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Māori systems approaches to maternal care.

Healthy Families Rotorua in collaboration with Lakes District Health Board have brought together a group of key stakeholders who provide support and care in the maternal health sector, to co-design a hapū wānanga based on mātauranga Māori. 

The Lakes DHB region has high rates of low birth weight babies to women who identify as smokers and whose ethnicity are Māori.  There is also low rates of engagement with lead maternity carers (LMC) who are key to providing advice and support to assist in addressing the First 1000 Days kaupapa which includes areas such smoking cessation, nutritional care during pregnancy, and chronic illness in pregnancy.

Hapū wānanga has been co-designed with key stakeholders from within the maternal health, sport and recreations sectors with advice included by local Māori experts with relevant mātauranga.  There is also a component within the wānanga focused on workforce development – mentorship and guidance to coach local facilitators.

This approach has been successfully offered in Waikato and the East Coast regions and those involved in the design of this wānanga are very excited at the prospect of this initiative being delivered in Rotorua.

Healthy Families Rotorua are working alongside Sport BOP and the new Lakes DHB Baby Services Co-ordinator, Amy Wray to help facilitate this process and ensure there is also an opportunity for further education for any provider who is working with hapū māmā.

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