Bel­ly­ful pro­vides help for des­per­ate new mums

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

Your new baby has ar­rived and you’re home star­ing at the empty fridge.

You’ve been up all night, you’re tired, emo­tional and re­ally hun­gry. Fam­ily and friends don’t live nearby, and you sud­denly feel over­whelmed.

This is a story that Hel­lene Ross has heard many times.

“It’s such a huge life change when you have a baby. The sim­ple things be­come im­pos­si­ble moun­tains, and just get­ting out the front door can take hours,” she said. Hel­lene and her friend Mor­ganne Twen­ty­man had heard about Bel­ly­ful, which makes meals for par­ents of new­borns and fam­i­lies with young chil­dren strug­gling with ill­ness. Bel­ly­ful was started in Pukekohe by a mum Jac­qui Ritchie, who strug­gled with crip­pling anx­i­ety at­tacks af­ter the birth of her first and sec­ond baby.

“The bak­ing and meals that ar­rived on her doorstep from friends and fam­ily made such a dif­fer­ence. It wasn’t just the food, it was know­ing that she had the sup­port of her com­mu­nity” said Mor­ganne. Many fam­i­lies do not have this sup­port.

“Years ago most new par­ents would live close to home and rely on fam­ily mem­bers to help them through the early days of life with a new­born. Many fam­i­lies in Taupo¯ do not have wha¯nau liv­ing close by and are try­ing to man­age on their own” said Hel­lene.

Bel­ly­ful vol­un­teers cook meals in a monthly Cookathon, freeze them, and de­liver to par­ents re­ferred by nurses, mid­wives, fam­ily and friends. Par­ents can also re­fer them­selves. The char­ity re­lies on lo­cal fundrais­ing to cover in­gre­di­ents, pack­ag­ing, cook­ing and de­liv­ery.

“We held a Teddy Bear’s pic­nic in Ton­gariro South Do­main as our first fundrais­ing event. We’re so grate­ful to the lo­cal busi­nesses — Hyundai for the com­mu­nity bar­be­cue, Melissa Har­ris pho­tog­ra­phy, Taupo¯ toy li­brary, brass band, Taupo¯ Rocks and the amaz­ing cast of vol­un­teer bak­ers, sausage siz­zlers and helpers. We were thrilled to raise nearly $800,” said Mor­ganne.

“We’re aim­ing to start de­liv­er­ing meals early next year. We want to hear from busi­nesses who can help us with in­gre­di­ents, and vol­un­teers who can help cook and de­liver meals.” said Hel­lene.

To get in­volved con­tact Bel­ly­ful Taupo¯ on their Face­book page @bel­ly­ful­taupo, or email con­tact@bel­ly­

Photo / Melissa Har­ris Pho­tog­ra­phy

Mor­ganne Twen­ty­man of Bel­ly­ful Taupo¯ with her chil­dren Mila and Yos­sar­ian Chad­wick.

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