National MP Louise Upston has a Member’s Bill to support new mothers:
“The first few days after giving birth are some of the most important, but can also be the most challenging for new mums.
“National is proposing that new mums should be entitled to three days of care after giving birth, and that support should be available after each child.
“At the moment, new mothers have 48 hours of care funded by DHBs, but we know that they’re often encouraged to leave as soon as possible. This sort of pressure can cause additional stress in what is already a stressful time.
Many aren’t just encouraged to leave, they’re told they have to leave and often just an hour or so after their baby is delivered.
That’s not always optimal for those with support from husbands, wider family and/or friends at home and it can be difficult at best for those without support.
“During the first few days after birth we know mothers can experience the baby blues, have difficulty breast feeding, can be exhausted and sometimes just need a bit of extra help while they build up confidence.
“We believe mums should have a choice in the kind of care that they opt for, whether that’s in a hospital or at a community or private facility. We would make community care available to all women, no matter where they choose to give birth.
“This policy will cost an additional $16-$20 million. It would also be ring-fenced, meaning if one mother only requires one day in care, her additional two days would be used for another mum who might need a five day stay and the money can’t be put into other areas by DHBs.
Not all mothers will need or choose to stay for three days, some will need more. Ring fencing will give birthing centres the funds to provide that extra care when it’s needed.
“National believes the first thousand days are the most important in a child’s life. We will do all that we can so kids get off to a good start and make sure their parents are supported.”
National went into the 2008 election with a promise to fund maternity services to allow mothers to stay in birthing centres until breast feeding was established should they choose to.
It came from a policy I’d pitched at the party’s Southern regional conference that was received so enthusiastically I was asked to present it to the national conference.
When I got down from the stage Nick Smith told me that sometimes good policy is bad politics and bad policy is good politics but this was good policy and good politics.
National did provide funding for the policy in its first Budget after the 2008 election but sometime between then and now the funding evaporated.
I’m delighted that this Bill will, if it’s passed, reinstate the funding.
The science is clear, breastfeeding is best for mothers and babies, if mothers are willing and able to do it.
The willingness and ability are much more likely in a birthing centre with professional help on-hand than at home with limited if any assistance.
An extra day or two of postnatal care could make a huge difference to the mental and physical health of the mother and consequently the wellbeing of the baby.
Ashley Walmsley pays tribute to country mums in Queensland Country Life:
MUMS – what a great invention.
There’s nothing they can’t do.
Country mums, the ones in regional and rural areas, seem to be able to do all that and a bit more again.
From the paddock to the pantry, the school run to the shearing shed, the tuckshop to the tractor, the saleyards to swimming lessons: country mums are as adaptable as they are knowledgeable. . . .
Some, like 22: She’s used the shovel more for dealing with snakes than pottering in the garden don’t apply in New Zealand. Could you add some that do?
A thought for Mother’s Day:
Children Are Like Kites – Erma Bombeck
You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.
You run with them until you’re both breathless.
They hit the rooftop.
You patch and comfort, adjust and teach them.
Finally they are airborne…
They need more string and you keep letting it out.
But with each twist of the ball of twine,
there is a sadness that goes with joy.
The kite becomes more distant,
and you know it won’t be long
before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you two together
and will soar as it is meant to soar, free and alone.
Only then do you know that you did your job.
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
It is not until you become a mother that your judgement slowly turns to compassion and understanding – Erma Bombeck
Ashburton District Council, Water Safety New Zealand irrigation companies, MHV Water, Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation, and Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation, are pushing the importance of adult supervision around water.
. . . In the last 10 years, there have been 58 preventable toddler drownings in New Zealand. As a vibrant farming community, the Ashburton District has many water races, irrigation ponds, streams and rivers, most of which are not fenced or restricted, and many are often on private properties. These waterways can pose a deadly threat to unattended children,” Ashburton District Council Chief Executive, Hamish Riach explained.
“It is not realistic to expect every waterway in rural areas to be fenced. With so many potential drowning hazards around, it is vital that everyone is keeping a vigilant eye on their young ones at all times. The Council is proud to be working in partnership with local irrigation companies and Water Safety NZ to help reinforce this crucial message.” . .
One of our staff rang a few years ago to say his pre-school daughter was missing.
The house was fenced and gated but if she had managed to get past those barriers there were troughs and an effluent pond nearby which could have claimed her life.
Eight of us began searching and were on the verge of calling emergency services when the child’s sister found her, curled up in the bottom of her (the sister’s) bed.
That story had a happy ending, too many do not.