply.

32 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Wake your breasts up – shake, massage, move them Place your fingers on opposites sides of your areola Press back towards your chest Compress your fingers towards each other, drawing slightly towards the nipple but not sliding on the skin Release the pressure, relax your hand Repeat this several times. Don’t expect anything immediately. Add massage whenever you like. Shift to a different position to move milk from other ducts. If you are expressing colostrum, collect drops on a plastic spoon, or collect with a dropper and tip into baby’s mouth. When expressing milk, express into a pump funnel or a large, clean bow. See a video at: HandExpression.html 

Lisa Manning is a former TV journalist and presenter. She is married to the British actor John RhysDavies with whom she has an eight-year-old daughter Maia. Lisa is an at-home mum and La Leche League Leader in Pukekohe.



More comfort, more milk

How Philips’ range of Comfort breast pumps help mums to be comfortable so their milk flows more easily. There are lots of reasons you might choose to express. Whether you’re going back to work, or Dad wants to lend a hand with feeding, it’s a great way to ensure your baby still gets the benefits of breast milk. A breast pump is one of the easiest ways to express, but it’s important to choose a pump that’s right for you. The range of Philips AVENT Comfort breast pumps has been developed with more than 30 years’ clinical experience and, more importantly, the advice of many breastfeeding mums. The result is Philips AVENT’s most comfortable breast pumps yet. Because research has shown that being comfortable and relaxed helps your milk flow more easily, which means more milk for your baby naturally.

Rosie, Chris and Spencer (5 months)

“Being able to express is fantastic. It allows me to get out and have a few Unlike other pumps, which force you to sit forward to express, these let you sit back hours to myself without having to fret comfortably. There’s a soft massage cushion inside the cup which feels warm against about being back in time for a feed. It’s your skin for comfortable, gentle stimulation of your milk flow. The pumps also come also nice for my husband to be able with our Natural bottle and teat to make it easier for your baby to combine breast and to feed our son and experience the bottle feeding. bonding times I get on a daily basis. I Gift with Logo Specifcations have Babycity been recommending the electric The Philips AVENT Purchase pump to everyone. ” offers available - August 2007

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We should all try to include more root vegetables as the main starch base for our meals, instead of having the more processed carbohydrates like pasta, bread, couscous and rice. Root vegetables include potatoes, kumara, carrots, parsnips, and beetroot. I also like to include pumpkin and butternut in the group, even though it grows above the ground! As they are straight from nature, and not out of the factory, they contain more nutrition ‘bang for buck’, with more vitamins and minerals, and fibre too. Wherever you can, don’t peel these vegetables as a significant portion of the vitamins and minerals are just underneath the skin, plus the skin provides fibre too. Potatoes and kumara only need to be scrubbed,

34 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

pumpkin and butternut skin can be left on (try roasting it on the goes soft and delicious). Root vegetables are naturally gluten free, so make a great base for meals that need to be gluten free. Chicken breast is really lean, however it can be a bit more flavourless than other cuts, so it’s nice to add some flavour to it by stuffing it with a tablespoon of pesto, a teaspoon of garlic butter, or some feta. To help keep your chicken breast nice and moist, cook until it is just cooked through, and then leave it to rest for at least 5 minutes to let the juices reabsorb back into the meat. We love tossing spinach through roast vegetables – the heat of the roasted vegetables wilts the spinach perfectly. It’s a great way to boost your leafy green intake! - My Food Bag Test Kitchen

Italian Stuffed Chicken with Roast Vegetable Salad ROAST VEGETABLE SALAD

1 tablespoon butter

600g agria potatoes, peeled, diced 2–3cm

1 tablespoon olive oil

500g pumpkin, peeled, diced 2–3cm 1 red onion, thinly sliced 1 red capsicum, core and seeds removed, diced 2cm 1 tablespoon olive oil 150g baby spinach leaves


1–2 tablespoons chopped parsley

DRESSING 1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1 ½ tablespoons extravirgin olive oil 2 teaspoons sundried tomato pesto

600g chicken breasts 3 tablespoons sundried tomato pesto 60g feta cheese, crumbled 6–8 toothpicks

Serves: 4–5 Prep time: 20 min Cooking time: 25 min

Method PREHEAT oven to 180°C. Line two oven trays with baking paper.

1 2




Toss potatoes, pumpkin, onion, capsicum and olive oil together on prepared trays and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20–25 minutes until tender. Turn once and swap trays halfway to ensure even cooking. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and cut part way through horizontally, leaving a hinge. To do this, put your hand flat on top of the chicken breast and use a knife to slice almost through. Spread sundried tomato pesto evenly over one open side of each chicken breast and sprinkle over feta. Fold the other side over to encase the filling, secure with 2 toothpicks per breast to hold filling in. Season both sides. Heat butter and oil in a medium fry-pan (preferably non-stick) on high heat. Fry chicken for 2 minutes each side until golden brown, but not cooked through. Transfer to higher oven tray with vegetables (push vegetables aside) and roast for 10–15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest for 5 minutes. In a small bowl whisk all dressing ingredients together and season. Remove roasted vegetables from oven and toss through spinach leave. Remove toothpicks from chicken and sprinkle over parsley. Cut into thick slices.

TO SERVE, divide roast vegetable salad between plates and top with chicken. Drizzle over dressing. 

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dinner? what’s for

Is this a daily (and sometimes dreaded) question in your house?

It can be hard thinking of healthy, easy and tasty meals for your family. Slow-cookers are a great way to get a meal on the table with minimal effort. Long slow cooking develops the flavour and creates a warm, filling dinner. Load it up in the morning and leave it to turn your favourite ingredients into a delicious meal. Slow-cookers aren’t just for casseroles – they can cook whole chicken perfectly and can even be used to make porridge.

won’t come back home). Taking lunch from home is a great way to save money too and lessens the temptation to buy treats at lunchtime.

Take advantage of your local fruit and vegetable weekend market to stock up on seasonal fresh produce at low prices. There’s always a great selection and – because you are buying from the grower – the fruits and vegetables are fresh and usually grown locally. You can find your nearest weekend market on this website: Make it an outing and take the whole family along. Extra hands can help carry your purchases!

Stuffed pita pockets – use at least two fillings to make these especially delicious

Leftovers from dinner make the ideal super-easy lunch the next day for mums and dads. Most leftovers work well for lunch – pack them into a spill-proof container and include some cutlery (plastic if you’re worried it

36 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Need inspiration for school lunch boxes? It’s not fun rushing around in the morning trying to find food kids will eat. The good news is you can easily put together lunches that are tasty and good for your kids. Here are some lunch box ideas to try: Leftover roast vegetables such as potato, pumpkin or kumara – a hot favourite even when cold Fritters – endless flavour combinations

Mini frittatas – easy and really tasty Mini meatloaf or Meatballs – extra tasty when put inside a bread roll Pita bread pizzas – always popular Pinwheel rolls – make these on Sunday ready for Monday's lunch box. Recipes for these lunch box ideas can be found at



activ / i w i k . y l i yfam

Now that you’ve got dinners and lunches sorted, don’t miss out on giving your family the best start to the day. Breakfast is important for the whole family, especially children as it replenishes their energy stores, helping them to play and learn better. Kids do what you do so if you eat breakfast, your children will too. Other reasons for kick-starting the day with breakfast include: 1. Eating the first meal of the day improves concentration and memory. 2. It re-fuels the body after the overnight ‘fast’ and helps prevent grumpiness. 3. Breakfast-eaters are less likely to snack on unhealthy foods later in the morning. 4. People who eat breakfast everyday are less likely to be overweight. The best breakfasts for your family are often the lowest-cost foods. So you can be smart with your grocery budget and provide your family with a good nutritious start to the day with these ideas:

Ever wondered how other families decide what to eat? Meal choices are made on the basis of time, cost, how organised they are and what food is in the house. For many families, preparing tasty food the whole family will eat and feel full afterwards (with no waste) is important too. In New Zealand, it’s generally the mums who do the grocery shopping and most stick to a list. Some families have a weekly or fortnightly menu of favourite meals. This makes shopping easier and means everyone knows what’s for dinner. Get fast, easy, affordable meal ideas for your family from

Wheat biscuits and milk – add fruit for extra goodness Porridge – make it in 2 minutes using the microwave Banana and a glass of milk – fast and easy Toast and spreads – everyone has a favourite Egg on toast – keeps you going. For nine different ways to flavour porridge and make it a morning favourite, visit Mornings can be busy with everyone rushing to get ready. Breakfast doesn’t have to be forgotten in the race to get out the door and on with the day. These easy grab-and-go breakfasts for adults or children can be eaten on-the-run: Cheesy mite sandwich Banana wrapped in bread Peanut butter and jam sandwich Toasted bread sandwiched together.

Parents Centre

In this section

Volunteer Networks

Volunteers – the glue that holds communities together

For over six decades proudly educating and supporting parents through the early years.

Q & A with Kathryn Cox

We understand the challenges of parenting and there is

‘Music and Movement’

no ‘one size fits all’. We are realistic enough to know that none of us should be pressuring ourselves to be perfect parents, but with the right information we can be great parents who will grow great children! What drove this organisation back in 1952 from its very beginnings continues to drive us today, it’s as simple as this: parents have the right to trustworthy and researched information so they can make informed choices. In the decades since 1952 our range of classes has certainly expanded but their central purpose hasn’t: we provide the very best, researched information and respect parents to make their own informed choices. It was Marianne Williamson, author and lecturer, who said, “There is no single effort more radical in its potential for saving the world than a transformation of the way we raise our children.” At Parents Centre we truly believe that edinong,our e f t quality parenting can have an enormous influence s a re bies, bto continue to reach world and it’s our ongoing challenge a b e r u to influence quality parenting, roups, out to every p demographic remat g e e f , g in future generations. Great cof eedinand ftoday irths, facilitators in our t b n breast Centres help us to do a e across the country. esarthat , pos

In this section we meet one of our new Presidents in Whakatane, Kathryn Cox, whose committee is looking at opportunities to reach a wider demographic of parents. Eleanor Cater, our Brand and Marketing manager since 2010 also leaves some parting words of wisdom for volunteers as she takes up a new challenge.




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Volunteers – the glue that holds communities together As she moves on to a new challenge Eleanor Cater, Parents Centres national Brand Manager, shares some parting thoughts with our volunteers. I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at Parents Centre to work with volunteers around the country. I’m continually impressed with the motivation and dedication of our volunteer teams. Time and again these are people with very busy lives – parents with children also managing paid jobs – who also find time to volunteer.

Volunteering brings surprising benefits, too. Many employers admire a candidate's volunteer experience on a CV – it certainly says a lot about a person’s intrinsic being if they have run a community group or been involved in initiatives to help others in their community. It can, and often does, provide the experience needed to land the right job. My volunteer life began with a short stint at Mana Parents Centre and the local Plunket Karitane committee, before moving on to run many kindy and school fundraisers. Through these experiences I became involved in local community events, both in organising and sponsorship and

There's something incredibly admirable about those who give their time to a cause that they believe in without any expectation of monetary reward. In my experience, these are mostly people with a strong backbone and a wide sense of values. It's no surprise that those who give to their communities tend to raise children who will also be active contributors to society. It's the old, proven outcome of parenting: your children will mostly become the example you set for them.

40 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

mostly in paid roles. It all provided excellent experience and skills to take on a national marketing manager role with Parents Centre and provided opportunities to become involved in Local Government as an elected Trustee at our local Community Trust. All of this experience has now led me to taking on a much wider role in the charities and fundraising profession, which I have a real passion for. You could say it all started when I

was a volunteer mum with baby in tow, it is where the seed was planted in any case, way back in the year 2000. Marketing volunteer community groups such as our Centres

remains true to its vision and philosophies of responsive parenting, continually back up by international experts and the latest research, regardless of what the latest quick-fix fad is. We can be very proud of that.

is a challenge but there are clever ways to do it, and often ‘on the smell of an oily rag’. Our most effectively marketed Centres often have great relationships with their local media, in particular their local newspaper and often get many stories of interest in there. This helps to keep your Centre visible and drives your brand, which in itself drives your membership and your pool of volunteers. Remaining visible and relevant in your community is paramount. The parenting landscape is fascinating and it changes so

Thank you to everyone I have worked with and learnt from in my time here with Parents Centre. It has been my immense pleasure and honour to have worked with you. Community groups and charities really are the glue that holds our communities together, our volunteers should never underestimate the work that they are doing for Parents Centre. Arohanui, Eleanor.

quickly; in my time here we’ve seen a swell of support for extended rear facing of carseats and real enlightenment towards more responsive parenting (away from the parentled strict ‘train them up’ approach from last century). In this online fast-paced world and rise of ‘baby/sleep consultants’ there is unfortunately such easy access to misinformation

Our most effectively marketed Centres often have great relationships with their local media, in particular their local newspaper and often get many stories of interest in there. - Eleanor Cater

and its noise is getting louder. Parents Centre, however,

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Q & A with Kathryn Cox Current President at Whakatane Parents Centre

When did you first join Parents Centre? I first joined Parents Centre in June 2012 during Parents Centre Week. We had just moved to Whakatane from Dunedin in May and we didn't know anyone so I thought it would be a great way to get to know some people with kids. Little did I know I would become so involved and love my roles within Parents Centre!

How did you end up being on the committee? I used to go along to committee meetings as 'a friend of the committee' I started helping out a lot and Helen Spain, the then President encouraged me to become a committee member. It didn't take much to twist my arm!

What volunteer roles have you held? I started doing the Antenatal Coordinator role in September in 2013 as the previous person was leaving and they really needed someone to step up into it. I wasn't 100% sure I was ready for that much work as I had a 6-month-old baby and a 2 ½-year-old at the time. But it was the best decision I’ve ever made! I have a real passion for working with pregnant woman and this job just fits with me as a person – and I really love doing it! In May I stepped up into the President’s role.

What benefits/growth have you gained from volunteering? My knowledge base has grown immensely. I have learnt so much about our community and all the people here. Having all my Parents Centre work and knowledge behind me also helped me successfully land a Community Services Coordinator position within Plunket.

What are your Centre's plans for the future? We gained an entirely new committee at our AGM in May. This will bring in a lot of new ideas for us to be able to apply for the remainder of the year. We want to hold a wider range of parenting courses, including looking into holding Te Reo antenatal classes and classes for teen mums. We have a high number of teen pregnancies in our area but not many of them come along to our antenatal classes so I think it would be great if we could offer a specific class for them and meet their needs.

What would you say to someone who was considering joining in their Parents Centre committee? Do it!! It's a lot of fun and you feel great for helping Parents Centre out. You gain a lot of knowledge and you do can as little or as much as you like. All help is greatly appreciated.

42 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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

This month: Spotlight on

‘Music and Movement’ Parents Centres ‘Music and Movement’ is a programme welcoming caregivers with their babies and toddlers to join in with a host of different musical activities. The programme includes active fun with singing, musical instruments and action songs. It is run by enthusiastic leaders who interact personally with the parents and children.

The Music and Movement programme offers endless opportunities for a vast variety of music and stimulating activities. Learning through play is a big part of the Music and Movement philosophy. Children enjoy the sounds, the colours, the activities and the interaction, at the same time channelling their energy into active learning. Contact your local Centre through for details of programmes running in your area.

Children are also given the opportunity to dance using props such as scarves and ribbons, lycra sheets, bubble mappers, poi, balls, balloons etc. Hand-action songs and finger rhymes allow children to interact with other children and their caregiver.

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Tough but worth it! Inspiring Aucklander Kylie Matthews shares an insight into her journey from stay at home mum with a great idea to owner and developer of the successful company Kai Carrier. I live in Auckland with my fiancé Darren and two girls – Skye (four years) and Ebony (seven months). Darren and I met over seven years ago in Mallorca, Spain while we were working on Super Yachts. I am a qualified Social Worker specialising in working with young offenders and adolescents presenting with challenging behaviours. I love this line of work and am very passionate about helping young people make positive changes to their lives, and develop a sense of hope for their future.

The experience of being a sole parent for this period

Keeping fit and healthy is very important to me. I do this by eating well – making meals from scratch and eating very little processed food. I love cooking and creating yummy healthy meals for my family and can happily spend a whole afternoon in the kitchen getting ready for the week ahead.

macaroni cheese for the fourth night in a row (because

I try to slot exercise in when I can, which is easier said than done, although I always feel so much better when I do. I play indoor netball and enjoy yoga.

you give them this you are winning!

I love spending as much time as I can at the beach – swimming, fishing, building sand castles, exploring rock pools, paddle boarding. As a family we are happiest when we are near or on the ocean. The past five months have been a challenge as my partner has been working away, so life has been one big juggling act – looking after a new baby and pre-schooler, managing the household and running my business. There are not enough hours in the day! I have had to be very organised and constantly planning my next move – when is the baby due for a sleep? When will the pre-schooler need to eat? When am I going to fit in some work? Having Darren home is going to be a welcome relief.

44 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

of time has given me an opportunity for a lot of selfreflection. It has taught me a couple of important things – It is ok to ask for help (this is something I have previously struggled with), it is important to look after yourself and take time out when you can, as you can’t look after your children properly if you are not looking after yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff – ask yourself does it really matter if the floor hasn’t been swept today or the preschooler has that’s what they keep asking for and you know they are actually going to eat it!). Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you haven’t done your best – tomorrow is another day and all your children really want from you is your time. If

Don’t sweat the small stuff Preparing for motherhood I knew that I wanted to feed my children homemade food free from any additives or preservatives, and I succeeded until my daughter was about eight months old. Always being on the go I discovered the convenience of the pouch format and found this an easy, no-mess way of feeding her. I wasn’t happy about buying the pouches from the supermarket as I didn’t really know what was in them and worried about the huge amount of waste the single serve packaging was creating. I tried to find a reusable pouch I could fill with my own homemade food but was unsuccessful – so after much deliberation decided that I would fill the gap in the market!

Having no business background or experience the biggest challenge I have faced is my lack of knowledge about everything really! From where to source product from, how to set up a website, how to price stock, work out margins, designing packaging, where to advertise….. I am fortunate enough to have an amazing group of friends who were all willing to share their knowledge and skills with me or point me in the right direction. I still have so much to learn but am loving the challenge of it all, and am learning to trust my own judgement more and not doubt or second guess my decisions. I have really enjoyed engaging my creative side and coming up with new product ideas. Balancing the demands of parenthood and my business has been tough. I was also working three days a week as a Social Worker up until going on maternity leave in December 2014. I have been running the business after my girls are in bed and in any spare minute I can find. It has meant a lot of very late nights and at times sacrificing ‘me’ time so I can get some extra work done. When I am with the children I turn off my emails and put my phone out of reach so I am not tempted to ‘just check that email’.

Live sustainably – one step at a time I want Kai Carrier to continue to expand and grow – building my brand is an important part of that and making our pouches become a must have item for every new parent! I hope to be able to continue to run the business around family life so I am able to be at home with the children as much as possible, and to work my own hours. We live in such a disposable world and I find it disturbing how much waste ends up in landfill every year. It worries me what the future will be like for my children and grandchildren’s generations if we continue to live as we do. Even if everybody just makes one small change – like using our snack packs and sandwich bags instead of gladwrap in the school lunchbox, or using our pouches for homemade food, yoghurt and smoothies, instead of single serve ones – then we can make a difference to our overall carbon footprint. I hope to continue spreading this message and encouraging people to live more sustainably one step at a time.

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shaping our future Is your childcare service part of the Healthy Heart Award?

46 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

There are many great things about this wonderful country of ours. But the current state of our nation’s childhood obesity is not something to gloat about. Around one-third of our children are overweight and obese, giving us the third highest rate of childhood obesity in the world. These precious children are our country’s future. Obesity has strong links to heart disease, which is why the Heart Foundation is tackling the issue head-on by reaching into childcare services with its Healthy Heart Award. This free programme helps childcare services to create environments that promote and support healthy eating and physical activity. The Heart Foundation is thrilled that a quarter of childcare services are already taking part in the Healthy Heart Award. However, it is determined to spread this wave of heart-healthy goodness to more kids across the country. For many years, childcare services have learned about the benefits of the Healthy Heart Award through word of mouth. It’s now time to talk about those benefits on a much larger scale, says Ainslie Ballinger, the Heart Foundation’s Early Childhood Programme Advisor. “We are really proud of our Healthy Heart Award programme because it’s helping children and their families to lead healthier lives. Our vision is to get more childcare services on board with the Healthy Heart Award, to help change the health of a generation.” When parents come to that stage of choosing a childcare service, many look for one that offers a healthy menu. It’s good to know that childcare services taking part in the Healthy Heart Award review their menu regularly so that it meets the Healthy Heart Award criteria. The criteria are based on the Ministry of Health’s Food and Nutrition Guidelines and ensure that children are served a variety from the four food groups: vegetables and fruit; breads and cereals; milk and milk products; and lean meat and alternatives.

Getting active Parents and families looking for a childcare service also look for one that offers strong physical activity education opportunities. The Healthy Heart Award supports childcare services to provide planned, daily physical activity. To ensure it is quality physical activity, childcare service staff are pointed to helpful resources and provided with practical professional development. Another benefit of taking part in the Healthy Heart Award is that participating childcare services have to review their food and nutrition policy. Evaluation of the Healthy Heart Award this year found that 80% of childcare services with a nutrition policy saw a positive impact on their children’s healthy eating habits. As part of their nutrition policy, childcare services like to include a plan for healthy eating at times of celebration, such as birthdays and fundraising events, as these are often

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times when sugary foods can appear on the table. Having a plan in place helps get parents and staff on board, says Ainslie. “The Healthy Heart Award can help childcare services to put in place new ideas to make the child feel special on their birthday, without having loads of unhealthy ‘treat’ foods on the menu. Things like having a special birthday chair to sit on for the day, a crown to wear, or birthday songs work well.”

Things to look for in a childcare service: Is it part of the Heart Foundation’s Healthy Heart Award? Does it have current nutrition and physical activity policies? Does it send you tips or information on lunchbox ideas? Has it consulted you about the menu and is that menu reviewed regularly? If you know of a childcare service that would benefit from the Healthy Heart Award, please direct staff to to sign up quickly and easily. The Healthy Heart Award is supported by the Ministry of Health.

48 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

The Healthy Heart Award also has a ripple effect on families and wha-nau. Families are twice as likely to give their children healthier food if their child attends a childcare service that has a Healthy Heart Award. These families are also twice as likely to learn more about healthy eating. “We know that some families change what they eaten at home as a result of their childcare service offering support, education and information about healthy eating,” says Ainslie. “Childcare services hold family cooking classes and parent evenings, and also send home healthy recipes and share tips on their Facebook pages.” A huge focus of the Healthy Heart Award is on ensuring that childcare services connect well with their parents, wha-nau and community. That’s because it’s vital to have everyone around the child involved in his or her learning experiences of food and physical activity. Many childcare services choose to invite the parents and families to take part in a cooking or gardening activity with the children, participate in mini-Olympics Games events, or help dig a hangi. 

Make water the drink of choice Children need plenty of water to keep their bodies healthy and working well. They need to drink more when they’re active and when it’s hot. Drinking water should be available to children at all times, and older kids should be able to access this water independently. Here are some ways to encourage children to drink water: Get in the habit of carrying a drink bottle – tap water is free! Pack a frozen drink bottle with the lunchbox Keep a jug of cold water in the fridge Try flavouring it with a slice of lemon, orange, or some strawberries In summer, add ice cubes when serving water. Find out more from the Heart Foundation

2015 photo

competition Be in to win these great prizes!

See pages 52–53 for more information. 1


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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. 2. Photos must be submitted to: or you can enter via Instagram, by following us on Instagram and posting your picture with #kiwiparent and #thecategory you are entering (eg.#categoryone) 3. Each email must contain only one photo. Any number of photos may be entered. 4. Photos or videos submitted via Instagram must include #kiwiparent #thecategory (e.g. #categoryone). If you are submitting a video clip it should be no longer than 12 seconds duration. 5. The category must be clearly stated in the subject line of the email or with a hashtag on social media. All contact details (name, address, phone number) must be in the body of the email. 6. The name on the file submitted should contain the surname of the person who took the photo (e.g. smith1.jpg).

7. 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. 8. Only photos with the following file types will be accepted: .jpg, tif, png, pdf, gif. 9. Please refrain from including brand shots in your submissions. 10. 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. 11. The judges’ decision will be final and no correspondence will be entered into. 12. Prizes are not exchangeable or transferable for cash. 13. Entries must be received by 4pm on Friday, 2 October 2015. 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 magazine. #kiwiparent

Continued overleaf...

Category 1 Cover Page Cuteness

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Photograph your family’s treasured moments during your pregnancy and in those very early weeks with your precious new baby. The winning photo in this category will win a fantastic prize pack from Philps AVENT containing:

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We all know what an amazing milestone your baby’s first steps are. Capture this special moment and submit your First Steps Video (no longer than 12 seconds duration) to Instagram #kiwiparent and you could win one of two Bright Starts Bounce Bounce Baby saucers from the Baby Factory.

Kiwi kids love their food! They love to eat and to feed themselves with sometimes unpredictable results. Next time your little one starts feeding themselves yoghurt, or mashed pumpkin, or tries eating an ice cream cone or anything messy, make sure you capture the moment! The six winning entries will each receive a prize pack from Kai Carrier.

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Do you have a little helper in the kitchen? Is your little one happy kneading and rolling or decorating up a storm? Grab your camera and capture the moment forever – and you could also win one of two My Family Food Bag vouchers as well!

Are your children budding artists? Do they love experimenting with colours and textures? If this sounds like your family, grab your camera and send in photos of your little Picassos in the midst of creation and you could be you could be in to win one of three fantastic gift vouchers from Resene Paints. Get creative with paint with the Resene KidzColour range, with all the colours you need to decorate children’s rooms or for your children to create masterpieces.

Every week Nadia and her Test Chefs dream up exciting and nutritious dinner recipes just for you. We deliver the ingredients and recipes right to your door – just open your food bag and discover what tasty meals you get to cook and enjoy. Food bags are loaded with fresh, local ingredients and include delicious easy to cook dinner recipes. You’ll find something to tickle your fancy, whether you're a gourmet foodie couple or family with growing kids. Simple. Healthy. Delicious.

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We all know that children love to imitate their parents – do you have photos of your child trying to act like you? Or dressing up like mum or dad? ? Or trying to copy your every move? Or perhaps there is an uncanny family likeness that you can capture? Send your ‘Mini Me’ photos in to the 2015 photo competition and you could win an awesome Mummy and Me prize pack from Mumma Bubba Jewellery. ,




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setting the scene for informed decision-making We all know that these days we have access to a huge amount of information. There are experts ready to speak out on every subject and sometimes it feels as though everyone has a view on how we should raise our children. And nothing seems to get people riled up as much as the hotly debated subject of infant sleep – something that goes to the heart of our parenting choices. Parents Centre is an inclusive and universal organisation where our philosophies, position statements and direction is driven directly from the membership at a grass-roots level. One of the benefits of being part of a national organisation is that the DNA of Parents Centre is shaped by the volunteers in this way. One of Parents Centre’s philosophy’s is that prospective parents, parents and families have the right to quality parenting and childbirth education and information, enabling them to make informed decisions on their parenting role. Parents Centre recognises that there are many choices that parents make that are vastly wide-ranging, including decisions around sleeping your baby. We support parents in their individual decisions and strongly encourage informed decision-making to do so by seeking quality researched evidence. One of our roles

54 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

as a parenting organisation is to provide this quality information, and empower parents to make the choices from that information that is right for them and their family. Through such research, Parents Centre volunteers put forward and voted in the following position statement, which further shapes our organisation.

Responsive Parenting 2014 Parents Centres believe in sensitive, responsive parenting throughout all stages of a child’s life. Children parented in this way form secure attachments and enjoy better mental and physical health. Parents Centres endorse flexible feeding and/or sleeping routines that are responsive to babies and family’s needs. Research that formulated this position statement was exhaustive and came from sources such as: I encourage all parents to be familiar with the findings in these websites as you make your decisions around sleeping your baby.  Liz Pearce Childbirth Education Manager Parents Centres New Zealand

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Any man can be a father, but it takes a lot to be daddy.


Wishing all the awesome Kiwi dads a happy Fathers Day

September 6, 2015 From the Kiwiparent team

56 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

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Homeopathic remedies

help for busy

mothers sepia – mother’s saviour!

It couldn’t be the alarm already! Surely those few snatched minutes didn’t count for a full night’s sleep? However, hungry toddlers waiting for their breakfast don’t lie – and the light of early morning shining through the upper windows, combined with their ceaseless questions, confirmed it was, indeed, breakfast time. Sleepy, dishevelled and lacking an appetite herself, she stumbled to the kitchen, robotically preparing breakfast for the chatty toddlers. She had been up and down all night breastfeeding the new baby and her energy stores were depleted. Early morning squealing and bursts of child-driven energy, fuelled her rising irritability until it reached a fever pitch. Just at that moment Dad sashayed into the kitchen, pinching her pyjama-clad rear and smooching into her neck. This was more than tired Mother-of-many could handle and she snapped, hissing at him to keep his hands off her and leave her to get the breakfast. She gave him a shove with her hip, just to reiterate her anger. Delivering breakfast to the table, for the toddlers, Mother-of-many found herself drained of any enthusiasm. She slumped on the sticky couch to grab a glimpse of the breakfast news, too tired to think about what she needed for her own nourishment. It was a distraction that took no energy. Mr Casanova, trying to earn back some points, handed her a black coffee, which she took wordlessly. Often nauseous in the morning, she didn’t know what she felt like eating or drinking. She couldn’t live on just chocolate, but most other foods tasted bland and she didn’t have the energy to prepare extra meals. As she pondered how she would cope with the day, Dad appeared back in the lounge with the crying new baby, ready for its next feed. He planted a brisk kiss on her cheek as he escaped to work. Later in the morning, Mother-of-many managed to pile the jacketed children in and onto the buggy for a brisk outside walk – she always felt the benefit of a snappy outing and less inclined to snarl at the children by the time she got home. Her aching back always improved from exercise, as did her bladder control. Without this exertion, she was liable to consider packing her bags and leaving home by mid-morning! She walked swiftly in the morning breeze, barely responding to the children’s constant babble, happy to escape into her own world for a short time. Toddlers lunched and in bed and baby asleep, she sat in the sun to read for half an hour. She would get through the day but all this caring for the family had meant she had lost her sense of self, felt drained, flat and exhausted and just couldn’t quite see the end in sight.

58 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

SEPIA – the homeopathic help for busy mothers This– or a similar scenario – is familiar to many of us and the homeopathic remedy, Sepia, is needed by many women at some time in their lives. Some homeopathic literature suggests that 75% or more of women, using homeopathy, will be prescribed Sepia as an appropriate remedy at some point. Sepia states are often precipitated by times of hormonal stress or change: adolescence, preconception, post hormonal treatment (birth control pill etc), menstrual irregularities, miscarriage, pregnancy, childbirth, during breastfeeding or childcare, menopause /hot flushes. Involvement of the female system is central to the themes in this remedy picture. The Sepia woman is energetically depleted – from hormonal distress, the exhaustion of caring for her family and the endless tasks that lie ahead of her. She blindly pushes herself from task to task with her flatness of mood sapping her energy even further. Her mental and emotional state and lack of enthusiasm causes her to be snappiest to those she loves, although she can also have a sharp tongue or a blunt comment to make to others at times. Sepia women also have functional disturbances – uterine or bladder prolapses are an example – from quick, successive pregnancies, births and hard work (lifting and manual labour are typical causations for this). In years gone by it was described as the ‘washer woman’s remedy’; for the woman who had a hard home life and worked physically hard dragging heavy baskets of damp washing and exerting herself to the point of exhaustion. Today, the Sepia woman may be holding down a demanding job as well as raising her children and feeding her young baby at the end of a busy day. She is emotionally exhausted on all levels, leading to either a low-grade depression or just a lack or enthusiasm, which can be seen in observers as a ‘flatness’. Aversion to her family and more particularly her partner, are expressions of her lack of extra energy. Those for whom Sepia is indicated, are usually much better for vigorous exercise like running, brisk walking, gym workouts or dancing. This ‘wakes up’ the vitality and helps the patient to feel alive. Stimulating flavours also wake up the senses in this remedy – chocolate, spicy foods and vinegary pickles etc. At other times

there can be great nausea and a sinking feeling in the stomach so this remedy is indicated for morning sickness and other digestive complaints. Other characteristic symptoms of the remedy are poor circulation, giving rise to coldness and stiffness of the extremities. Sinus problems and chronic nasal discharges can be often seen in this remedy picture. There is also an affinity with the skin: the remedy can be useful for herpetic eruptions, ringworm and acne. The most characteristic aspect to the skin is the brown saddle-like stain that women often get on their upper lip, nose or cheeks due to hormonal changes. This Sepia picture is an example of the many homeopathic medicines that can benefit the whole person when individually matched to a range of symptoms at all levels. It is also a great example of how the energy of an individual and their quality of life can be elevated when out of balance. See a professional homeopath in your area to help achieve appropriate, individualized prescribing and accurate results. 

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.

Sowing the seeds

for your kids’

financial future

Teaching kids good money management habits is one of the most important life lessons you can give them – and the sooner you can start, the better. Whatever age your children are, introducing some very basic money management skills early on can help them avoid learning expensive lessons down the line. We teach children manners, respect, acceptance and many other important life lessons so why not teach them one of life’s most important skills – how to manage their money! After all, adults, particularly parents, are children’s strongest role models and a little bit of knowledge can go a long way.

The sooner the better There are no set rules about when you should start teaching your children about money or an ideal time to open a bank account for your child, but in many instances the earlier the better. Children start learning about money long before their first bank account, credit card or job, so getting the money conversation going early will help you put your children on the road to handling money responsibly. The most important thing is that children learn the value of saving and spending wisely. Our two-year-old daughter has recently started playing ‘shops’ and exchanging pretend money for fruit and veges.

60 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

And remember, seeds planted early bear fruit later – it’s important to work on your child's financial awareness early on, because once they're teenagers, they may be less likely to heed your wise advice.

Everyday activities are teachable moments There are plenty of ways you can begin to teach your children about the importance of money. For younger children it may be teaching them about coins and notes and their different value. You can also use supermarket shopping as an opportunity to explain that different items cost different amounts and some items are on ‘sale’. And an ATM stop offers a chance to explain that money doesn’t actually come from a machine! For older children more advance concepts can be introduced, for example the difference between needs and wants is important, along with making them aware that needs and wants are different for each family. Opening bills is a chance to talk about payment for services, credit card debt and interest rates because, at the right time, children need to be taught about debt, specifically loans and credit cards. You could also talk about insurance with teens, especially as they learn to drive or as you're selecting what health care options are available to your family.

Pocket money – to give or not to give The choice to give pocket money is a personal one; however this can be an effective teaching tool to help demonstrate the relationship between work and money. It’s a great way to teach children that money has to be earned – it doesn’t magically appear from ATMs. A good start is to set age-appropriate tasks for your children, such as setting the table, washing up or feeding the pets. You can also draw up a job chart to let your kids tick off their tasks.

It all adds up Teaching kids how to manage money from an early age provides valuable skills for budgeting and saving, and establishes sensible money habits that will hopefully stay with them for life. 

Kate van Praagh

WE S 1 4 4 4 K i w i _ p a r

Kate is a part-time working mum to a busy two-year-old daughter. As Senior Sustainability Manager at Westpac, Kate is responsible for programmes relating e n t A to . financial pdf Peducation, a g e 1 social 2 9 / and affordable housing and diversity.

of4thisAarticle is sourced from the Davidson 0 6 / 1 The 2 , content 1 1 : 4 M

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Visit and click on the ‘Managing Your Money’ tab for helpful tools including saving and budgeting calculators, videos and online tutorials. You can also check out if there is a financial education workshop coming up near you. There are even tools for kids including some cool online games to get kids thinking about money and how to save – click on ‘Your Life Stage’ to find out more.

Institute, an education initiative of Westpac Banking Corporation

Kia ora

Providing a warm welcome to

new migrants

The 2013 Census showed that New Zealand is an ever increasingly ethnically diverse country with European 74% , Maori 14.9%, Pacific 7.4%, Asian 11.8%, Mid-Eastern Latin and American African 1.2%,New Zealander 1.6% (as stated by people on census form), and Other ethnicity 1.7% Pregnancy Help is well connected with the rich diversity of communities that it is working in and is increasingly seeing the significance of the role we have in supporting people who are new (from other countries) to these communities. These people come to New Zealand as migrants, sometimes refugees, to make New Zealand their home. Others come for short-term, specific reasons such as work, study or to visit family. For migrants to any country there is the need and sometimes the challenge to integrate themselves into their new home country. The development of social inclusion, through friendships, groups and organisations and language development (if the country’s language is not their first language) is an important aspect as to how they experience life in their new home country.

62 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Being pregnant and in a new home country can be a time of uncertainty for many people. Family and friends may be far way, it can be difficult to find out about and understand what maternity services are available and how best to prepare for their baby. For those who have had a baby already they have some knowledge to guide them; however they may find that the care provided in New Zealand is different to what they had experienced previously. First-time parents may feel even more uncertain as they don’t have previous knowledge or experience of what to expect or how to prepare for parenthood. Pregnancy Help is able to “help” (the name describes well the service that is provided); with information and advice such as how to engage with a Lead Maternity Carer (usually a midwife), entitlement to maternity services and what other community services and supports are available. Pregnancy Help is also able to provide practical assistance with essential items for babies such as a safe sleeping place for a new-born, bedding, clothing and nappies. All the services are free – there are no “criteria” to receive services and permanent residency status is not required. Staff and volunteers are there to listen and are

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All the way from Bangladesh Meet Peu and her husband Jeshu, a Bangladeshi couple who are delighted with their three-month-old daughter Odithi, born at Auckland Hospital in February this year. While Jeshu has lived here for eight years, Peu had been in New Zealand for just a few months when she became pregnant. With no family here — her parents and two sisters still live in Bangladesh — Peu says she was often alone and lonely, despite living Auckland’s central business hub. “Then a friend of my husband told him about Pregnancy Help and we went to see them. They are so friendly, such nice people,” says Peu in English she apologises for, but which resounds with appreciation for the support she received. “I thought I was pregnant, but only one month, so they gave me another tester. Then they told us about everything and gave us a pregnancy book. They were really helpful,” says the 23-year-old, who now tells young women she meets about Pregnancy Help, “even though they are not pregnant yet.” The layette pack which Pregnancy Help provides — a generous collection of essential items that are often made by the organisation’s collection of dedicated knitting volunteers — provided Odithi a warm and welcome start to life. Safe sleeping was made possible with the three-month loan of a bassinette and mattress, something the organisation has been pleased to assist families with for the last few years. Pregnancy Help promotes safe-sleeping and recognises that the bassinettes and mattresses can literally be “life-savers” for those families who need them. Jeshu echoes Peu’s appreciation for the assistance they and Odithi have received. “The people at Pregnancy Help are really good people, really helpful with support. Life is very busy now,” adds the chef, “but Odithi brings us happiness and we are so, so happy.”

Noreen says she discovered Pregnancy Help through Facebook. “My husband and I came in not knowing what to expect. The service we got was wonderful. When our baby boy is older we will take him for a visit and have photos taken with the staff so we can tell him about the wonderful service.” The family is also appreciative of the community spirit in New Plymouth. “It is such a warm place — there are so many people who want to help. We feel really at home. Being put in contact with the Philippine Community has been wonderful. They are a great group of people”.

All the way from Nepal A young couple who got way more than they expected for at Pregnancy Help Auckland could not be happier with the organisation. Ranjit and his wife Ranju are both from Nepal and have no family support in New Zealand. Ranjit, a chef, came here two-and-a-half years ago, and Ranju, a Nepal-qualified doctor, 18 months ago. They have greatly appreciated not only the initial assistance they received from, but also the follow-up after their son Rehan was born. “I was told about Pregnancy Help by a friend who also had help from them,” says Ranjit who speaks for the family because Ranju feels her English, though clear, is not at conversation level. “I went there one time, and they gave us a baby bed for three months and lots of clothes and toys. Then after three months they called again and gave us bigger clothes, then again after six months. We were given nice clothes, good for winter, and books and toys for his age. “They give really good help. We got more than I expected, and you can’t have better than that.” Ranjit particularly appreciated the ongoing contact from Pregnancy Help.

All the way from the Phillipines New Plymouth is the new home town of Noreen and her husband Johan, and they’re so happy with their Pregnancy Help experience. “The service we got was wonderful,” says Noreen. “It is very different from the Philippines. There you need to buy everything. Here in New Zealand people will help you out.”

64 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

“It feels very good to be called, because I can’t go to ask all the time — it sounds better if they ring.” They called in to the Pregnancy Help office a week before Ranju was due, then again when Rehan was two months old, to meet those who had helped them. “They were very happy to see us, it was very nice.” So Ranjit would recommend the organisation to other families in need? “Yeah, of course!” (And in case you’re wondering, their families back in Nepal are ‘pretty good” after the earthquakes).

interested to hear about people’s experiences and what is important to them. They are a vital link in a chain of support here in New Zealand. The 40-year-old organisation helps thousands of new parents annually; often at the beginning of the pregnancy and, where appropriate, continuing supportive involvement in the baby’s life till toddler stage. Pregnancy Help’s approach to responding to New Zealand’s changing ethnic landscape is a priority as is their commitment to making a positive difference in the lives of the people using their services and community wellbeing. As part of its aim to be available and engaging with parents from any socioeconomic group and ethnicity as they prepare for parenthood, Pregnancy Help is available via Facebook and has a well-resourced website including a translation service for Filipino, Japanese, Spanish, German, Chinese and Afrikaans languages. Pregnancy Help has branches in Auckland, Taupo, Taranaki, Central Hawkes Bay, Greater Wellington, Canterbury, Dunedin, and Invercargill. As well as assisting parents, the concept of “community care” is an important aspect of the organisations work. People are encouraged to help others out by donating preloved baby clothing and equipment, nappies, bedding so they can be passed on to other families to use. Or by volunteering, there are plenty of volunteer opportunities so that services can be delivered. 

Julia McFadden “When a person presents themselves for help they are simply a person who is in need of some support at that moment in their life,” says Julia. “Limitation of their English language can be a challenge, but we don’t let it become an issue. For migrants who are without their families, they find Pregnancy Help very welcoming, and helpful about the basic New Zealand way of life.”

Catherine Perry Client interviews were undertaken by Catherine Perry, a former newspaper journalist who assists notfrom-profit organisations with publicity. She is the delighted grandmother of Lucy, a great little kid born to her son and his wife in August 2014; and she can't wait to see who her daughter and son-in-law will be happy parents of in London, in June.

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Our Central City office (there are services available in other areas) last year assisted families from many ethnicities and has recently opened a Drop-In Centre to provide a friendly place for families to meet others.

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butterfly moments

Hello Kiwiparent readers, Last issue Kiwiparent published a story I had written about me and my family including my Different Type of Perfect daughter who has Cerebral palsy. This article like others I write was written to give a personal perspective on the lives of families like mine, families raising children with special needs. Before I became the parent to a child that was a different type of perfect I knew nothing of the lives of these children and their families but now this is my life and I hope that by sharing my experiences it will help others understand the challenges and joys we (like any parent) face. Our lives are very different in many ways but similar to everyone else on so many ways, this story talks about the “Butterfly Moments”, those amazing milestones that we share with our children. My daughter has

I have had a number of articles printed all over the world recently, each of these has been an expression of my emotions on this journey of raising a kid that is a different type of perfect. One article “My Daughter Is A Different Type Of Perfect” went viral and we lost count of how many times we estimate it had been shared after half a million, half a million! Wow if only I charged $1 per view. Each story (like this one) is written in my spare room, my office where I run my charity SmileDial. Each story takes only moments to write, I do not think of content, plot or any outcome I just write what is in my head. Words just fall out as fast as I can type them (with one finger typing is a long process). Many of the words that have fallen out my head deal with the struggles families like mine face, they talk about the bad times, the feelings of being alone and the reality that some days bare just shit, yip shit. It is so easy for me to write with my one finger about the bad times as these times bring so many emotions to the fore, it is easy to bitch and moan, easier than writing about good stuff. I have a tendency to be a little “dark” at the best of times, my name actually translates to the The Dark Robed One, cool. I paint, or I used to when I had time mostly using black and white as my colours (my son tells me black is a shade not a colour?). I like dark stuff, always have.

many of these moments but they are often very different than other parents and sometimes few and far between but they come in her time and we celebrate every one. Since writing this article six months ago my daughter has learnt some new words, including some sign language and has begun taking steps unaided in her walker, we have waited almost four years for our daughter to take these steps and this is an amazing butterfly moment for us all. Thank you Kiwiparent for allowing me to give readers another glimpse into my life and the lives of all parents that are raising a child that is A Different Type of perfect. And thank you very much to the SmileDial mums and dads who provided images of their Different Type of Perfect kids for this article.

with special needs is no different, the moments may be but the joy we get from them is no different and in some cases even more magical and butterfly like. Butterfly moments, awesome that can be the title of this blog post. I have a 17-year-old son, I love him with all my heart and I am so proud of him. He was born premmie and spent a few weeks in an incubator after his birth but otherwise he is just a normal teenager. I experienced his first words, steps, food, poo on a potty and all the standard stuff, I recall potty training him by peeing with him on the lawn outside – oh the butterfly moments. I have watched him grow into an amazing young man and soon he will go into the world to find his life and begin his paths. This is the way of the world, this is the way things should be and this is the wonderment of having children. My different type of perfect daughter is well, different. She is three and a half and has not taken that first step yet, she speaks only a few words and well there is all types of things going on and so many “normal” milestones have passed without her achieving them but then again they are not her milestones, they are the “normal” milestones. My daughter has her own milestones, her own goals and we adjust the rules and timeframes to suit her, we can do that if we want.

What my writing has not expressed is the amazing joy raising a child with special needs can bring, perhaps I need to take time to look at these beautiful moments and maybe I should buy some bright yellow paint for my next painting, oh god no please allow me to stay dark in some places bright yellow paint is not my thing. Every parent has great moments with their child, amazing moments, life is awesome and beautiful and perfect (oh look a butterfly) moments. Having a child

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When my daughter reaches a milestone we cheer like it is um, 1999? and we feel such joy it can bring us to tears (not me I do not cry I am dark remember). These moments are all the more poignant because often we never expected these milestones to come at all, if you believe it will not happen then it does you tend to get excited “Holy shit did she just do that, come here and look at this, do it again, DO IT AGAIN! Woo hoo good girl!”. That may be because she just opened her hand, the one that does not work well, these tiny triumphs that mean so much. Woo Hoo. I spoke to a dad recently about his child with special needs, we spoke about how we love our children. He said he loved his different type of perfect child in a different way but could not explain why or how. We often do love our kids differently, not more or less than each other but different. I love my 17 year old son with all my heart and soul as I do his little sister. I guess the love I have for her is different because my role in her life is different, she is so much ore vulnerable and needs me in different ways. My son had the luxury of being able to be independent, a luxury my daughter does not have. He will soon be a man living his life as he sees fit, my daughter will require me to be with her for many many years (maybe forever) to help her do so many things. This is the reason the love is different, my son no longer needs me to be there all the time, my daughter depends on me being there all the time. Every day I hope for a moment, a woo hoo moment with my daughter. These come on a regular basis and each moment can be tiny and pass quickly. As I type I can hear her singing with her mum in the living room, she is having a good morning and not screaming–WOO HOO (for her and us). This morning she gave me a hug when she got out of bed, she signed I love you last night, I heard her laugh this morning... butterfly moments come always. The struggles of raising a child with a special need are immense but the rewards are amazing, they come maybe less often and slowly but they come. I love my children, each has shown me so much each in a different way. I am going to sing with my daughter now, today is a good day and I want to play with her. 



Kelly Dugan

Kelly is the founder and CEO of a Christchurch-based charity called SmileDial that supports families who have a child with an ongoing medical condition and/ or disability. As it says on its website “we put Smiles on the Dials of mums, dads and siblings (rather than focusing on the family member with special needs)". “I understand that the ripple effect of having a child with special needs which flows through the entire family unit, mums, dads and other siblings. SmileDial has helped families smile through weekend escapes for families, weekend escapes for dads, champagne breakfasts for mums, movie days for teenaged siblings of special children, support person flights to Starship Hospital, financial assistance, grocery vouchers,and so much more,” reveals Kelly. SmileDial has been involved in many amazing projects such as flying a dad from the lower South Island to be at his daughter’s side in Starship hospital where she had been with her unwell child for months. SmileDial distributed 600 Christmas presents to families who have a child with special needs and organised local artists to transform a drab area in Christchurch Hospital into 'The Butterfly' room with a huge mural, artworks and lighting. SmileDial even surprised a dad with a 45 minute ride in a 1957 Vampire Jet, just to put a Smile on his Dial. Go to the SmileDial website to register for membership promotions and be in with a chance to receive a SmileDial random act of kindness.


68 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years


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Talking to young children about sexuality Everyone has a story about how they found out about sex – and it’s usually hilarious, embarrassing or both! While sex is no longer the taboo subject it once was, talking to children about sexuality is something that many parents still struggle with. Often we avoid thinking about it and put it off, hoping that we won’t have to explain things until our kids are older, when kindy or school can deal with it. So when our two-year-old starts getting curious about their own body and other people’s, it can take us by surprise. Babies and small children are interested in everything – it’s their job. They need to learn about where their body parts are and what they’re for and to understand what it means to be a boy or a girl. And at some stage, they’ll have to find out how babies are made.

What can I expect? Children’s sexual behaviour can be divided into three stages: Babies and toddlers: will play with their genitals when their nappies are off will play with their poo, given the chance love being naked.

70 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Three-year-olds: are usually not shy about being naked know whether they’re a boy or a girl are interested in the differences between males and females are curious about other people’s showering, bathing and toileting habits play games where they look at other people’s bodies.

Four-year-olds: are interested in sex words, dirty jokes and toilet humour are curious about animal’s bottoms and toilet habits are still interested in looking at other people’s naked bodies.

Why do they do it?

There’s no need to worry about this behaviour as long as: the children are of roughly the same age and size no one is being forced to do it no one is getting hurt or upset. With normal sexual play, children tend to be silly and giggly, rather than ashamed and scared.

How do I talk about it? Children’s sexual behaviour is something that many adults find difficult to discuss face-to-face. PlunketLine gets a lot of calls from parents who are worried about what’s normal. According to Anne-Marie Morris, Manager of PlunketLine, the most common questions are about children touching their genitals. Many of the queries are from parents worried that their little girls are ‘masturbating’. Small children touch their genitals because they’re curious, it feels nice and it comforts them when they’re upset or anxious. They often hold onto themselves when they’re nervous or need to go to the toilet. It’s also common for small children to become involved in sexual play with other children. They do this to learn about other people’s bodies – what’s different and what’s the same.

“Parents expect boys to play with themselves. As soon as they find their genitals – they just go, ‘Put it away, sweetheart.’ But with their daughters, they’re surprised, even though it’s completely normal for children of both sexes.” PlunketLine stresses the importance of talking to children about their bodies, explaining how things work and giving simple, honest answers to children’s

questions. And it’s a lot easier to do if you start when they’re young. Maraea Teepa is the co-author of Whakatipu, a parenting resource aimed at parents and wh anau ¯ of children under five. “We thought it was important to let wh anau ¯ know that children start learning about sexuality from when they are really young, whether we plan it or not. Tamariki need to know that each body part has a name and a job to do.” Maraea says that wh anau ¯ can help by using the correct names for children’s genitals as well as the words that wh anau ¯ use for them. And she agrees with the advice that PlunketLine gives about taking the opportunity to talk to children about sex and sexuality. “Don’t save it for the big talk sometime later when they’re older. Keep it short and simple. When children hear wh anau ¯ talk openly about these things, they learn what’s okay and what’s not for themselves and others.” This is what your child’s sexual behaviour is all about – learning about their own body and other people’s.

But what if I have concerns? What if the sexual behaviour of your own or someone else’s child causes them distress or makes you worried? Anne-Marie suggests that you speak with a health professional you trust – for example, your Plunket nurse, Well Child provider or family GP. If you feel embarrassed about speaking to someone face to face you can call PlunketLine or Parent Help (see sidebar for more information) and discuss your concerns over the phone. If you ever have concerns about the possible sexual abuse of a child, it’s important to seek help. Child, Youth and Family have a confidential helpline which provides information and advice. They also deal with notifications where there are concerns about the safety of a child.

“I remember hiding under the bed at the age of four, giggling and playing rudies with the neighbours’ kids. I was completely thrown when own kids started doing the exact same thing.” Mother of a three-year-old and a five-year-old.

72 kiwiparent – supporting kiwi parents through the early years

Show don’t tell Children learn by watching how adults behave. Respect their wishes about touching – it’s important that adults stop tickling or play fighting when children say they’ve had enough. Respect their privacy around things like toileting, dressing and bathing and don’t force them to kiss and hug if they don’t feel like it. It’s all about respect and helping your child to learn about their bodies, sexuality and sex in an ageappropriate and safe way. For more detailed information about talking to children about sex, go to the Family Planning website (see sidebar) and check out Talk Tips in the Information for Parents and Caregivers section. 

Sarah Scott Sarah Scott is a mother of two teenagers who works with the SKIP team at the Ministry of Social Development. SKIP’s aim is that all children in New Zealand are safe and nurtured, and grow into happy, capable adults. At work Sarah’s focus is on promoting positive parenting and supporting parents, wha-nau and communities to keep children safe. She tries to do some of that at home as well.

Family Planning The Family Planning website provides useful information about how to talk to children about sex. They also provide pamphlets and courses on the subject.

SKIP The Whakatipu resource, made up of four series of booklets, can be viewed and ordered through the SKIP website. Te Kohuri contains information about children’s sexuality.

PlunketLine 0800 933 922 PlunketLine is a toll-free telephone advice service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are free from cell phones.

Parent Help 0800 568 856 The Parent Help Line also provides toll-free advice 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Calls are free from cellphones.

Child Youth and Family 0508 FAMILY 0508 326 459 The Child Youth and Family freephone is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for anyone who is worried about a child or young person or suspects child abuse and neglect. Calls are free from cell phones.

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Our family’s always there for yours. If you’re searching for quality, affordable, inhome early childhood care and education, we’d love to hear from you. With hundreds of au pairs to browse through and speak with using our online matching system, it’s never been faster (or easier) to find the perfect au pair or live-in nanny for your little

treasures! With Au Pair Link, you’ll receive a monthly visit from your own qualified early childhood teacher, as well as access to our local weekly playgroups, child activities and events, childcare training, free educational resources, 20 Hours ECE, WINZ subsidies, and of course... fresh flavours at the table!

Because we’re all about making life easier for new Mums and Dads, we offer 25% off our placement fee to all Parent Centre members. Simply apply at using the promo code PARENTC!

Join the

Au Pair Link family. Find your perfect match at or call us on 0800 AU PAIR (287 247)

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