Mothers should be welcome to feed in public anywhere (in fact their right to do so is protected by law), but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a way of knowing that a cafe, restaurant or other venue really welcomed breastfeeding mothers?
The good news is that this is exactly what the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme is all about. When a venue signs up to be breastfeeding welcome and displays the pink and white sticker it’s a clear message to breastfeeding mums:
“You are welcome to breastfeed your baby here.”
The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme is coordinated by NCT who developed it on behalf of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition with support from other BMC members.
The pilot Scheme was run in Camden in 2008 and since then over 12 areas have signed up to make venues in their locality Breastfeeding Welcome.
The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme supports mothers to exercise their right to feed their child when they need to be fed. We provide the tools and support to businesses and venues to make this happen. The Scheme was developed by the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition and is run by NCT.
Sixty-three percent of breastfeeding mothers report that they have been on the receiving end of unsupportive comments or behaviour while breastfeeding in a public place (Public Health England (2013) Progress in Breastfeeding in London). Whilst most places have an open attitude, not all women know this, so it is important to encourage all businesses to become breastfeeding welcome and welcome these mums into their venues.
Of course, all mothers have the right to breastfeed anywhere. However, below is a short checklist of the basic things any business or venue needs in order to be more welcoming to breastfeeding mothers.
Babies can be breastfed in any public area in our venue.
We have adopted the breastfeeding welcome sample breastfeeding policy as a minimum standard.
Our staff are all aware how to implement our breastfeeding policy.
We will display the charter and sticker that tells visitors we are breastfeeding welcome.
We understand that some women prefer privacy when breastfeeding and we will do all we can to help them.