Venues across Redcar and Cleveland are being encouraged to do their bit to welcome breastfeeding mums.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s infant feeding team has teamed up with Redcar and Cleveland Council to launch a Breastfeeding Welcome scheme.
Victoria Head, infant feeding co-ordinator at the trust said: “Research shows a lot of mums stop breastfeeding before they really want to because they feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.
“Many businesses have an open attitude to breastfeeding but often women have no way of knowing this. This new scheme invites venues to display stickers and logos to let mums who may need to breastfeed their baby know they are welcome.
“The scheme has already proven successful in the south of the country but this is the first time the scheme will be implemented on this scale this far north.”
A range of café’s restaurants and business and all public council facilities in Redcar and Cleveland have already signed up to the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme and it is hoped the scheme will be launched in Middlesbrough in 2013.
The launch coincides with a new report from children’s charity UNICEF that highlights not only the benefits to babies of breastfeeding, but also how much money the NHS can save by promoting breastfeeding.
Victoria added: “Breastfeeding reduces the risk of major illness for the baby including gastrointestinal infections, upper respiratory tract infections and obesity and has also been shown to reduce infant mortality.”
Councillor Sheelagh Clarke, the council’s cabinet member for health and social well-being, said: “We are delighted to be leading on this hugely important initiative and ensuring that all of our council buildings welcome breastfeeding mothers.
“The benefits of breastfeeding to babies are well-documented and the launch of the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme is a major step in the right direction for our area.”
The Redcar launch event will take place on Thursday 29 November at 12.30pm in Redcar Library and then moving to the Mind Café for 1pm.
The national scheme was developed by the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition and was then taken over by the National Childbirth Trust.