Health professionals across Lancashire are marking National Breastfeeding Celebration Week by encouraging local businesses to become breastfeeding friendly.
Events are also being held during the celebrations which are being held this year from 18-27 June as a way of showing how everyone in local communities can support mothers to breastfeed, whenever and wherever they are.
Businesses, employers, schools and colleges are especially being encouraged to become breastfeeding friendly to reassure mothers that not only does the law support them to breastfeed their baby where ever their baby becomes hungry but the local community do so too. This in turn supports a positive image of breastfeeding and helps promote and protect breastfeeding as the normal natural way to feed babies.
Katie Wharton, Infant Feeding Coordinator at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “On National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, everyone has a role to support breastfeeding. Exclusively breastfeeding babies is recommended for around the first six months of a baby’s life and to continue along with solid foods for 2 years and longer. There are immense benefits of breastfeeding to mums, babies and society, and mothers need to be supported to do so. This can happen if breastfeeding in public continues to be welcomed—something that helps mums to continue to breastfeed while they’re out and about. Businesses, schools and colleges can also easily help out by signing up to the Breastfeeding Friendly Places Scheme.”
Susan Unwin, co-owner of About Coffee, a coffee shop in Colne that is breastfeeding friendly, said, ‘‘We were keen to join the scheme as it’s important to make mums feel comfortable and at rest in breastfeeding their babies. We get quite a few mothers coming in as a result and we feel that encouraging new mums to feel welcome and happy supports the community. It’s great for us and great for our customers. We hope more and more businesses see the benefit of joining the scheme and signing up!’’
Sarah Sadler, head teacher at Clayton Brook Primary School in Preston, said: “There are a lot of health benefits in breastfeeding, which encourages healthy children. This then positively impacts learning as healthy children take less days off from school. So, for us as a school, it is only natural we support mums who need to breastfeed by signing up and becoming a Breastfeeding Friendly Place. We’ve also had a lot of positive feedback from parents.”
The Department of Health recommends that babies are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their life with continuation of breastfeeding breastmilk as part of the infant’s diet throughout the first one to two years and beyond.
Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust has also introduced a Breastfeeding Policy that allows employees to continue breastfeeding or giving breastmilk once they return to work for as long as they need, something that the Trust’s Infant Feeding Team is encouraging local employers to also replicate.
If you would like more information about this or have a business such as a café, library or public space and wish to sign up to Lancashire’s Breastfeeding Friendly Places visit https://www.lancashirecare.nhs.uk/Breastfeeding-Friendly-Places or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.