West Kelowna feed in preparations gaining steam

Little mouths will be ready and waiting for their mothers to stage at a feed in at West Kelowna council at 6 p.m. Tuesday

West Kelowna residents hoping to convince city councillors to adopt  the Baby Friendly initiative are ramping up preparations for their Tuesday evening feed in.

“The plan is for a group feed to begin coinciding with the start of the meeting at 6 p.m.,” said Sarah Tremblay, the event organizer.

A representative of the feed-in group will also, if council allows, be making a plea to adopt the policy during council, after.

Before the meeting even gets underway, however, breast feeding advocates will congregate outside.

OK Breastfeeding will be there with their breastfeeding tent, selling their breastfeeding shirts and handing out some “thank you for breastfeeding” cards.

Linda Kersche, the Interior Health nurse who made the original presentation to council, will also be there, offering to businesses who would like to get on board with the initiative.

Thus far, 71 people have RSVP’d to the event, although given the attention the issue has been given in recent days , many more could be on site.

Local breast feeding and parenting groups decided to join forces for a March 24 “feed-in” after remarks from a March 10 council meeting came to light through several news outlets.

At that session, a public health nurse alongside some UBC Okanagan nursing students asked the district for support of an initiative that would make municipal buildings breastfeeding-friendly with symbolic stickers in city-owned facilities and by educating employees and local businesses about the rights of nursing mothers—policy long since adopted in Lake Country and Kelowna.

In response, several councillors took turns explaining what they didn’t like about the initiative and the matter was ultimately cast aside with the proviso from Mayor Doug Findlater that they would think about it and see if they wanted to take any further action at a later time.

As public pressure mounted, council opted to bring the conversation back for their next meeting.