Barnsley urges businesses to welcome breastfeeding for World Breastfeeding Week

Next week, we’re supporting the 20th annual World Breastfeeding Week 2022 – a global campaign dedicated to the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.   

We’re working hard to create a borough that protects and embraces breastfeeding – whether that be in a café, dentist surgery or library. So, we’re supporting the global campaign at a local level by urging businesses and local communities across our borough to step up and build back stronger their commitment and support to breastfeeding families.

Over the last few weeks, our dedicated infant feeding team has been working with new and existing businesses and public venues across the borough to promote and build back our Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme which was re-launched back in 2018. By signing up to the scheme, the business or venue must comply with a number of requirements, which demonstrate their commitment to providing a breastfeeding-friendly environment. This includes providing a welcoming atmosphere, training all staff about the scheme and where possible providing a facility for a mum who asks to breastfeed in private. 

There are currently over 100 local businesses and venues signed up to the scheme across the borough. The scheme can be joined by any venue open to the public, including all health care premises such as hospitals, GP practices, pharmacists, dentists, children’s services, such as, schools, nurseries, family centres and local businesses such as cafes, libraries and hairdressers to list a few. 

Signing up not only benefits breastfeeding mums, by providing reassurance that they are in a supportive and welcoming environment, but also benefits the business through good customer service, loyalty and reviews from happy breastfeeding mums.  

During the week, we will be urging more businesses to sign up to the scheme, as well as stepping up our support virtually through our social media channels. We’ll be sharing selfies and shout-outs to Breastfeeding Welcome venues; sharing first-hand top tips from mums how businesses and members of the public can make breastfeeding women feel welcome and comfortable, as well as sharing tips to support new mums starting out their breastfeeding journey in public. We will also be hearing from local businesses as they share with us why they signed up to the scheme, and what impact it’s made.  

Furthermore, we’ll be talking to some local mums attending our new breastfeeding group on the children’s floor of the Library @ the Lightbox. Why not come along? It is a great opportunity to talk to other breastfeeding mums, have a natter and share tips and ideas. The group meet every Wednesday between 9.30am and 10.30am.

Cllr Caroline Makinson, Cabinet Spokesperson for Public Health and Communities, said: “As we see Barnsley build back following the pandemic and open for business, it’s also time to build back and be open for breastfeeding. The pandemic has had a huge impact on new breastfeeding mums in many ways – including the lack of opportunity to get out and about with their babies, with many breastfeeding mums confined to their own homes and some may never have breastfed in public. 

“As we recover from the pandemic, it’s important we provide more support to new mums to enable them to get out and about and feel confident whilst breastfeeding in public. Our Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme is a great way for us to do this and we’d urge all businesses and public venues to show their support by joining the scheme. Let’s work together to make breastfeeding welcome across the whole of Barnsley.” 

To find out more about the scheme and to sign up, please visit the infant feeding team webpage.

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