Budget an opportunity to prioritise mums and babies

The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for the Government to show it does prioritise mothers and their new-borns by increasing the support available to them, National’s Social Investment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“If this Government is truly serious about improving the wellbeing of every child in New Zealand, then it must begin by investing in the early years where interventions make the most difference.

“That means making sure mothers receive the support they need immediately after giving birth. Making sure children get the best start in life doesn’t just mean investing in them, but also in their parents.

“National’s three day postnatal stay policy to provide greater care and stability for mothers and their new-borns after birth should feature in this year’s Budget.

“All mums would be entitled to three days of care after giving birth, with that support available after each child.

“At the moment, new mothers have 48 hours of care funded by DHBs, but we know they’re often encouraged to leave as soon as possible. This sort of pressure can cause additional stress in what is already stressful time.

“This week is perinatal mental health awareness week. We know investing early in the lives of mothers can reduce the harm and hardship some new mums feel immediately after giving birth.

“Three days stay in a postnatal facility is a basic, but important, first step to improve the health of mums and children immediately after birth.

“The Government has stated it wants New Zealand to be the best place in the world for a child to grow. It should walk the talk and make sure this policy is in its Budget.”