Support for home birthing families

The Nelson Homebirth Association have a come up with an idea to support home birthing families in their area as reported in The Nelson Mail yesterday:

A Nelson group aimed at supporting those who choose to have their babies at home is appealing for contributions towards “bounty packs” to give to new mothers.

Midwife and Nelson Homebirth Association representative Aunouska Myer came up with the bounty pack idea at a national homebirth hui in Wellington in May.

Mothers who delivered babies at hospitals often received bounty packs containing nappies and baby products, “but we don’t get anything”, she said.

The association was hoping to provide its own version, consisting of a re-usable bag containing items such as woollen booties and organic baby products, but it needed Nelson’s help.

In Canterbury, their  Homebirth Association operate a carebank scheme where home birthing families provide meals and home help for each other postnatally. There is more information about how this scheme works here.

In the Manawatu, we have discussed similar ideas and we would love to see more support available for women who plan to give birth at home. A number of years ago there was a nappy service and women received vouchers entitling them to home help or meals. It is true that the health system saves money when women have their babies at home, but as far as we know there is now no funding being made available to support initiatives such as the one we had here previously and those operating in Canterbury and Nelson. We would love to hear your ideas. What would have helped your family? What can you offer to other local families? If you are not in the Manawatu, what support is there in your area?

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