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Becoming a parent magical yet challenging

Becoming a parent magical yet challenging

New Zealand-born Master’s Degree student Anita Wong found the experience of being pregnant and having a new baby fascinating – and challenging.

In this, the penultimate article in series of the Kai Xin Xing Dong Dragon Baby stories, Anita speaks of her experience of becoming a mother for the first time.

She covers popular unsettling matters such as the absence in New Zealand of the Chinese tradition of confinement, the need for parental encouragement and family support, integrating traditional and modern beliefs and letting children find their own way.

Kai Xin Xing Dong - the Mental Health Foundation's bilingual English-Mandarin Like Minds, Like Mine programme - is running articles about the challenges Chinese parents face bringing up their newborn “dragon babies” in New Zealand society.

We understand that new parents need help and support and, sometimes, just by knowing where to find these can be all you need to feel more confident. We hope by reading these parents' stories people will not feel so alone.

The stories also give lots of practical advice for the first years of a child’s life and beyond. They also touch on post natal depression and where to get help.

The Mental Health Foundation also supplies an excellent free postnatal depression pamphlet for English speakers.

The Dragon Baby series coincides with Postnatal Awareness Week 17-25 November, and the launch of the Chinese Mental Health Consultation Services’ new Vagus helpline. All stories are published online in English and Mandarin.

Vagus Line 0800 56 76 666

This new service is to promote family harmony among Chinese, enhance parenting skills, decrease conflict among family members (couple, parent-child, in-laws) and stop family violence. It provides free, confidential and professional advice, such as parenting strategies and communication skills. If necessary, clients can be referred to Vagus counselling services or related resources. Service hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 12 noon to 2pm.

Year of the Dragon

2012 is the Chinese Year of the Dragon and has given rise to the phrase "dragon baby" for families expecting a new arrival. The dragon is the mightiest zodiac sign in Chinese astrology, and is associated with traits such as success, ambition and independence.

Many mothers consider this to be a particularly auspicious year to give birth. In recognition of this, we have made a special Dragon Baby section on the Kai Xin Xing Dong website, where we offer Chinese language information for new and expectant mothers.

Kai Xin Xing Dong
Kai Xin Xing Dong is a Like Minds, Like Mine public education programme aimed at reducing the stigma and discrimination faced by Chinese people who experience mental illness. The project is funded by the Ministry of Health and guided by the Kai Xin Xing Dong Advisory Group.

ENDS

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