Charity aims to help mums

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JOHN.COSGROVE@nullcluthaleader.co.nz

The challenges the postpartum (after birth) period can present for new mums is well-documented.

To help them face this time, a new community project and charity has been started in the Clutha district, called Blessed Box.

Co-founder Olivia Mathieson, herself a new mum, said the first six weeks after birth could be a particularly challenging time in any mother’s life.

It was a time when mothers could experience sleep deprivation, breastfeeding challenges, and hormonal, relational and environmental changes.

‘‘It’s a big period of adjustment, whether they are a first-time mother or welcoming additional children,’’ she said.

Born out of a desire by Mrs Mathieson and agroup of fellow Milton-based mothers to provide better postpartum support for new mums and babies in Clutha, the group will soon be offering free meals once a month.

She said the hardest thing for any new mum to do was make food for themselves.

“All our energy is going towards the new baby. Our partners are still out working, other kids need looking after and, as we know, the mum carries the load in most households.

‘‘They soon forget to look after themselves, suffering sleep deprivation and lack of proper food intake.

“What we are offering in our Blessed Boxes is a prepared family meal from five options and sizes, cupcakes to fill the soul and midnight snack packs of chocolate and bliss balls to help you stay awake on those midnight breast-feeding sessions.’’

Blessed Box trustee Kelly Holden said the group had applied for several grants and was also seeking corporate funding and donations to sustain the service.

“We are offering the boxes to mums free of charge, and will be doing our first round of deliveries late in January 2020, and on the last Saturday of each month.

“We are all very passionate about doing something to help other mums and we want all to have access to the boxes in the Clutha district.’’

Interested parties could visit blessedbox.co.nz for further information.

Mrs Holden said, on average, more than 200 babies were born in the Clutha district each year, and Blessed Box hoped to reach out to as many as possible.