New course for expectant parents

A new antenatal course is starting up for expectant parents in northwest Auckland. The antenatal course is being run by the Helensville Birthing Centre. Local midwife Reneé
Buisson will be taking the course, which will run for three consecutive Saturday mornings at
Te Whare Oranga ô Parakai.
She recommends it for women who are around 24-28 weeks pregnant, but acknowledges, “that timeframe might not work for everyone, so it doesn’t matter too much when they do it.”
The course will look at everything from how to keep healthy during your pregnancy, to pain relief options in labour, and finally what happens when baby is here, including breastfeeding.
Reneé says she’ll cover all birthing options from having baby at home, to birthing centers “like the wonderful one in Helensville”, to hospitals.
“But we don’t want anyone to feel pressured to have their baby in one particular way,” she says. “My job is to inform new mums about all the options, so they can feel confident about making a decision that’s best for them and their new baby.”
New mums are encouraged to bring their partner, or other whanau member with them for support. Reneé says such courses are a great way to meet other new parents to be in the community. “Long lasting friendships come out of antenatal courses, sometimes they last for years.” Up until now, many Helensville locals will have travelled to Kumeu or elsewhere for their antenatal course. However, a contract change meant the Birthing Centre could take up the role thanks to funding from the Helensville District Health Trust and the Waitemata District Health Board.
The first block of three Saturday sessions started on 23 July, with the next block course due to start Saturday 3 September.
The course is free and available for residents living north west of Riverhead. For more information email

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