Spaces needed for city mums
Auckland mothers still need spaces to breastfeed in the city.
The Big Latch On event was held on August 5 at the Aotea Centre and organiser Jacqui Arnold has deemed it a success.
Fifteen mums, one dad and one grandmother attended the morning tea organised by Plunket and Auckland Council.
Arnold says the majority of mums who attended the event were migrants who lived within a short bus ride or walking distance of the Aotea Centre.
‘‘The city needs to start sharing the space with families in the city,’’ she says.
Arnold says as more and more apartments are being built in the city the number of families with young children will increase.
Earlier in 2016 Arnold led a project sponsored by Plunket and SKIP which found the mothers living in the inner city feeling isolated.
One of the key findings of the project was there was nowhere to go for mothers to feed their babies.
The Big Latch On event was put on to encourage mother’s to feed their babies in the city and let them know there are spaces available.
Kevin Marriott, manager of community places at Auckland Council, says it is looking at continuing to support family-friendly spaces in the city and evolving to meet the needs of young parents.
He says the Ellen Melville Centre, which is being refurbished, includes unisex toilets which include changing facilities for use by parents.
‘‘The concept for the refurbished centre, in conjunction with the Freyberg Square redevelopment, is that it will serve the inner city community, both the increasing residential population and those who choose to spend time there.’’
Marriott says there will be a particular focus on children and young people - providing a supportive environment for breastfeeding is consistent with this.
However Arnold says the centre is still two years away and there needs to be a space now.
She’s working alongside various agencies to create a list of where mums can go to breastfeed and also stickers for businesses to put up to show they welcome breastfeeding.
For more information go to meetup.com/Parents-of-Under-5s-inAuckland-City/ to connect with other parents living in the city centre.