10 years of support for feeding mothers

Celebrating 10 years of breast-feeding support in Dunedin are (from left) Stacey Schoester, with...
Celebrating 10 years of breast-feeding support in Dunedin are (from left) Stacey Schoester, with Layla Oranje (3 months), The Breast Room founder Denise Ives, and Brittany Butler, with Maxwell Tyson (2 months), at the Edgar Centre yesterday. PHOTO: CHRISTINE O’CONNOR
For the past 10 years The Breast Room founder Denise Ives has been telling new mothers to trust themselves.

Mothers were designed to feed their babies even if ‘‘our busy modern world’’ made it hard to remember that sometimes.

Along with about 30 mothers, Miss Ives celebrated supporting breast-feeding in Dunedin for the past decade at the Edgar Centre, yesterday.

After a decade building the confidence of young mothers and sharing ideas with them, she had some advice.

‘‘Step back, slow down and trust that you can do this,’’ she said.

‘‘You can grow your baby, you can birth your baby, you can feed your baby.’’

Miss Ives decided 10 years ago, during World Breastfeeding Week, she wanted to sit with parents and support them through breast-feeding.

Parents often grew up not seeing children being fed anymore, she said.

And while breast-feeding was a natural thing to do, it was not necessarily instinctive.

‘‘Like walking, it’s something that we have to learn a little bit, maybe with a few little crashes along the way, until we’ve mastered it.’’

The task could be daunting for some mothers, but Stacey Schoester, of Dunedin, said she loved the connection and the bonding she had with her 3-month-old daughter Layla Oranje through breast-feeding.

‘‘Just looking down at her and seeing her wee eyes looking up at you while you’re feeding her is just special,’’ she said.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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