More than 60 organisations including GP surgeries, coffee shops, libraries, and community centres have joined Wakefield’s Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme.
Launched in May 2016, the initiative is to ensure there are places in the district which are recognisably supportive to women who wish to breastfeed their babies.
In Wakefield, only six out of ten mothers breastfeed their newborns and just three out of ten are still breastfeeding their babies six to eight weeks later.
Many women stop breastfeeding as they feel like can’t breastfeed outside the privacy of their own home.
Coun Pat Garbutt, Wakefield Council’s Cabinet Member for Adults and Health, said: “I am pleased that different organisations are supporting this initiative as it’s important that mums feel they can breastfeed their babies when they’re out and about.
“I’d like to encourage more businesses to join us and sign-up to show their support and make Wakefield even more breastfeeding friendly.”
Research shows that breastfeeding helps to protect babies against infection and illness and lowers the risk of cancer in mothers.
Among the supporters of the scheme are retail outlets Junction 32, Xscape and Trinity walk. Five GP practices have recently signed up - Almhouse Surgery, Friarwood Surgery, Grove Surgery Trinity Medical Centre, Lupset Health Centre and Orchard Croft Medical Centre.
Places taking part display a sticker and have signed up to a breastfeeding friendly policy.
More information and a map of the breastfeeding friendly venues currently signed up in the district can be viewed at www.wakefield.gov.uk/breastfeeding.
Businesses that would like to sign up to the charter can do so by visiting www.wakefield.gov.uk/breastfeeding. They need to complete the registration form and checklist on our website. Once signed up, they will be sent a welcome pack, sticker and certificate.
Support is available to mums who need advice or help with breastfeeding including a number of drop in community clinics and support groups throughout the district. Visit: www.familiesandbabies.org.uk/wakefield-district or ring 01924 851 901.