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Breastmates Friendly Feeding Awards (Finalists)

MEDIA RELEASE

18 March 2010

BREASTMATES' FRIENDLY FEEDING AWARDS FINALISTS ANNOUNCED

The inaugural 2010 Breastmates' Friendly Feeding award nominations have now closed.

Eighty-five nominations were received and 10 finalists have been chosen to compete for the honour of being New Zealand's best place to feed a baby.

"Proving that mothers really do know best, we asked them to nominate places they had experienced great breastfeeding environments," says Frances McInnes, the founder of Breastmates award-winning online maternity store who is a guru on baby feeding and was involved with the Ministry of Health's breastfeeding campaign.

Finalists were judged on the number of nominations they received, their ranking out of 10, and their match to the criteria of whether they had water available, nappy change areas, were clean and tidy, had couches, easy parking, stroller access, highchairs, sun protection, nice staff and/or heating facilities.

"In the first 12 months of a baby's life, when things can be quite hectic for mothers, the way people treat women wishing to breastfeed has a huge impact on whether that woman will continue breastfeeding," says McInnes, who believes the ten finalists may have been responsible for at least a couple of mothers continuing to breastfeed after a positive public breastfeeding experience.

Eleven nominations for terrible places to breastfeed were also received. Breastmates will be in contact to give them a few tips on how they can improve their services to breastfeeding mothers.

A letter and certificate has also been sent to the finalists to inform them of their accolade.

"Mystery mums from Breastmates' almost 3,000 Facebook fans are now visiting the finalists around New Zealand to report back on their experiences to help decide the ultimate winner," explains McInnes, who has enjoyed working on the project.

"It's been good to let businesses know that they are doing great and that they've been noticed by mums, this will encourage them to keep it up. We also hope it will encourage other businesses to step up"

Finalists

Addington Coffee Co-Op, Christchurch (www.addingtoncoffee.org.nz): "Very easy to manoeuvre buggies around. We can fit eight around our favourite table, which staff kindly extend out for us if everyone in our antenatal group comes to coffee group."

Abracadabra, Rotorua (www.abracadabracafe.com): "They have an awesome grassed outdoor area that is suitable for children, including a playhouse. You can also hire a room out specially for a more private coffee group."

Bayfair Mall, Tauranga (www.bayfair.co.nz): "Has the best parenting facilities ever, all shopping centre's MUST have these."

Café Windsor, Auckland's North Shore: "Huge car park out the back and off the street. Food is always superb and they are very accommodating to wee children, as well as mothers with babies. Many people in our suburb go there for their antenatal get-togethers because they never bat an eyelid at 8-12 women breastfeeding with car pods at their feet. Staff offer to put coffee in a takeaway cup so it's easier to drink and they even once cut up a Panini for me when they saw I had my hands full."

Joe's Garage, Christchurch (www.joes.co.nz): "This cafe is very mother/child friendly with helpful staff, art for kids, toys, chalk, closed outdoor back area, kids menu, no problems breastfeeding and support from staff is above and beyond what would normally be expected."

Sylvia Park Mall, Auckland's Mt Wellington (www.sylviapark.org): "Spacious and clean, cubicles with cosy lounge chairs, curtains for privacy, relaxing background music."

The Plaza, Palmerston North (www.theplaza.co.nz): "There are HEAPS of spaces for changing baby and two curtained booths for feeding, large enough to fit your pram in. Access is easy and there's an enclosure where toddlers or older children can watch TV while mum feeds baby or goes to the toilet. Lovely and clean."

Westfield Chartwell, Hamilton (http://westfield.co.nz/chartwell): "Great facilities and nice feeding chair/cubicle/kids play area and toilet facilities, top notch!"

Westfield St Lukes, Auckland (http://westfield.co.nz/stlukes): "A haven in a busy mall."

Barefoot in the Bay Café, Auckland (www.barefoot-inthebay.co.nz): "Friendly relaxed place. We were made to feel welcome and didn't feel like we were being rushed along when it started to get busy."

View All Nominated Venues

For more information, images, interviews with Frances or additional resources on breastfeeding, please contact Frances. Please let us know whether you will be using this story, so that we can help out.