Calling for family support

Breastfeeding in public spaces and overcoming painful nursing were the focus of the Breast Friends community expo last weekend.

More than 100 mums turned out to Albert Street Primary School to speak with Australian Breastfeeding Association volunteers, lactation consultants and a baby masseuse.

Organised by Moe resident and mother of two, Melissa Campbell, new parents and their children accessed family support and children’s activities at the expo.

“It was a big hit and the mums were so thankful someone took the initiative to do it,” Ms Campbell said.

“Just knowing I had helped one mum, my day was complete. Definitely worth doing it again.”

Ms Campbell has the broader aim of making Moe and the Latrobe Valley a breastfeeding-friendly area with plenty of family facilities.

Her next step is to produce a booklet for families, complete with tips and information about family support services in the area.

She has gained the support of not-for-profit pregnancy and early parenting resource centre Olivia’s Place, which will help distribute ‘The Olive Guide’ across the municipality.

Olivia’s Place centre manager Kirsten Finger is based in Warragul and has already distributed two editions of ‘The Olive Guide’ across the Baw Baw Shire.

“It’s a really great way to support local families,” Ms Finger said.

“One of the things we believe The Olive Guide does is it helps reduce social isolation experienced by many parents.”

The pair is calling on Latrobe Valley businesses to purchase an ad space in the booklet, to fund the design and publication costs.

They are also canvassing local cafes and restaurants to feature in three ‘eating out’ pages of the booklet.

These will inform families which eateries have baby-changing facilities, highchairs, pram access and consider themselves breastfeeding-friendly.

“One of the things we found (in the Baw Baw Shire), particularly when we canvassed cafes and restaurants, there were many interested in getting involved but they didn’t meet the criteria, so they put them in place,” Ms Finger said.

“Even if businesses cannot meet the criteria, then please still consider getting behind us by distributing an Olive Guide or purchasing an ad space.”

Ms Campbell and Ms Finger hope to publish and distribute The Olive Guide across the Latrobe Valley by late March or early April.

All information and services will be relevant to the area, with the booklet available at the businesses and service organisations mentioned within it.

For more information phone Olivia’s Place on 5622 1022 or email for more information.