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Happy Father's Day from Plunket

Media Release 2 September 2008

Happy Father's Day from Plunket

Fathers play a key role in giving children the best start in life and Plunket sends best Father's Day wishes to all fathers across New Zealand.

"It's great to hear dads calling PlunketLine, being supportive of their partners and involved in their child's development. It helps when dads can be aware of their partners stress and wellbeing, and support her decision to seek help if necessary. Thanks dads! Happy Fathers Day!!" says Jo MacRae, PlunketLine.

Traditionally, the mother has been seen as the primary caregiver and this has resulted in many services over the years being directed at women. However, more and more fathers are taking on the role of primary caregiver and more support is being developed for them in this role. Plunket recognises the diversity in New Zealand families and sees that many fathers want to have more direct involvement in raising their children. Through Plunket and other organisations, fathers are now involved with parent education programmes, coffee groups and volunteer committees.

Some practical ways a father could help a new mother include:

• Taking an active role in caring for the baby, bathing, changing, holding, singing or reading to and comforting baby

• Taking baby for a walk so that the mother can have a rest

• Talking and finding ways to solve problems together

• Supporting the mother's decision to breastfeed


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