29/03/2019

Surge In Support For Breastfeeding Mums At NI Businesses

The Public Health Agency (PHA) has reported a significant rise in the number of businesses across Northern Ireland displaying their support for breastfeeding mothers.

Over 740 popular family venues including council facilities, cafes, tourist attractions and other firms have joined the Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme, an increase of more than 200 since January 2017.

Members of the initiative display a sticker and certificate in their premises to display that they welcome breastfeeding. Participating venues, including 96 public libraries and community pharmacies that joined in the last year, can be found here.

Janet Calvert, Regional Breastfeeding Lead for the PHA, said: "While mums can of course breastfeed anywhere they wish to, the scheme aims to provide supportive environments and show public support for breastfeeding mums.
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"It's great to see so many more businesses getting involved and helping to support breastfeeding as we know that for many mums, getting started isn't easy. Information and support is essential, both before baby is born and especially in the early days after birth, so that mums can build their confidence and stay with their decision to breastfeed.

"Creating supportive environments for breastfeeding is something that we can all play an active part in as it can help mums feel more comfortable about feeding in public, which is something that many mums are apprehensive about.

"Breastfeeding should be seen as part of everyday life and the more it happens the more normalised it becomes. Breastfeeding helps give babies the best start in life and so showing increased support for breastfeeding mums is really important, as Northern Ireland has the lowest breastfeeding rates in the UK and one of the lowest rates in Europe."

Information on mother-to-mother and breastfeeding support groups, as well as peer support facilities and practical tips for fathers and other family members who want to help the process can also be found on the Breastfed Babies website using the link above.



(JG/CM)

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