“We are breastfeeding friendly!” That is the message today from Ipswich Borough Council, which has joined a campaign led by health chiefs to make sure the public know that breastfeeding mothers are welcome at a range of venues in the town.
Crown Pools, Fore Street Pool, the Borough’s four sports centres, Regent Theatre and the Town Hall & Corn Exchange complex have all been registered by Health & Wellbeing Suffolk, which said: “Although breastfeeding is the natural way to feed a child with major health benefits for both mums and babies, many mums in Suffolk still decide against it or give up because they feel they are not supported to breastfeed in public places. We feel this is unacceptable and we are asking local businesses to support new mums by becoming breast-feeding friendly.”
Borough Council Deputy Leader Neil MacDonald, who is responsible for health issues, added: “We are very happy to support this campaign, which was launched in National Breastfeeding Week. We want to give new mothers the confidence to do what is natural and not feel embarrassed. We also want to encourage local businesses to join us in this important campaign.”
Suffolk County Councillor Joanna Spicer, Chairman of Suffolk’s Health and Wellbeing Board, added: “Speaking from a personal perspective, I am delighted to have just had my first grandchild, aged four weeks, and he is thriving on being breastfed. There’s no doubt that breastfeeding provides babies with a great start in life, which is why it is so important that breastfeeding mothers have every opportunity to do so. Well over two thirds of women start breastfeeding, and for many reasons are not always able to continue. However, we can make it as easy as possible for women to breastfeed wherever they are by working with local businesses to pledge their support. That’s why this Ipswich scheme is such a fantastic idea, and I very much hope it is successful and other areas of Suffolk follow suit.”
New stickers will show that supporting venues are breastfeeding friendly.
Our picture shows Kim Cook, a Suffolk County Councillor and new mother, at Crown Pools with children Lilly and four-month-old Emily.