Plunket has launched a new digital service to help mothers needing extra support with breastfeeding their babies, thanks to a significant donation from the Wright Family Foundation. Mothers referred to the service receive one-on-one support from Plunket Nurses trained as certified lactation consultants, or fully trained breastfeeding specialists via the new video conferencing service using Zoom software. Available through PlunketLine, Plunket’s 24/7 parent helpline, this new video conferencing service allows Plunket to work directly with mothers who have been referred and provide advice as they are feeding, PlunketLine Manager Denise Shera says.
Plunket supports law reform that helps eliminate smoking in vehicles when children are present, as all smoking is harmful, Chief Nurse Dr Jane O’Malley says. “There is overwhelming evidence that exposure to second-hand smoke is a major risk factor to children’s health. It is implicated in respiratory infections, asthma attacks, sudden unexpected death in infancy (SUDI), glue ear and more.
Plunket has launched a community consultation process to explore the best way to provide continued operation of its six Early Childhood Education (ECE) centres. Plunket Chief Commercial Officer Duncan Scott says Plunket knows that ECE provides long-lasting educational and developmental benefits for children. “We are undertaking this consultation because we want to ensure the continued operation of these services and seek community views on the best way to deliver them in each of these communities.
Harcourts New Zealand in conjunction with the Harcourts Foundation have formed an exclusive long-term partnership with Plunket New Zealand. Plunket is the largest provider of free support services for the development, health and wellbeing of children under five in New Zealand and see approximately 85–90% of newborns in New Zealand each year. Being New Zealand’s largest and most trusted real estate brand, Harcourts offers Plunket the base and network to build and support communities at scale, which was one of the key factors that brought the partners together.
Plunket has teamed up with The Southern Initiative in Manurewa to begin creating a welcoming space designed by and for local whānau. Plunket Community Development Manager Clare Green says the project began in 2017 and there has been some great insights and surprises. “It’s not really about how can you engage with these families, but how can we get to a point where they want to engage with us.
Plunket Nurse Te Rongopai Clay Mackay has been recognised in this year’s New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) Young Nurse of the Year awards as runner-up.
Te Rongopai, aged 23 and of Ngāti Awa and Tuwharetoa Ki Kawerau descent, has always had a passion for improving the health of her people. She works alongside young mothers, providing them with support as they gain confidence as new parents.
The South Auckland Nappy Bank celebrates a major milestone this week – providing over half a million Huggies® nappies to families in need. Plunket has partnered with Huggies for more than 25 years and the South Auckland Nappy Bank initiative was set up as part of that partnership in 2017. In the Southern Initiative’s ‘Early Years Challenge Report’, data showed that South Auckland was a young population with a higher than average concentration of children aged zero to three.
Plunket Nurse Karen Thurston is looking forward to providing even greater support to whānau in her community following her registration as a nurse practitioner. “It’s a very exciting time for Karen and the local community”, said Dr Jane O’Malley, Plunket’s Chief Nurse, in acknowledging Karen’s achievement. Based in Ngaruawahia, Karen has been a Plunket nurse for 10 years, coming to Plunket as a new graduate.
Following consultation with the Karori community, Plunket will begin negotiations with community members who have expressed an interest in taking over the operation of the Karori Plunket crèche. Plunket’s Chief of Strategy and Performance Radha Balakrishnan says Plunket is committed to working with the Karori community to support the continuation of a sessional, community-operated crèche in Karori. “Plunket understands the importance that the Karori community places on the crèche – and the consultation process has confirmed this.
“Providing good advice and a supportive environment is key to helping mothers and their babies who are learning to breastfeed,” says Dr Jane O’Malley, Plunket’s Chief Nurse. This week Plunket celebrates World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August) with events throughout the country as part of the Big Latch On, and encourages everyone to support breastfeeding women in all situations. “Although breastfeeding is natural it sometimes doesn’t come naturally, and it’s normal for mums to need extra assistance as they learn this new skill and understand their baby’s needs.