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Karitane Backs Calls For Boost To Postnatal Support

Karitane Backs Calls For Boost To Postnatal Support

Established childcare agency Karitane is backing calls to boost the support available for mothers struggling with the postnatal phase of childbirth.

The issue was raised by a Facebook group called Support our Mums and Babies - Longer Postnatal Midwifery Care, sparking plenty of media debate and some criticism of Plunket.

Karitane is fully supportive of Plunket, but says the organisation becomes engaged six weeks after childbirth, when the real help is often needed soon after discharge from hospital.

At the same time, midwives busy with the delivery of babies can find it difficult to deliver the high level of postnatal care that can come at awkward times such as evenings when a baby won’t settle to sleep.

Karitane manager Kirsten Varley says with mothers going home early from busy hospitals, and family often too busy or not around to assist, the agency is well aware of the struggles faced by many mothers and the grief caused by postnatal depression.

Karitane, which works with Maternal Mental Health Services, is also aware of evidence suggesting that a lack of assistance during postnatal depression can equate to huge dollars being spent on mental health care later in life.

While Karitane is a private provider of specialist carers, through charitable organisation the Garde Institute, it has recently developed a not-for profit, NZQA approved tertiary course in Karitane Care and Mothercraft.

Karitane managing director Miranda Smith says the course aims to lift the standard of at-home childcare within New Zealand communities and help fill gaps in the availability of skilled pre and postnatal care.

Ms Smith says -- as seems to be the case with the wider postnatal care sector – one of the main hurdles to getting the course up and running is difficulties in getting funding.

She says assistance for mothers at such a vulnerable stage is vital to ensuring a healthy society, and urges the government and MPs to seriously consider the debate taking place.


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