Council Supports ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ Premises in Newry
Newry, Mourne and Down District is committed to supporting breastfeeding throughout the district. To raise awareness of the difficulties and issues that breastfeeding mothers face, the Council facilitated two staff training sessions on Tuesday 4 February at the Quays Shopping Centre, which is a registered ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ premises.
The ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ initiative makes it easier for mums to recognise places where they can breastfeed their baby when they are out and about. It was developed to encourage businesses and public premises to welcome breastfeeding mums, helping mums to prolong the length of time they breastfeed.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “The Council is committed to supporting mothers to breastfeed outside their home. The work that the Council undertakes to support local mothers with breastfeeding is a wonderful complement in the promotion of the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ initiative and I hope more businesses across the district will continue to sign up.”
Cllr Charlie Casey continued. “It is also important that registered premises are aware of the issues that breastfeeding mothers face and are able to support them while visiting their premises. The Council is on hand to facilitate with staff training sessions such as those delivered at The Quay’s Shopping Centre.”
Northern Ireland has the lowest breastfeeding rate in the UK and one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Europe. Although half of all new mums start breastfeeding, many quickly stop, often because they feel there is a lack of support, particularly when they want to feed their baby outside the home, which can result in feelings of embarrassment or being judged by others.
Additionally, breastfeeding is very important to the health of both mother and baby. Mothers who breastfeed are at less risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from infections and allergies and are also less likely to develop childhood diabetes and obesity. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months and that breastfeeding continues into the second year of life.
A list of companies who participate in the Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme can be found at www.breastfedbabies.org/breastfeeding-welcome-here-scheme.