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Māmā Aroha; A World First Breastfeeding App Created In Aotearoa To Be Launched In World Breastfeeding Week 2021

Sunday 1st August marked the first day of ‘ World Breastfeeding Week 2021’. Māori Public Health organisation Hāpai Te Hauora are thrilled to have collaborated with Amy Wray, a wahine Māori and creator of a world first app for breastfeeding Māmā and their whānau alongside the health workforce who work with them. The team will be launching the app at the Tāmaki Makaurau office of Hāpai on Friday 6th August at 11am.

Māmā Aroha is the brainchild of Amy Wray. Amy is a qualified Midwife and Lactation Consultant and has been working as a health professional for over twelve years. Amy comes from a family of health professionals including her Mother and Sisters who are also Lactation Consultants. During this time she has worked in many roles within the community, she has been a BFHI co-ordinator and trained as a New Zealand Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Administrator. She’s been involved in teaching Antenatal Classes/Hāpū Wānanga and various breastfeeding education workshops for a range of health providers throughout NZ. She has also helped develop and launch several breastfeeding services and is now currently running another business called Puku Ora in Gisborne with her sister where they run a healthy eatery and feed 3,500 children everyday as part of the Free School Lunches Programme, and has been sitting on the Tairawhiti DHB board.

The Mama Aroha app is the newest iteration of the ‘Breastfeeding Talk Cards’ Amy developed 10 years ago. The cards are a well-established, breastfeeding tool within Aotearoa and internationally. This resource is designed to support breastfeeding mothers and health professionals (nurses, midwives, lactation consultants, breastfeeding peer support in general) who are helping mothers with their breastfeeding, particularly when they are experiencing problems. It connects visuals and kupu Māori to provide a more visually informative resource that is easier to understand.

The National SUDI Prevention Coordination Service held by Hāpai Te Hauora are wanting to see a reduction in the number of SUDI (Sudden Unexplained Death in Infancy) occurring in Aotearoa and are aware of the importance of wai u - breast milk as a medicine/rongoa for baby. We believe this tool assists health professionals to help whānau Māori and others to successfully breast feed for longer. As an indigenous and distinctly Māori tool it was the right and appropriate stand for us. We see Amy as a wahine toa and wanted to support her in the continuing development of this resource. This app is a collaboration between Amy Wray, Hāpai Te Hauora, New Zealand Breastfeeding Association, Mokopuna Ora and Kiwa Digital.

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