Organisations across the district are teaming up to encourage new mums to breastfeed here, there and everywhere.
Joining up with the national campaign, Breastfeeding Welcome, businesses and public places are coming together to help normalise breastfeeding and encourage mums to feel more comfortable doing it out and about in public.
The national Breastfeeding Welcome scheme has been brought to Bradford jointly by Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust and Bradford Metropolitan District Council, and led by Jane Dickens, Strategic Breastfeeding Lead at Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust who says: “Studies show that eight out of 10 women stop breastfeeding before they want to and in Bradford less than half of babies that start life being breastfed receive none of their mums milk by two months old. One of the reasons for this is that mums feel anxious feeding out and about. We want to encourage all mums to feel confident that they are welcome to enjoy breastfeeding in public places, so their babies continue to receive the goodness of their mother’s milk for as long as possible.
Breast milk contains all the nutrients and fluids a baby needs up to six months of age and continues to be of great health benefit alongside food from six months. It is packed with antibodies which help keep babies better protected from some illnesses.”
First to sign up to support the campaign are the Broadway shopping centre in Bradford and the Airedale shopping centre in Keighley.
Steve Seymour, Airedale Shopping Centre Manager said: “Many of our shoppers are mums with babies and we want them to feel 100% comfortable when they visit us. As a hub of the local community, we pride ourselves on creating a relaxed and welcome environment that is inclusive to everyone.”
To coincide with maternal mental health week a launch event is taking place on 3 May at the The Broadway, Bradford.
Ian ward, General Manager at The Broadway, Bradford said: “We’re delighted to be supporting such a fantastic scheme and are proud to offer women in Bradford a safe space to breastfeed.”
“It’s important that women don’t feel confined when breastfeeding or pumping. We hope that by working together to support mums across Bradford, local business will help alleviate feelings of anxiety and any stigma mothers may feel when feeding their children in public.
“The launch event is an important step to raise awareness for breastfeeding in public places and we urge other businesses in Bradford to welcome similar initiatives.”
The event, which takes place 11.00am – 3.00pm, will bring together a range of services and health professionals to offer advice, guidance and further advice on a range of topics for parents-to-be, new parents and families. Services that will be on hand to ask any questions include health visitors, Bradford doulas, Better Start Bradford Breastfeeding Support project, peer supporters and Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust’s specialist mother and baby service.
One of Better Start Bradford’s Specialist Midwives, Alison Brown, said: “We’re thrilled that two of our projects, Bradford doulas and the breastfeeding support project, are supporting ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ here in Bradford.
Breastfeeding is very beneficial for mums and babies. Feeding your baby is more than about just nutrition, it’s also about making a loving relationship. We hope lots of organisations sign up for this great initiative.”
The campaign asks local businesses and venues to sign up and when they do they receive a Breastfeeding Welcome pink and white sticker which is used as a clear message to breastfeeding mums ‘you are welcome to breastfeed your baby here.’ This means mums can relax and get on with feeding their baby without worrying about what other people think, and it’s an important confident boost too.
By joining the scheme businesses are helping to benefit the whole community as well as letting customers know that they are cared for, even the youngest ones.
The scheme is open to all local businesses, from shops, libraries, cafes or hairdressers, to community centres and health centres.
If you would like further information about joining the scheme please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s lots of help and advice on offer for breastfeeding mums across the district, from text services to clinics, if you feel you need some further support please visit https://www.bdct.nhs.uk/breastfeeding-bradford/.