Businesses and venues across Calderdale are offering a warm welcome to breastfeeding mothers as part of a new scheme being launched in the area.
Open to all local venues, Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale sets out a series of simple standards that businesses and venues should adopt so that mothers have a comfortable welcoming space in which to feed their child.
The scheme is funded by Calderdale Council as part of the Public Health Early Years’ Service, and has been jointly developed by Locala Health and Wellbeing and the Council in partnership with the Infant Feeding Advisory Forum, to support the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) Gold Assessment standards.
Locations that sign up will be included on the scheme’s webpages so mothers can look for places where they are welcome to breastfeed across Calderdale. They will also display the Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale logo on their premises to show they are taking part.
Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale was launched today at Wildgoose Café in Ripponden, one of the first venues to sign up to the scheme. Others already signing up to the scheme include:
- Children’s Centres
- Calderdale libraries
Cllr Tim Swift, Calderdale Council’s Leader and Cabinet Member for Public Health, said:
“Breastfeeding your baby gives them the best possible start in life and has many benefits for both mother and child. So, it’s important that breastfeeding mums can feel welcome when they are out and about.
“This scheme also aims to ensure that venue operators and staff are comfortable in supporting breastfeeding mothers and understand their needs. Many places already do this and many more can, so we ask them all to join the scheme and show their warm welcome for breastfeeding.”
Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale is free to join for venues and more details on how to join and which venues are already taking part are available by searching for “Welcome to Breastfeed” on the Calderdale Council website www.calderdale.gov.uk(external link)
Lucy Watkins from the Wildgoose café said:
“We are keen to support the health of the next generation in allowing mothers to feed in a comfortable, safe and welcoming environment.
As an example, we offer changing facilities as well as sofas for comfortable feeding.”
The scheme is also being supported by Locala Health and Wellbeing who provide Calderdale’s Public Health Early Years’ Service working with families and carers of children aged 0-5.
Alison Walklate, Locala’s Infant Feeding Lead in Calderdale, said:
“We’re delighted to supporting Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale. Breastfed children are better protected against childhood illnesses and breastfeeding is good for mums because it lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer and helps to build a strong bond between you and your baby.
“Being able to breastfeed in a public venue reduces the social isolation mothers can feel and offers an opportunity for communities to support young children and their families.”
More information on Welcome to Breastfeed Calderdale is available at www.calderdale.gov.uk/v2/residents/health-and-social-care/children-and-family-care/breastfeed-calderdale(external link)