Wellington City Council Community Pools Manager Amy Carter says the Council had spoken with other New Zealand councils about their breastfeeding in pools policies.
“There doesn’t appear to be any consistency among councils about breastfeeding in pools. However Auckland and Christchurch City Councils do allow mothers to breastfeed their babies in the pool, and our policy was out of step with this approach.
“We respect the mother’s right to breastfeed her baby wherever she needs to. We want to ensure parents and caregivers have the best time possible when they visit our pools, and feel as relaxed as possible,” says Amy.
Wellington City Council will work with other councils to try and get some consistency across the country on breastfeeding and bottle feeding in public swimming pools.
Wellington City Council Public Health Portfolio Leader Cr Fleur Fitzsimons is delighted with the policy change. “I am really thrilled that the Council has made this call and mums will be welcome to feed their baby in our pools. Being a new mum can be socially isolating and lonely, but knowing you can now breastfeed your baby in our pools is really important.”
Wellington City Council also supports parents visiting their pools by offering free swimming for under 5’s. Parents and caregivers who are actively supervising can also swim in the water for free with their children.