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Mom highlights lack of baby-changing facilities

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A mother of two has criticised the widespread lack of baby-changing tables at establishments across Bermuda.

N. Koshea Scott-Millett began thinking about the issue when she and her husband took their children, aged three and 18 months, for lunch at a restaurant in St George.

“We needed to change our son, and there was nowhere to do it,” she said. “We literally had to go to the car.

“We were right in the heart of a tourist centre, and a tourist who comes here with children won't have a car to use.

“With the America's Cup next year, we're going to have people here from all over the world. What are they supposed to do?”

After discussing the matter on social media, Mrs Scott-Millett found that the scarcity of baby-changing facilities was a common problem for parents of young children on the island.

“It's just very odd that, in a place which professes to be a sophisticated tourist destination, nobody's thinking about this,” she said. “How is that even possible?”

As well as compiling a list of locations with baby-changing tables, Mrs Scott-Millett also contacted the Government to inquire why the matter continued to be overlooked.

“I asked why this wasn't mandatory, particularly with new buildings,” she said.

“I received feedback that the Department of Health and the Department of Planning are working together to put in regulations for new construction, so we've made some progress.”

Mrs Scott-Millett, an attorney, said that the matter “definitely” represents a wider problem when it comes to maternity-related issues in Bermuda.

She hopes to start an advocacy group focusing on areas including maternity leave, breastfeeding and preferred parking spots for heavily pregnant women, the latter a popular initiative in the United States.

“All these things have just been ignored,” she said. “I don't know if there's any malice in it; it just hasn't been put on anybody's radar.

“The intention is to start bringing these things to the fore — the squeaky wheel gets the oil.”

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of the Environment and the Department of Planning said: “There is no requirement under the Bermuda Building Code for public restrooms to have changing tables for infants, but those creating new buildings or retrofitting existing ones are more frequently including a changing table as a fixture in restrooms.”

Shortcomings exposed: Koshea Scott-Millett is urging the Government to update its legislation regarding baby-changing tables (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published October 29, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated October 29, 2016 at 8:40 am)

Mom highlights lack of baby-changing facilities

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