Breastfeeding is welcome at GWH!

Posted: June 28, 2013

New campaign to make breastfeeding more comfortable for women when out and about.

Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is proud to be working alongside Swindon Borough Council to encourage local organisations to sign up to the National Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme.

The aim of the scheme is to make women feel more comfortable breastfeeding when they are out and about. Many public places already promote the fact that they welcome breastfeeding, but this scheme will provide local venues, including shops, libraries, health centres and cafes, with useful guidance and support to make this easier.

The scheme is coordinated by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) on behalf of the Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition.  The Breastfeeding Manifesto was produced in 2006 by over twenty UK organisations working to improve awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding and its role in reducing health inequalities.

Cathy Gale, Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife at Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said:  "We need to support mothers who have chosen to breastfeed by making breastfeeding as easy and comfortable as possible.

"More than three quarters of babies born at the Great Western Hospital begin breastfeeding. However, we are now seeing more new mothers continue with breastfeeding for longer and have recently seen a 7.4% increase in the number of mums still breastfeeding at six to eight weeks. Nearly half of all babies in Swindon are now being breast fed at six to eight weeks which is great news.

"A big part of supporting mums to continue breastfeeding is making sure they feel comfortable breastfeeding in public places, so we are supporting local venues to become more friendly, welcoming and safe environments for new mums who choose to breastfeed.

"We are supporting the scheme ourselves at the Great Western Hospital and welcome breastfeeding throughout the hospital in waiting areas, our restaurant and cafes."

From July a new Mother and Baby Room will be available on the second floor of the hospital, providing a dedicated quiet area for mothers to breastfeed.

Local venues that sign up to the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme will receive a special guide to becoming breastfeeding welcome, including posters and stickers, hints and tips and training for staff.

 

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