Breastfeeding: The welcome here scheme
With more than 500 venues currently on the scheme.
While breastfeeding mums are able to breastfeed in public places, the Breastfeeding welcome here scheme was established by the Public Health Agency to make it easier for mums to find supportive places to feed their babies when they’re out and about in public places such as coffee shops, restaurants, supermarkets, shops and hairdressers.
The venues who are members of the scheme have pledged to welcome breastfeeding mothers and agreed to display a pink sticker and certificate which shows that they are members of the scheme, with their staff aware of the need to be supportive of breastfeeding mums.
A list of members of the scheme can be found on the recently redesigned PHA’s website www.breastfedbabies.org. The site now features an interactive map so you can find your nearest Breastfeeding welcome here venue.
Janet Calvert, Regional Breastfeeding Lead for the PHA, said: “The Breastfeeding welcome here scheme was created to help show community support for breastfeeding mums.
“Breastfeeding is the best start in life. 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.
“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 so that mums can build their confidence and stay with their decision to breastfeed.
“Creating that supportive environment helps make breastfeeding more acceptable and the normal way to feed baby. It is also something that we can all play an active part in building and help mums feel more comfortable about feeding in public as we know this is something that many mums are apprehensive about.”
Joining the breastfeeding welcome here scheme
Any venue open to the public is eligible to join the scheme, for example coffee shops, restaurants, shops, supermarkets and hairdressers. To join the scheme venues must fulfil the membership criteria below:
• Breastfeeding is acceptable in all areas of your business premises that are open to the general public.
• A mother who is breastfeeding in an area of your business premises open to the general public will not be asked to move to another area or stop breastfeeding.
• The public are made aware that you are a member of the scheme and support breastfeeding through the display of the scheme’s window sticker and certificate on your business premises.
• All staff members are made aware that your business is a member of the scheme and are therefore supportive of the needs of breastfeeding mums.
If you wish to become a member of the scheme you can register here.
It's good for business
Breastfeeding mums who have had a positive experience will come back and will tell their friends and family, and share the experience with other mums so the scheme is good for the business.
Join the breastfeeding conversation at #NotSorryMums