7 Mar 2014

Baby pods 'help women quit smoking'

8:00 am on 7 March 2014

Getting pregnant women in Waikato to make their own baby sleeping pods out of flax is helping them quit smoking.

The national initiative of making rectangular shaped pods - or wahakura - has been around for several years and is funded by various District Health Boards.

The urban authority, Te Runanga o Kirikiriroa in Hamilton, is also involved in the scheme, and provides two master weavers to visit groups of mothers-to-be across the region.

Quit smoking coach Reweti Hapi says the programme along with its own aukati paipa initiative is teaching mothers new skills and habits.

He says a lot of the women pick up weaving really well and connect weaving with a safe place for their pepi to sleep.

Mr Hapi says the quit smoking team uses that time to encourage messages about giving up tobacco.

Reweti Hapi believes the wahakura are helping mums to understand the importance of both a healthy mother and a healthy environment.

Both programmes have helped about 40 or so women quit smoking since 2012.