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23 June 2011, 14:22
An award scheme has been launched by action group 'Portsmouth Supports Breastfeeding' to make it easier for mums to identify cafes where breastfeeding is welcomed.
It's hoped the project will help to improve the experience of breastfeeding mothers in public places.
To sign up to the scheme and receive a certificate, cafe staff need to show an awareness of the needs of breastfeeding mums. This means being able to provide them with a discreet area to feed should they need it, and knowing how to deal with other customers who object to sitting near a breastfeeding woman.
Mum Leah Whitford from Milton is a member of a breastfeeding support group. She thinks cafes that welcome breastfeeding are particularly beneficial for first time mothers:
"It's important to know they're not going to be hassled by anybody and that they're supported in the local community to be able to breastfeed anywhere that's got that sign up."
Lynn Timms, Health Visitor for Breastfeeding from Solent NHS Trust, highlighted the benefits of breastfeeding:
"We know that breastfeeding is an excellent source of nutrition for babies. We also know that for mums it's excellent for the prevention of things like cancers and osteoporosis."
The scheme, which is being piloted in Southsea and Old Portsmouth, will be rolled out to other areas of the city if successful.