July 01, 2022
Weaving wananaga next step in antenatal care
A pioneer in tacking sudden unexpected death in infancy says it’s time to take a new matauranga Maori driven approach to ante-natal care.
David Tipene Leach is piloting Te Whare Pora O Hine-te-iwaiwa, a programme at Te Taiwhenua o Heretaunga’s Flaxmere health service where expectant mothers learn to weave their own wahakura or sleep pods.
He believes it’s the next step to bringing down SUDI numbers and having healthier pepe.
“Moving from a transactional thing. this thing that ‘here is your wahakura, you are supposed to do with it is sleep your baby in it,’ moving across to a relational thing where you spend a lot of time and you grow your knowledge, you grow your networks, so Te Whare Pora O Hine-te-iwaiwa is what I think is the next move,” Professor Tipene-Leach says.
He also supports a call by coroner Alexander Ho for wahakura or pepe pods to be given to all mothers of newborn babies.’
He says for cost reasons the pods are now rationed to those babies considered most at risk, because they were born premature or their mothers smoked during pregnancy.