Rotherham to become “breastfeeding friendly borough”

Plans are underway to establish Rotherham as a breastfeeding-friendly borough, which will include breastfeeding breaks for staff, and not asking parents to cover up when feeding youngsters.

Wednesday, 15th June 2022, 12:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th June 2022, 10:18 am

The initiative will see Rotherham Council adopt a breastfeeding declaration, which states that breastfeeding parents will be given the freedom within public areas to choose where to breastfeed, and will not be asked to cover up or move to another area when breastfeeding.

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Parents will also be offered an appropriate location to breastfeed, not including toilets or restrooms, which “are not appropriate places for feeding babies and will not be offered.”

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If adopted, the declaration will mean more support for breastfeeding anywhere - not just in "designated hidden spaces and places".

A workplace policy is also proposed, which will see employers provide an “an enabling environment” for breastfeeding staff, and allowing lactation breaks for the expression of breast milk for at least one year after childbirth.

A report about the scheme, to be presented to the council’s health and wellbeing board on June 22, states that the approach “is not stigmatising or blaming but is rather based on creating healthy supportive environments for everyone.”

“Such an approach is especially warranted in relation to breastfeeding in the UK, where eight out of ten women stop breastfeeding before they want to, and most report that this is due to feeling insufficiently supported.

“This also frequently results in feelings of guilt and failure.”

The report adds that breastfeeding rates in Rotherham are lower than the national average – 24 per cent of babies are fully breastfed in Rotherham, compared to the rate across England of 31 per cent.

If adopted, the declaration will mean more support for breastfeeding anywhere – not just in “designated hidden spaces and places”.