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Sign of times for breastfeeding mums

Courtesy of Te Awamutu Courier
Jenny Taylor
PLUNKET nurse Jenny Taylor relaxes with her seven-week-old son Xander at Elevations. The breastfeeding-friendly cafe will host a world record attempt there next week. 214071AD

By Cathy Asplin

‘Breast is best for baby’.

No one is more aware of that than Te Awamutu Plunket Nurse and new mum Jenny Taylor. She has talked to plenty of new mothers in her time as a Plunket Nurse and is all too aware of the problems associated with breastfeeding in public.

“It can be a difficult time for new mums and many of them are a bit shy when it comes to breast-feeding. That’s why its important for them to feel comfortable and know they are welcomed at public places.”

Mrs Taylor says she has heard of many positive experiences for local breast-feeding mothers in Te Awamutu, but a new initiative to have breastfeeding-friendly signs displayed will provide even more support.

The new international symbol to designate breastfeeding-friendly areas in public has been developed to replace the baby bottle image which has been used for parents’ rooms and baby friendly areas in the past. Te Awamutu La Leche League leader Debbie Graham is keen to see the signs widely used in Te Awamutu.

“It is quite common for mothers to stop breastfeeding early because they think that breastfeeding is not acceptable when out and about. These signs communicate that breastfeeding is welcome.”

Promoting the new breastfeeding sign is part of Breastfeeding Week activities around New Zealand planned for the first week of August. Signs will be presented to the Te Awamutu Library and to Elevations cafe during a special event next week. Te Awamutu breastfeeding mothers will be able to join the local leg of a worldwide ‘marathon’ breastfeeding effort being held from 9.30am at Elevations on Wednesday (August 8).

All breastfeeding mothers who register on arrival and take part in the event will receive a complimentary piece of cake courtesy of Elevations. The worldwide breastfeeding marathon is being kicked off in New Zealand with hundreds of women feeding their infants from 10am. This will be followed by the Solomon Islands an hour later, Sydney two hours later and so on around the world to the edge of the dateline in Samoa, 23 hours later at their local time of 10am.

Every breastfeeding mother will be counted as part of the attempt by the Philippines to set a new Guinness World Record for the most women in synchronised breastfeeding around the world.

Last year Women’s Health Action co-ordinated a New Zealand record of 714, this year New Zealand will attempt to break the local record and contribute to the world’s record at the same time.

For further details about the signs, the marathon breastfeeding event or the La Leche League contact Te Awamutu La Leche League leader Debbie Graham (ph 07 827 8954 or email debratony@xtra.co.nz).