READING Council is supporting World Breastfeeding Week (1st-7th August 2019) next week.
A number of Council venues, including Reading Sports & Leisure Centres, Reading Museum and all Reading library branches, as well as children’s centres run by Brighter Futures for Children, are all proud to welcome breastfeeding mums.
All Reading Sport & Leisure sites are breastfeeding friendly and breastfeeding mums are welcomed at all activities for under 5s. Visit www.readingleisure.co.uk/activities-children/under-5-s/ to find activities for younger children.
Being ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ includes welcome breastfeeding mums in public areas, displaying ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ logos, providing appropriate seating for breastfeeding mums and offering a discrete area for feeding if requested.
The Council is also supporting a breastfeeding event on 1st August, at Whitley Health and Social Services Centre, Northumberland Avenue, from 9.30am to 12.30pm, to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week.
The free event, organised by Berkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, will have health visitors and breastfeeding champions on hand to offer support and advice to mums. There will be raffles with some great prizes and the chance to socialise with other parents. Free baby massage sessions are available – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.
The theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2019 is ‘Empower Parents and Enable Breastfeeding.’ For more information on World Breastfeeding Week visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org There are lots of useful resources online, including Start4Life’s Breastfeeding section: www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding
Cllr Graeme Hoskin, Reading’s Lead Member for Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is important for mums to feel comfortable and supported when breastfeeding in public. As England has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world – 80% of babies are breastfed at birth and only 1% are exclusively breastfed by 6 months – the Council is keen to support efforts to ensure that every child has the best start in life. If you are a new mum and would like support and advice on breastfeeding, I’d encourage you to drop in on the event on 1st August at Whitley Health and Social Services Centre.”
New mum, Iva, from Reading, said: “I felt very anxious about the prospect of breastfeeding in public to begin with but I was lucky enough to have a some positive experiences early on which I feel made a huge difference. Feeling safe and welcome in public to do something that special for your child is so important for any breastfeeding mother.”