Breastfeeding Welcomed at Businesses

24 June 2011, 05:00

Heart's been told about a new plan to get more women feeling comfortable breastfeeding in places like shops and restaurants

As part of National Breastfeeding Week, local businesses are signing up to a campaign to make cafés, restaurants, bars and shops more breastfeeding friendly.

The Breastfeeding Friendly Businesses Scheme is being piloted in Ipswich and encourages businesses to be open to breastfeeding mothers. Signatories are given a sticker to put in their window to advertise their family friendly approach.

Councillor Kathy Gosling, from Suffolk County Council, said: “We’re not asking businesses to create separate breastfeeding friendly areas within their establishments. Mums do not want to feel segregated from the rest of society, all we ask is that businesses will support women who want to nurse their children on their premises, allowing them to stay and feel welcome.”

Becky is the manager of Pizza Express on Lloyd's Avenue, which is taking part in the scheme. She told Heart that "being a new mum is quite stressful enough as it is" and mothers shouldn't also have to worry about whether they're able to feed their babies when they're out and about. She said she hopes the campaign will "get rid of the stigma" of breastfeeding publicly.

Another business signed up is Central Canteen on Queens Street, Ipswich.

Mrs Hassan, owner of Central Canteen said: “We are proud to be family friendly. We have always welcomed mothers who want to breast feed in our café, it’s one of the most natural things a woman can do and they should feel free to do so. We want mothers to know that they are welcome to nurse their children here, and we have ample baby changing facilities as well.”

Laura Cardwell, mother of two and long term customer of Central Canteen said: “I am delighted that the Breastfeeding Friendly Business Scheme is starting up in Suffolk. Friends of mine have been asked to leave by some other cafes and restaurants in town because they were breastfeeding. I have always been welcomed at Central Canteen and made to feel comfortable when nursing."

Although the Breastfeeding Friendly Business Scheme is being piloted in Ipswich, there are hopes to roll out the scheme to the rest of Suffolk