New-mum courses now free


Support for new parents in Nelson has been made even more accessible, thanks to a donation to the Nelson District Parents Centre.

A $6000 grant from the Nelson Bays Community Foundation (NBCF) means that the Parents Centre will be able to offer their Baby & You course to new mums in the region for free, for the rest of the year. The course is normally $40 for non-members.

The NBCF formed a partnership with the Tindall Foundation last year aimed at supporting the family and social services sector across the top of the South Island. They announced their first funding round last month of four donations, totalling $28,000.

Established in 1977, the Parents Centre is run by volunteers with the aim of helping new parents be the best they can through education and support. As well as offering a range of post-natal courses, they also run childbirth classes and guest speakers, such as the Nathan Mikaere-Wallis Tween evening this Thursday night.

The six-week long Baby & You course is a must-do for anyone new to parenthood, covering topics such as sleeping and feeding issues, baby wearing, when to call the doctor, baby massage and active movement.

But more importantly, it helps to get new mums out of the house and to stay connected.

Michelle Hunt from the Parents Centre says it’s “fantastic” that they can now offer the course for free.

“Getting this grant has been the highlight of our year,” she says. “There are so many things you don’t learn about, and don’t know about, until after you have had a baby. New parents need that support during those first few months, and the course also gives people a chance to meet other parents.”

Michelle says they are also hoping to run a Baby & You course for refugee families, if they can get a translator on board.

Chair of the NBCF, Julie Varney, says the focus of the Parents Centre was “a very good fit” with the funding priorities of their Family and Social Services programme.

“A key component of the Parents Centre is to support families, not only with education prior to having a baby, but also in the months after the birth. We know that this time is a major adjustment for families,” she says.

“The education and input that the Parents Centre provides is key to helping families make that adjustment and this funding will ensure that all families wanting to have access to this service are able to do so.”

The next round under the funding partnership closes 16 August, 2016, and details of the application criteria can be found on and

Nelson District Parents Centre run their Baby & You course six times a year, with the next one starting 19th May. After that, courses run from 14th July, 8th September and 3rd November. To book your place, email [email protected].