Helplines For Parents
Take a note of these numbers for when chaos strikes and you need help:
It is quite normal for parents to feel overwhelmed, and even isolated when caring for their newborn. Please don't struggle on in silence - there are services available providing professional help and advice, or even just a friendly ear and some moral support. The following list covers agencies and organisations well accustomed to calls about colic, sleep routines, and latch problems. And if you've got a problem at 3AM - fear not, some of these numbers will be answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week!
Emergency Services: 111
No doubt you know what this number is for, and hopefully you won't ever have to use it. Be warned though, babies and toddlers are surprisingly adept at dialing 111 when playing with the phone, calls Emergency Services are not that excited to answer and may charge you for after the first "prank call".
PlunketLine: 0800 933922
24 hours a day, seven days a week, your call will be answered by a Plunket nurse (registered nurses with additional qualifications in child health) happy to answer your questions on parenting issues or your child's health and wellbeing. They can also help you with information regarding Plunket's other services, such as car seat rentals and family centres. Free, even from cell phones.
Healthline: 0800 611116
24 hours a day, seven days a week, Healthline is another phone number to remember, connecting you directly with a registered nurse specialised in assessing and advising over the phone. Healthline is especially helpful if you need advice on whether you need to see a doctor or not, urgent advice for a family member, or advice on the nearest doctor or pharmacy if you are away on holiday.
La Leche League: www.lalecheleague.org.nz
The La Leche League (LLL) offer support and information regarding breastfeeding. LLL leaders are trained and accredited (to standards set by the International La Leche League) to provide practical information and moral support for new parents. Leaders coordinate regular meetings in communities throughout New Zealand, but also offer help via phone or email. Check out the current national list of leaders at www.lalecheleague.org.nz to find contact details for a leader near you.
Lactation Consultants: 0800 452282
Lactation Consultants offer assistance to those needing help with breastfeeding and lactation problems. Call 0800 452282 or check out www.nzlca.org.nz to find a lactation consultant near you.
Parent Aid: 09 836 4122
Parent Aid is an Auckland-based free service offering an extra pair of hands and some moral support to parents facing stressful and challenging times. They can help with childcare and light housework, and also offer multiple birth homehelp.
Pepsicles: 0508 PEPSICLES (737742)
Pepsicles offer postnatal homehelp throughout New Zealand (for a fee of $22-$24 per hour). Their carers (who are mostly mothers themselves) will come in and look after mum and her household, so mum can look after baby. www.pepsicles.co.nz
National Poisons Centre 0800 POISON (764766)
Not so much an issue for newborns, but as soon as baby is mobile it is handy to know that the National Poisons Centre offer help regarding poison and hazardous substances at the end of the phone 24/7.
Published 8 September, 2012