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Finding out you're pregnant 11,000 kilometres away from home may be a daunting experience, but it was the complete opposite for 28-year-old Takanini local Maneet Kaur who was back in her hometown Bangalore, India attending her sister’s wedding.

“It was an exciting time for my husband and I. I was at my mother’s place, so it was great to find out while being surrounded by my family,” Maneet says.

Trying to get back to New Zealand proved to be difficult.

“I was only able to get back to New Zealand when I was almost six months into my pregnancy. The doctors in India told me not to travel for the first three to four months of my pregnancy as it would be quite risky. By then the whole COVID-19 situation was at its peak, so it took me a while to get a flight back home,” she says.

When Maneet was safely back home, things went a lot smoother when she was ready to give birth to her daughter Ajooni in July. Although she had a few complications with her birth, she gives credit to the staff at Middlemore Hospital and at the Papakura Birthing Unit for the great care they provided.

“I was really appreciative of the entire team at Middlemore and at Papakura. To me, they consider their work more than just a job. It’s clear it’s their passion,” she says.

“My baby was in breach position, so I had to go in for a caesarean. I was so scared going into the operation room, but the staff would keep talking to me – they were very friendly, comforting and approachable.”

 After the birth, Maneet and baby Ajooni were transferred to Papakura Birthing Unit for their postnatal care.

“When I went to Papakura, all the staff there made me feel like I was at home. Whenever I was tired, a midwife would come in and help with baby, so I could sleep and rest. Whenever you called for them, within seconds they are there in your room. It’s like your mother, aunty or grandmother being there for you – it’s like a family,” she says.

“The staff always checked to make sure I was on the right track, especially when it came to breastfeeding. It was quite difficult for me at the start, but they would come in every half an hour to check if I was able to breastfeed her and if I needed anything. I never had to worry if there was anything wrong because there was always staff coming in to do regular checks.”

Although she had a short-time with her midwife Sandra Jevons due to being overseas, she’s appreciative of how supportive she was.

“My midwife Sandra was very good. When we found out there were going to be complications, she explained to me what was going on from the start.”

Extended family and friends have rallied together to support the new family.

“My husband and I have had a lot of help from his parents, extended family and friends. We were so fortunate to have so much support.” 

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community maternity newborn

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