Melton mums are being urged to recognise their rights to breastfeed in public as part of a fresh campaign launched by the county’s health authority.
Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust (LPT) wants to empower, encourage and inspire mothers to do what they feel is right for them, whether they choose to breastfeed or not, whilst challenging negative public views about doing it in public places.
The trust is encouraging mums, their supporters and health professionals to post the hashtag #MyRightOfWay on Twitter and Facebook next week and share a series of e-postcards supporting images of babies being breastfed in a number of everyday locations, including the hairdressers, a local café, theatre and museum.
The initiative is the second phase of the organisation’s ‘Meals on heels’ breastfeeding campaign and coincides with National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, which runs from June 20-28.
Carole Fishwick, lead for LPT on infant feeding, said: “‘Meals on heels’ is all about helping women to feel empowered and supporting them with their infant feeding choices.
“We know that not all mums feel they are comfortably able to breastfeed in public, however they have the legal right to do so. The hashtag #MyRightOfWay is all about celebrating this choice and urging the public to support mums about where and how they feed their baby.”
She added: “By capturing these positive images of local mothers feeding their babies in everyday locations, we hope to challenge negative perceptions of breastfeeding in public.
“We have a MealsOnHeels mobile app that is freely available for mums to download for a list of local breastfeeding support and breastfeeding friendly locations. We would encourage mums to rate and add more locations to the app so that more mums can feel supported to breastfeed whilst they are out and about.”
A support group - Melton Breast Friends - was started five years ago for mums in the town and surrounding villages. Members meet at a breastfeeding cafe every Thursday at The Edge in Melton, from 12 noon to 1.30pm, and they can be contacted via midwives, health workers and family outreach workers.
The group’s Facebook page has 328 members.
Mothers who need more information on breastfeeding and infant feeding support can go online to www.leicspart.nhs.uk/_OurServicesAZ-BreastfeedingandInfantFeedingsupport.aspx where they can also download a ‘Meals on heels’ App for iPhone and Android, a guide to local support and breastfeeding friendly venues.