Three day stay bill to give more choices for mums

File photo.

A Member’s Bill which would give new mothers more support in the first days after giving birth will this week be put in the Ballot, MP for Taupō Louise Upston says.
“The first few days after giving birth are some of the most important, but can also be the most challenging for new mums," says Louise.
The New Zealand Public Health and Disability (3 Day Postnatal Stay) Amendment Bill will seek to address the needs of women who have just given birth to access their choice of post-natal care for a minimum of 72 hours if desired.
It also requires the Lead Maternity Carer to let the mother know of what she is eligible for. In addition, it allows for mothers to stay for longer than 72 hours if the need arises.
“National is proposing that new mums should be entitled to three days of care after giving birth, and that support should be available after each child," says Louise.
“At the moment, new mothers have 48 hours of care funded by DHBs, but we know that they’re often encouraged to leave as soon as possible. This sort of pressure can cause additional stress in what is already a stressful time.
“During the first dew days after birth we know mothers can experience the baby blues, have difficulty breast feeding, can be exhausted and sometimes just need a bit of extra help while they build up confidence," says Louise.
Women are currently entitled to up to 48 hours of funded inpatient post-natal care, but many women don’t realise this and at times are pressured to leave early. It's believed that women are not making informed choices about post-natal care and the first 48 to 72 hours are critical to ensure that mothers form a loving attachment to their baby.
“We believe mums should have a choice in the kind of care that they opt for, whether that’s in a hospital or at a community or private facility. We would make community care available to all women, no matter where they choose to give birth.
“This policy will cost an additional $16-$20 million. It would also be ring-fenced, meaning if one mother only requires one day in care, her additional two days would be used for another mum who might need a five day stay and the money can’t be put into other areas by DHBs.
“National believes the first thousand days are the most important in a child’s life. We will do all that we can so kids get off to a good start and make sure their parents are supported.”
It is felt that the bill will give mothers the extra time and extra flexibility that will result in positive outcomes for mother, baby and family from two to three days in a supportive environment and dedicated facility.

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