[singlepic id=344 w=320 h=240 float=left] Member for Mulgrave and expectant father, Curtis Pitt, is encouraging the community to donate pre-loved dolls to a worthy cause.

Mr Pitt and Innisfail nurse Wilma Martin are appealing to people to donate their pre-loved dolls to help people facing impending parenthood.

“One of Wilma’s roles as a nurse is to bring baby rearing to life for mums to be. To do this, Wilma uses life-like dolls to show expectant mums and dads the finer points of caring for their babies,” Mr Pitt said.

“With only one baby doll on hand, Wilma and I are sending out a call for donations of pre-loved baby dolls.

“Wilma finds it’s easier for women to relate to a soft baby doll rather than to pictures. And as the father of an almost two-year-old I’ve got to agree. Hands-on practice is far more effective in teaching than reading about it,” he said.

Ms Martin said women are guided through the positioning of their baby through the classes so when it comes time for them to actually start to breastfeed their baby, they will have had some hands on practice.

“Many of our new mothers have reported that this part of their antenatal education was useful in getting them prepared for successful breastfeeding their baby.

“I am hoping to source a variety of pre-loved baby dolls for our clients to use – it makes all the difference in helping our parents-to-be to prepare.”

Innisfail antenatal classes are held each Wednesday evening at the Innisfail Hospital. Participants attend four lessons preparing them for their labour, birth, and postnatal period.

Each month an average of eight couples attend the classes, gathering invaluable information to prepare for life with a newborn. Topics range from pregnancy care to delivery, to preparing to bring a baby home, and parenting.

“In particular, the course is a fantastic opportunity for people to meet others who are going through what they are. It’s a great source of support for many parents-to-be,” Wilma said

Mr Pitt said anyone wanting to donate a doll can contact Wilma at the Innisfail Hospital or call into his electorate office and drop off their pre-loved doll.