Positive about breastfeeding

A south Somerset town has created a directory naming over fifty breastfeeding-friendly venues to help remove barriers for mothers wanting to breastfeed while out and about.

South Somerset District Council, NHS Somerset and Reckleford and Oaklands children's centres teamed up to launch the new directory for Yeovil. 

The guide has been created in response to comments from new mothers that breastfeeding in public can be daunting, and feedback that some had been asked to leave premises. 

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."

Including café's, restaurants, entertainment premises, sports centres and more, the guide also indicates whether there are high chair facilities, children's menus, baby changing and pram access in each venue.

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."

Download the Positive About Breastfeeding directory, for Yeovil, here.