Breastfeeding group finds a friendly welcome at Our Place

Rebecca Everett presents Our Place's Matilde Newsome with 'breastfeeding friendly' stickers for the newly-accredited establishment. Fellow Granite Belt Breastfeeding Association members Cara Hall and Leah Furness (holding Martha) look on.

Rebecca Everett presents Our Place's Matilde Newsome with 'breastfeeding friendly' stickers for the newly-accredited establishment. Fellow Granite Belt Breastfeeding Association members Cara Hall and Leah Furness (holding Martha) look on.

With Mother’s Day fresh in our minds the local chapter of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA) marked National Mothering Week and World Breastfeeding Week by accrediting local eatery Our Place Wine and Espresso Bar as a breastfeeding-friendly location.

The association encourages other outlets to seek Breastfeeding Welcome Here accreditation. The requirements are that they are smoke-free, demonstrate a welcoming attitude and have room for a pram.

Members of the Granite Belt group, which takes in Tenterfield, met at Our Place to celebrate the recognition and to reach out to local parents to let them know that support is available.

Rebecca Everett has been a member of ABA since having her first baby in Brisbane and has been a community educator for more than 10 years. She transferred to the local chapter when the family moved to Tenterfield four years ago, and recommends the group for pregnant mums and those at any stage of their parenting journey, regardless of how they feed their child.

“It’s positive parenting support,” she said.

In addition to 24/7 phone support on breastfeeding issues through the association (phone 1800 686 268) and access to local counsellors (phone 0409 001 634), the Granite Belt group meets monthly in either Stanthorpe or Tenterfield with discussion topics covering a wide range of issues. This month’s discussion – in Stanthorpe on Thursday May 24 at 9.30am – is on introducing solids to the baby’s diet, an important one given medical advice that introducing a variety of foods can avoid allergies later on.

Often specialist guest speakers participate in the meetings, such as speech therapists, dietitians, baby massage and breast care experts and even vets, to discuss children interacting with animals.

Membership also provides access to breast pump hire and the group library.

Mrs Everett said if more Tenterfield mums indicate an interest in participating, more of the monthly meetings could be held locally. She can be contacted on 0411 291 711 by anyone seeking more information.

As part of National Mothering Week this year the Australian Breastfeeding Association also launched a new LiveChat platform for mother-to-mother support.  Between 8–10 pm each weeknight any mother (or caregiver) can converse with a volunteer for support via a pop-up window on the ABA website (www.breastfeeding.asn.au).

“We want to make it as easy as possible for mothers and other caregivers to be able to ask questions and get the support they need, when they need it,” ABA president Susan Day said.

“It’s a way that we can connect with Australian families in an environment where they feel comfortable.”

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