‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ is the message from local retailers encouraging women to breastfeed throughout the Islands.
The campaign, which is led by the Western Isles Maternal and Infant Nutrition Group and will be rolled out over the next three months, is aimed at raising awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding to mothers and their babies, whilst offering local supportive family-friendly locations at which to breastfeed.
With breast milk recognised as being ‘best for baby’, the benefits of breastfeeding go well beyond nutrition. In fact, in addition to containing all the vitamins and nutrients your baby needs in the first six months of life, breast milk is packed with disease-fighting substances that protect your baby from illness.
But let’s not stop there, there are health benefits for mum too! Breastfeeding frombirth helps the womb return to normal size more quickly after birth and is also knownto lower the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis (weak bones), heart disease and obesity.
Breastfeeding is also very convenient and environmentally friendly, with no need to use cans or bottles of formula milk or sterilising equipment.
At the recent launch of ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ campaign, held at the Woodlands Centre Cafe in Stornoway, Jane Poustie, Cafe Manager, said: “The Woodlands Centre Cafe is a place for everyone to use and enjoy. We are delighted to support the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ campaign. It’s the most natural thing in the world after all!”
However, many women report that they feel embarrassed breastfeeding in public, or that certain premises may not be welcoming or suitable. The aim of the campaign is to create a breastfeeding-friendly culture throughout the Isles.
Recent legislation makes it an offence to prevent or stop a mother breastfeeding (or bottle feeding) a child under the age of two.
In the Western Isles retailers supporting the campaign can be identified by the blue ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ stickers.
Local breastfeeding support group ‘Bosom Buddies’ also welcomed the launch withgroup representatives attending.
The local support group, offers mums support and the opportunity to share their breastfeeding experiences.
They meet every Wednesday from 10am-12noon in the Retirement Centre, Bayhead, Stornoway.