Businesses in Cornwall are being encouraged to show their support for breastfeeding mums as part of a new scheme by Cornwall Council.
Launched during World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7), ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ will give cafes, pubs, restaurants and other venues the chance to display a special sticker in their windows to show that they welcome and support new mums who want to breastfeed.
The scheme aims to help women feel more comfortable doing so while out and about in our communities and is funded through the Government’s Start for Life programme.
Research shows that around 90% of parents in Cornwall wish to breastfeed but around a third of babies are no longer breastfed after six to eight weeks.
This is often due to problems that could be overcome with better breastfeeding support.
Besides encouraging businesses to help out, the Council is also aiming to support breastfeeding mums in other ways including extending peer support groups into the school holidays and recruiting a new team of Infant Feeding Support Workers in the community.
Cllr Barbara Ellenbroek, cabinet member for children and families at Cornwall Council, said:
“Many mums feel nervous about breastfeeding in public places, which can mean they end up staying at home when their baby is born. This can make them feel lonely and isolated or mean that they choose not to breastfeed or stop feeding before they want to.
“The Breastfeeding Welcome scheme is a way for businesses and organisations to show that they support women who choose to breastfeed and will help them feel more comfortable feeding their baby in their premises.”
Women have a legal right to breastfeed in any public place. The Equality Act 2010 says that it is against the law to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. This covers any business or organisation that provides services to the public and it applies to any staff and customers of that business or organisation.
Ruth Fromow, Infant Feeding Lead at Cornwall Council, added:
“Unfortunately, there are still some people who complain about mums feeding their babies in public even though it is against the law to treat a woman unfairly because she is breastfeeding.
“Hopefully this new scheme will give both breastfeeding mums and business owners another tool to silence the complainers and I would urge as many as possible to sign up and display a sticker.”
Relevant businesses will be contacted and asked to take part. For more information on the scheme visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/breastfeedingwelcome or for more on breastfeeding and support available visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/breastfeeding
Press release issued on July 31, 2023.