Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme launched in Derby

Published: 16 February 2024

L-R is Dr Robyn Dewis director of public health, Cllr Alison Martin, Kayleigh Spiteri and Kyla Hallsworth supervisor at Starbucks

A new scheme has been launched to support breastfeeding mums in Derby. The Breastfeeding Welcome Here initiative is designed to make mums feel more confident to breastfeed in public places.

Shops, cafés and other public premises in the city are being encouraged to sign up to the free scheme to show they are accredited as ‘breastfeeding friendly’.

The right to breastfeed in public is protected by law but some mums lack confidence, feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable, or worried about the reaction they’ll receive. The Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme aims to positively change perceptions around breastfeeding in public and promote an environment where mums feel confident to breastfeed for as long as they choose.

By signing up, businesses and organisations pledge to actively welcome mums who are breastfeeding and support them to feel confident and comfortable feeding their baby on the premises. In turn, this will give the venue a boost, as mums are more likely to return to places where they feel comfortable.

If a venue is displaying a Breastfeeding Welcome Here Award, mums can be confident that:

  • They are welcome to breastfeed their baby there
  • They will never be asked to move or leave because they are breastfeeding
  • The venue will do their best to offer a private area to feed in, if mum prefers and space allows
  • Staff are trained to know that the venue supports breastfeeding and encourages mums to breastfeed on the premises.

Councillor Alison Martin, Derby City Council Cabinet Member for Health and Adult Care, said:

Mums have a legal right to breastfeed in public and the majority of people are supportive but it can still be a daunting experience, particularly at first. We want mums in Derby to know they are welcome to breastfeed while out and about, and to help them feel comfortable while doing so.

If you spot the Breastfeeding Welcome Here sticker, you’ll know it’s a comfortable and supportive environment for you to feed your baby. We’d love as many businesses as possible to sign up and show their support for mums.”

Funded as part of the Government’s Start for Life programme, the scheme is a partnership between Derby City Council, Community Action Derby and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. It was launched at Derbion, where businesses were invited to sign up and offered support from the Infant Feeding team.

The initiative had been welcomed by mums. Kayleigh Spiteri, Mum to six-month-old Sydney, said:

I would absolutely feel more comfortable entering a shop knowing if my baby needs, I can feed her without any issues. I have been to countless shops where I have had to give an impromptu feed and it would be amazing to know that that would be supported. After all, I am sustaining a little life.”

Beth McDonald, Managing Director of Derbion, said:

At Derbion, we aim to create an inclusive space for all through providing facilities and environments that are comfortable for all families, parents and children, including breastfeeding mums.

Derbion, along with our restaurants and retailers, is proud to support Derby City Council and Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust with this campaign that encourages more places in the city to welcome breastfeeding mums and create safe environments for families to feed their babies.”

Venues already signed up to the Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme include 200 Degrees Coffee, TGI Fridays, BEAR and all 14 of the city’s libraries. Businesses that successfully apply will receive a 'Breastfeeding Welcome Here' certificate and window sticker, so mums know they officially support and encourage breastfeeding.

Mums can get support with breastfeeding through Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Trusts Infant Feeding team and at Derby’s Family Hubs and Children’s Centres. The Infant Feeding Team hold friendly face-to-face breastfeeding clubs where you can meet other mums and get professional advice. They can also find out more information about breastfeeding antenatally through ‘Feeding My Baby’ and ‘Preparation for parenthood sessions.’ Find more information and details of your nearest group on the Family Hub website.

Further information about breastfeeding support, and more details about how to sign up to the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme, is available on the Derby City Council website.

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