A new wa­iata for mums and ba­bies

The Northland Age - - Local News -

A wa­iata, You are Woman, was launched at Pe­hia¯weri Marae in Tikipunga, last week.

It marked the be­gin­ning of new ini­tia­tive by the North­land DHB and ser­vice providers to en­sure the health and well­be­ing of ex­pec­tant moth­ers are nur­tured through­out their preg­nancy and for the first five years of their baby’s life.

Nga¯ Ta¯tai Iho­rangi — Our First 2000 Days is a new pro­gramme de­vel­oped by the DHB with the sup­port of health providers and so­cial ser­vices, aimed at de­liv­er­ing 10 key prin­ci­ples with a fo­cus on Ma¯ori women through wha¯nau-cen­tred wa¯nanga to re­duce health gaps for Ma¯ori in the re­gion.

The re­sources in­clude work­shop dis­plays, a work­book, and a range of au­dio­vi­sual re­sources for so­cial me­dia that will be de­liv­ered via the North­land DHB Face­book page over the next 12 months.

Moth­ers will also re­ceive wha­hakura (wo­ven bassinets) when they take part in the pro­gramme.

Con­sul­ta­tion with the DHB and providers re­vealed the need for a spe­cific fo­cus on the health of moth­ers by mak­ing good choices from con­cep­tion on­wards. The ces­sa­tion of smok­ing and al­co­hol con­sump­tion were key, as was en­gag­ing the ser­vices of a mid­wife to help and guide moth­ers dur­ing their preg­nancy (only 22 per cent of Ma¯ori moth­ers at­tend an­te­na­tal classes).

En­cour­ag­ing sep­a­rate sleep­ing was also es­sen­tial, with wa­hakura giv­ing ba­bies their own safe space in which to sleep.

De­liv­er­ing mes­sages through kau­papa Ma¯ori and wha¯nau­cen­tred wa¯nanga proved to be a suc­cess­ful strat­egy for en­gage­ment and dis­cus­sion with Ma¯ori women in 2012, when the DHB took funded re­search into sud­den un­ex­plained death in in­fancy af­ter the re­gion topped the na­tional SUDI rate. (North­land was los­ing six to eight ba­bies a year, one in eight of them Ma¯ori).

North­land DHB Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Dr Nick Cham­ber­lain took a proac­tive step that no other DHB had, in that the project fo­cused on Ma¯ori women in ma¯rae-based wananga to re­duce the key risk fac­tors for SUDI. These are ma­ter­nal smok­ing, adults/sib­lings shar­ing a bed with an in­fant and the po­si­tion of your baby while sleep­ing.

Mean­while, for Nga¯ Ta¯tai Iho­rangi to be ef­fec­tive, the work­ing group wanted to en­sure the 10 key prin­ci­ples reached the wider com­mu­nity, and agreed that wa­iata was the per­fect medium to achieve that.

You are Woman was writ­ten and per­formed by Tan­iora Tauariki and Gib­son Har­ris, sup­ported by the Ha¯tea Kapa Haka group, North­land mid­wives and health providers in­volved in the project. It re­sulted in a mu­sic video with the mes­sage that giv­ing new life is the most im­por­tant role for women and their wha¯nau.

Filmed by Dean White­head, the video fol­lows a young cou­ple, Kay­lah and Reece Ber­ming­ham, through im­por­tant mile­stones dur­ing their preg­nancy to vis­ually tell the story and make it more re­lat­able to the au­di­ence.

When cast and crew ar­rived for the fi­nal day’s film­ing they learnt that Kay­lah and Reece’s baby, Nga¯wai Madisyn Blair Ber­ming­ham, had been born that very morn­ing.

“I con­grat­u­late ev­ery­one in­volved in the de­vel­op­ment of this taonga, which I be­lieve will help us im­prove health out­comes for tamariki and wha¯nau through­out North­land,” Dr Cham­ber­lain said.

To down­load the mu­sic and so­cial me­dia video files go to com­mu­nity.north­land­dhb.org.nz/ first-2000-days/

PIC­TURE / SUP­PLIED

Video star and new mum Kay­lah Ber­ming­ham (left) and her mother, hold­ing three and half-week-old Nga¯ wai Madisyn Blair Ber­ming­ham, at the launch of You are Woman.’

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