Making breastfeeding mothers welcome

Businesses and community venues across Harrogate are being invited to join an award scheme that acknowledges their commitment to making the town breastfeeding friendly.

Councillor Dickinson at the launch of breastfeeding-friendly Harrogate

Our public health team is running the scheme, and gaining breastfeeding friendly award status is easy to achieve. Participating venues are encouraged to display a window sticker to let everyone know they are breastfeeding friendly: the minimum requirement is that staff actively welcome mothers and babies and that breastfeeding is allowed in all customer areas of the venue.

They are also encouraged to provide the additional things that mothers appreciate, including:

  • easy access for, and a safe place to park, a buggy;
  • easy access to a clean place to change their baby’s nappy; and
  • a comfortable chair with a back for support.

Cllr Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing, said: “Mums want to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, knowing there’s no risk of being asked to move, stop or even leave if a customer raises their objection with staff, so providing a welcoming environment for them and their babies provides a very positive experience for families.

“Mums say they value places that welcome them to feed their babies, and as well as respecting a woman’s legal right to breastfeed in public, by becoming a breastfeeding friendly award venue you are making a positive contribution to help babies get a great start in life – breastfeeding helps babies by making them less likely to develop infections and allergies in childhood. It also helps lower the risk of obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease in later life.

“Encouraging breastfeeding is great for businesses, too. It demonstrates that you are dedicated to making your customers happy and improving their health in the long term. Businesses that receive a breastfeeding friendly venue award will get publicity from word-of-mouth recommendations between families and also from the County Council website.”

Business and venues that are interested in registering for the breastfeeding-friendly venue award can find out more by emailing nypublichealth@northyorks.gov.uk  or calling the public health team on 01609 797742.

This story was published 4 July 2019