Spa­ces needed for city mums

Central Leader - - OUT & ABOUT - CA­TRIN OWEN

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.

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