Weekend Sun   

Postnatal support for Western Bay parents

SuperGrans Janette Fairhall, left, and Liz McKeown with Isabella Anderson at the postnatal support group held at Bethlehem Birthing Centre every Monday. Photo: Baby Love Images.

It takes a village to raise a child.

The popular African proverb is one which Bethlehem Birthing Centre and SuperGrans Western Bay of Plenty has taken on with a postnatal support group for new parents.

SuperGrans’ Liz McKeown and Janette Fairhall are regulars at the free weekly support group, which is held at Bethlehem Birthing Centre every Monday from 10am-12pm.

“It’s a chance for all new parents and bubs to join us for a cuppa and chat,” says Liz.

“Many of our families don’t have their own mothers in town, or they work, so they value the support and advice we offer.

“It’s also an opportunity to share experiences with other new parents and learn from invited guest speakers about a range of parenting-related topics.”

Speakers so far have included a social worker from the Maternal, Infant and Child, and Adolescent Mental Health Service at the Bay of Plenty DHB talking about emotional/mental health due to the changes involved in having a baby; tips from a pelvic health physiotherapist and advice on car seat safety from Baby on the Move.

Birthing Centre also offers antenatal classes for couples who choose to birth there and a weekly breastfeeding support group open to all breastfeeding mothers in the Western Bay of Plenty.

Founder and director Chloe Wright says it is particularly important for mothers to form strong networks and bonds with one another.

“Support groups provide a valuable lifeline for new mothers, offering education and skill-building. They are also able to form friendships with other women in the same situation. Seeing that you are not the only person experiencing the imperfections of motherhood is empowering.”

All parents and caregivers of children under two are welcome to join the postnatal support group.

Morning tea is provided and no RSVP is required.

For more information call: 07 549 4522, email: info@supergranswbop.org.nz or text: 027 472 1112.

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