Red Cross babies

Red Cross babies

Four Hutt Hospital Red Cross babies with their mothers, and Mr Jack Andrew, president of the Lower Hutt Red Cross, circa 10 May 1969. The babies were all born on Thursday May 8, and were made honorary members of the Red Cross Society to celebrate the birthday of its founder, Mr Henri Dunant. From left: Mrs Margaret Ryder-Lewis, of Silverstream, with 7lb 15 oz Simon; Mrs Teri Smith, of Lower Hutt, with 17lb 14 oz Raewyn; Mr Jack Andrew; Mrs Edrienne Young, of Heretaunga, with 7lb 12 oz James; and Mrs Marie Gelderman, of Porirua, with 7lb 3 oz Catherine.

The post-war baby boom ended in 1964. The availability of the new contraceptive pill played its part in slowing the birth rate as did the deterioration in the New Zealand economy from 1968. The baby boom in New Zealand was largely restricted to the European population. Compared with the 2000s, women in the 1960s tended to start their families at a younger age. By 1969 the median age of New Zealand women giving birth was 25, with those aged 20–24 years having the highest fertility rate (213 per 1,000). In the 2000s the median age was 30 and women aged 30–34 had the highest fertility rate (125 births per 1,000 women).

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