South Cambs campaign aims to normalise public breastfeeding

A campaign has been launched in South Cambs to encourage businesses and community venues to support public breastfeeding

A campaign has been launched in South Cambs to encourage businesses and community venues to support public breastfeeding - Credit: Govia Thameslink Railway

Businesses across South Cambs are being encouraged to welcome families who breastfeed or pump as part of a new campaign.

The #FreeToFeedCP campaign was formed by South Cambridgeshire District Council, the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Infant Feeding Team and 'Best Start in Life' partnership, to support venues across the district in being more welcoming to people breastfeeding or pumping in public.

Businesses and community venues are asked to pledge their support for the campaign by signing up and displaying the sticker and promotional material in their premises.

Among the first businesses to take the #FreeToFeedCP pledge are Shepreth Wildlife Park and Govia Thameslink Railway.

To launch the campaign, a group of families took a train trip from Cambridge to the wildlife park to enjoy a day out.

Cllr Bridget Smith, leader of South Cambs District Council, said: "Breastfeeding is proven to be very beneficial to the health of the mother and baby, it should not be daunting for mothers to breastfeed or pump in bars, cafés, restaurants and other venues while they are out with their children.

"As someone who breast fed all three of my sons, I feel strongly that normalising breastfeeding and pumping in public is really important and something we can all help with through conversation and support.”

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The campaign is designed to raise the confidence of families and increase understanding among the public, businesses and community venues.

Almost three-quarters of women start breastfeeding when their child is born, but this drops to below half within six to eight weeks. Evidence shows the right support can help families sustain breastfeeding for longer.

Nina Morley, of the NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Infant Feeding Team, said: "We believe that breastfeeding has amazing health benefits for families, but knowing where to access support for breastfeeding can be difficult.

"All families, by law, are free to breastfeed and/or pump for their baby in public, anytime, anywhere.

"If breastfeeding parents are aware of local venues that support breastfeeding and will be welcoming of them, it will make a huge difference to their confidence, and will support their breastfeeding journey.”