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Karitane Rejuvenating Mothercraft


March 12, 2013

Karitane Rejuvenating Mothercraft

Karitane is set to start rejuvenating its team of trained, post-natal carers for the first time in decades as it takes applications for a new NZQA approved mothercraft course.

Starting in May, the Garde Certificate in Karitane Care and Mothercraft (level 3) will be offered by the NZQA accredited Garde Institute Ltd, and expressions of interest to study are now being sought.

The course will be based on traditional Karitane nurse training relating to mother and baby welfare, but with the benefit of having the latest health and societal knowledge added to the curriculum.

The original Karitane nurses were formally trained in the days when mothers remained under state hospital care for several days following childbirth, but that ended in the 1970s as the government moved to cut costs.

The Karitane Nurses and Nannies Bureau was then set up, and the sought after skills of the carers have since been used mainly in a private capacity.

Managing director Miranda Smith says the existing crop of trained Karitanes are looking to wind down or retire, and at the same time there is a growing demand for skilled, post-natal assistance, particularly in the area of maternal mental health.

“There is also concern among new mothers at a lack of thorough and readily accessible care in the home in the first few days and weeks following childbirth."

Ms Smith says there are no other formal training programmes specialising in providing new mothers with the skills in mothercraft to the degree that Karitane nurses have.

“My goal is for all new mothers to be able to have the support and guidance of a maternity Karitane in their homes during the first six weeks following birth, and to gain from the confidence and knowledge that brings,” she says.

Karitane manager Kirsten Varley says there is a lot of interest in the course, which could suit anyone from an enrolled nurse to a young person involved in a big family situation on a marae, to an experienced nanny wanting to upskill.

Those accepted for the course will need to self-fund their studies, but Karitane is very keen to see potential sponsors come on board to assist the not-for profit Garde Institute, either by sponsoring students through the course, or donating resources to the institute.


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