Businesses and community venues across Selby are being encouraged be breastfeeding-friendly by North Yorkshire County Council.
Providing a welcoming environment for breastfeeding mums and their babies provides a very positive experience for families and is also good for business. Mothers say they value places that welcome them to feed their babies, and they share details of these venues with their friends and families and encourage them to visit. Not only that, their visits tend to be at quieter times of the day for businesses therefore providing additional footfall.
Becoming a breastfeeding friendly award venue is easy to achieve. The minimum requirement is that staff actively welcome mothers and babies and that breastfeeding is allowed in all customer areas of the venue. Additional things that mothers appreciate include:
- 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.
Participating venues are encouraged to display a window sticker to let everyone know they are breastfeeding friendly. 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.
“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” said Cllr Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing.
“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 council website.”
Business and venues that are interested in registering for the breastfeeding friendly venue award can find out more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Public Health Team on 01609 797742. Once the breastfeeding award scheme proves successful in Selby it will be rolled out across the county later this year.
The Start4Life website www.nhs.uk/start4life has a range of advice and resources which can help mothers to continue breastfeeding, as well as a dedicated helpline they can call.