Wiltshire Council is encouraging more local businesses to sign up to a scheme designed to make it easier for mums to breastfeed comfortably when they are out and about.
Feedback from mums suggests that some stop breastfeeding because they feel uncomfortable doing so in public, even though all mothers have a right to breastfeed wherever they like.
With World Breastfeeding Week on the horizon, the council wants more local customer-facing businesses to become ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’. Venues that sign up to the scheme are promoting a mum’s right to breastfeed and will be playing an active part in enabling more to breastfeed their babies.
World Breastfeeding Week takes place 1 – 7 August and is an opportunity to highlight the range of support available to ensure women feel safe and comfortable breastfeeding wherever they are.
Wiltshire Council is keen for as many local customer-facing businesses, such as shops, cafes and restaurants to sign up to The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme. Wiltshire Council venues across the county are ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ and in total there are 130 buildings in the county that are part of the scheme.
When a venue signs up to the scheme, and displays the pink and white sticker provided, it’s a clear message to mums that they are welcome to breastfeed and will be supported to be as comfortable as possible.
The scheme benefits mums and babies and can also boost local businesses as their details are added to www.breastfeedingwelcomescheme.org.uk where mums can easily search for venues by town or postcode.
Laura Mayes, Wiltshire Council cabinet member for public health, said: “We know that some women still don’t feel comfortable when they are breastfeeding in public, so it is important that we do what we can to make it as easy as possible. The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme provides a great opportunity for the community to support breastfeeding Mums.
“Mums do not need any additional stress and pressure so the more businesses that sign up, the more supported women will feel.
“We’re proud to be Breastfeeding Welcome at Wiltshire Council venues and we’d love more businesses to join us.”
Katy Spencer, a recent first-time mum, said: “While I’m pretty confident about breastfeeding my daughter out and about, there’s always that small thought at the back of my mind which wonders if someone will say something. I try to go to venues with a breastfeeding welcome sign, as it gives me the reassurance that the staff (and customers) will be supportive of me breastfeeding while I’m there.”
Philippa Edwards, venue manager of Town Hall Arts in Trowbridge, said: “Signing up for the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme gives a clear indication that breastfeeding mothers can be sure of a warm and understanding reception from our staff and volunteers, which is why we joined in.
“We want to make sure all members of the community feel welcome to use this building in the centre of our community, whether they are mothers who wish to find a quiet spot to breastfeed, or in fact anyone who wants to use a clean loo or find baby-changing facilities. You can come and use our facilities whenever we are open, without pressure to spend any money.”
How do businesses sign up to the scheme?
They need to:
- Read through the Breastfeeding Welcome checklist and check they meet the criteria
- Make any changes necessary to fulfil the checklist
- Register directly online: www.breastfeedingwelcomescheme.org.uk/Go-BFW/
- Contact email@example.com to have any of their questions answered.
For more advice and support on breastfeeding, people should visit http://www.wiltshire.gov.uk/public-health-pregnancy-breastfeeding.
People can show their support and follow @WiltsCouncil on Twitter and use #WiltsBreastfeedingWelcome as the council will be regularly posting during World Breastfeeding Week.