A small world after all
The Auckland Breastfeeding Network celebrated World Breast-feeding Week with free morning tea for breastfeeding mothers and supporters at the Grey Lynn Community Centre. Louise James reports on a successful community event.
'Breastfeeding in a Globalised World for Peace and Justice' was the challenging theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2003 and the Auckland Breastfeeding network chose to celebrate it by inviting breastfeeding women from the different cultural groups to a free morning tea.
A large number of mothers, babies and toddlers from around the world enjoyed a gloriously sunny day listening to the classical music of the Heartstrings duo. Ruth Desouza the guest speaker, in her traditional costume, said her research demonstrated that breastfeeding mothers needed consistent information and community support. These were particularly important for refugee and migrant breastfeeding women.
Maps on the wall allowed those present to mark where they were born, where their babies were born and where their ancestors came from. The New Zealand map showed the movement of tangata whenua and those born in Aotearoa around the rohe. The World map revealed a large mix of cultures present at the morning tea and patterns of international migration. Some of the identified international guests represented were: Asian, Cook Islander, Dutch, English, European, Ethopian, Indian, Japanese, Maori, Nuiean, Pakistani, Samoan, Somalian & Tongan.
The relaxed atmosphere ensured that many contacts were made and friendships begun. Jude Dobson from TVNZ came as a participating mother and some women without babies came as supporters of breast-feeding. La Leche League had a stand with resources. Women's Health Action had copies of the "Workplace Packs for Employers" and an Indian woman doctor brought with her a copy of a breastfeeding book she had written in English for breastfeeding mothers.
The morning tea was donated by local businesses with extra costs for running the event being met by Women's Health Action.
Thanks to: Twocan Cafe, Rocket Kitchen, Atomic Cafe. Mamata Bakehouse, Bakers Delight Grey Lynn and Foodtown Grey Lynn