What's Happening in Yeovil blog

Booklet helps breastfeeding in public

Mums can feel comfortable breastfeeding in public thanks to a directory of breastfeeding-friendly venues.

The directory was compiled after mothers in the town said they felt uncomfortable nursing their babies in public and had even been asked to leave some premises.

South Somerset District Council, NHS Somerset and Yeovil’s children’s centres launched the directory, which is now being given to new mothers at Yeovil District Hospital. Positive About Breastfeeding stickers have also been placed in the windows of breastfeeding-friendly shops and cafes.

James Divall, health inequalities project manager for the district council and NHS, said: “This is about making it clearer to new mums which venues have specifically taken the step to say that breastfeeding is welcome in their premises.

“From the comments we received, it became clear that a simple directory would be a massive reassurance.

“We were inspired by a similar project in Coventry and contacted venues in the town to ask whether they welcome breastfeeding mothers and whether they would display a sticker in the window to make this clear.

“We found that premises were overwhelmingly keen to be included so we also hope that this scheme has opened up more opportunities for mothers. It is really important that they can feed their children without worry of embarrassment.”

The guide also tells mums whether there are high chair facilities, children’s menus, baby changing and pram access in the venues.

Cllr Sylvia Seal, portfolio holder for health and well being, added: “If this directly means new mums can feel confident in breastfeeding their babies then that, for me, is such a positive thing. There shouldn’t be a stigma and we hope that by raising this issue there will be more awareness.”

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