BEING able to breast-feed in public can be a big worry for new mums.
For some, the worry of feeding away from home can put them off doing it altogether.
So that’s why the Portsmouth Supports Breastfeeding Action Group has launched a new awards scheme to highlight cafes which welcome breast-feeding mums in the city.
The project is being piloted in Southsea and Old Portsmouth and so far 13 cafes have been awarded the breast-feeding welcome award.
Among them is the cafe in Debenhams in Palmerston Road, Southsea, where breast-feeding mums gathered yesterday to celebrate the launch of the scheme.
Trudy Farley, 32, from Portsmouth, took her two-week-old son Connor along.
She said: ‘It’s helpful knowing where you can go and feel comfortable breast-feeding because it is a worry.
‘You either have to not go or call ahead and check if it’s going to be okay but now we know straightaway which cafes are going to be okay and where there’s going to be no prejudice and the staff are going to be on your side.
‘It will help mums who aren’t confident about breast-feeding in public.’
Portsmouth has a fairly low breast-feeding rate with 76 per cent of mums breast-feeding when their baby is born, with only 43 per cent still breast-feeding six weeks later.
The cafe scheme was launched by Solent NHS Trust and Portsmouth City Council this week as part of breast-feeding awareness week, in a bid to help encourage more women to breast-feed.
Amanda Malthouse, specialist practitioner for breast-feeding at Solent NHS Trust, said: ‘This is all about working with cafes to create a welcoming environment for mums and we’ve been delighted at the positive response.
‘Cafes are awarded this certificate if they can demonstrate a positive and welcoming staff attitude, have policies in place to raise awareness of breast-feeding and how to manage potential complaints.’
A directory of breast-feeding venues will be published on tinyurl.com/pompeybaby.
Cafes in Portsmouth that are supporting the scheme will also display signs.