Looking after mum and baby is a priority, and an important message to communicate to the whānau. It’s repeated and emphasised throughout the Whakatipu booklet Te Kākano.
You can use page 7 to have a conversation with mum and dad about it. Tell them that:
- just about everything they read about pregnancy will carry this message
- page 7 talks about:
- the importance of te wharetangata (the womb)
- the need for healthy food and keeping mum safe from stressful situations.
Awareness of tikanga
In a Māori context we mention some particular tikanga for women as the bearers of children, and specifically for pregnant mums. Whānau often already know a lot of tikanga, without being aware that it’s specifically about protection.
- Are you aware of any of your whānau tikanga around keeping mama and pēpi safe?
- Is there someone you can ask?
- Can you think of any rules or ways of doing things that may be helpful?
- Can I help you contact someone who might support you with this?
Page 8 talks about te pito and te whenua. Suggest that mum and dad talk with whānau and friends about what they’ll do with te pito and te whenua. Or, if they’ve thought about it already, ask them to share any ideas they’ve had so far.
Other cultural practices
We all have cultural practices. And every culture has ideas and knowledge about protecting mothers and babies during pregnancy. You could ask the family:
- Do you know what your family believes about how to care for pregnant women?
- Are there any special things your mother, aunts and grandmothers did during pregnancy?
- How do other members of the family look after their pregnant women?
- Are there any special foods that pregnant women are given?
- Are there things that pregnant women don’t do or places they’re not supposed to go?
- Are there things they are supposed to do?
- Are there any folk tales, superstitions, legends or stories that talk about caring for pregnant mums?
- Is there someone you can talk to about your family’s beliefs and practices about pregnancy?
- Page 8 talks about what happens with the umbilical cord and afterbirth in a Māori context — does your family have any practices around this?
- Maybe it’s something you’d like to think about, and talk about with your family and friends?
In recent years more non-Māori Kiwis are adopting practices like those described on page 8. These days parents are more likely to have some ideas about what they might want to do with the cord and afterbirth.
How does this topic relate to the SKIP resources?
Baby Wall Frieze - Kōrero mai, e aroha ana koe ki ahau - tell me you love
Six things children need - Te mahi pono- Ngā hua me ngā hapa - consistency and consequences