A café is backing efforts to encourage more venues to become breastfeeding-friendly.
The Turquoise Teapot, on Bowbridge Road, Newark, one of 24 breastfeeding-friendly accredited venues in New-ark and Sherwood, hosted an event to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, along with partners including the county and district councils, is encouraging businesses and venues to provide more welcoming environments for breastfeeding mums.
The Turquoise Teapot owner Cathy Wilkinson, a former breastfeeding peer supporter, said anyone who wanted to breastfeed should be able to do so in a comfortable, friendly and supportive atmosphere.
After starting her business she was unable to commit the time to being a peer supporter and decided to make the café breastfeeding-friendly.
It recently hosted a coffee morning for mothers that promoted local baby services and businesses.
Restaurants, cafés, libraries, hair salons, health centres, children’s centres, GP practices, bus stations and offices across Nottinghamshire are signing up to become breastfeeding-friendly venues.
Theresa Drozdowska, infant feeding lead at Nottingham-shire Healthcare Trust, said: “Breastfeeding is fantastic for the health of both mum and baby, and one of the best ways to bond with your new baby, but it is not always easy.
“Most mums need help and support in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding.
“This scheme encourages venues to offer mums the assurance of being able to feed their baby in comfort and safety in a welcoming and supportive environment.”
'Fear of criticism'
It is recommended that babies should be breast-fed for the first six months of life.
Venues signing up to become breastfeeding-friendly should provide a welcoming, clean and comfortable environment and ensure all staff support the needs of breastfeeding mums.
Venues taking part display stickers letting people know they are welcome to breastfeed.
“Breastfeeding rates in the UK are one of the lowest in Europe — only 0.5% of UK babies still have breast milk after one year compared with 23% in Germany and 56% in Brazil,” said Theresa.
“The majority of mothers who breastfeed stop before they want to because of the fear of criticism from members of the public.”
Breastfeeding rates in Nott-inghamshire are lower than the national average — 39.8% of mums are breastfeeding when their baby is 6-8 weeks-old in the county, compared with 43.8% nationally.
Venues and business interested in joining the breastfeeding-friendly scheme can find out more at www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/care/health-and-wellbeing/breast feeding-maternal-health