Harper Encourages Business Back Up For Breastfeeding

South Scotland MSP Emma Harper is encouraging more Dumfries & Galloway businesses to back the region’s Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme.

The scheme, originally launched by NHS Dumfries & Galloway and partners and Health and Wellbeing Specialist/Maternal and Infant Nutrition Lead, Veronica King, aims to ensure breastfeeding mothers are able to feed their babies in a comfortable and welcoming environment without interruption, embarrassment or discrimination.

Whilst not all mothers breastfeed, for many different reasons, it’s important that breastfeeding mums are supported with their choice should they wish to. Breastfeeding provides immune system support for the baby and skin to skin contact is an important part of breast and bottle feeding.

Ms Harper commented;

I’d like to see more Dumfries & Galloway businesses backing this regional initiative which Veronica King and NHS D&G and partners worked together to implement. When it was initially launched by Jeff Ace, CEO of Dumfries & Galloway Health Board and Veronica King I supported by contacting many local businesses who could ultimately benefit but uptake of the scheme has been disappointingly low.
“Breastfeeding offers considerable health benefits for both mother and baby and it is important that the community supports a mother in her decision to give her baby the best start in life. Many new mothers give up breastfeeding because they feel isolated and embarrassed that they may offend other people by feeding in public.”

Legislation introduced by The Scottish Government The Breastfeeding etc (Scotland) Act 2005 states that it is against the law to stop a person feeding a child (under the age of 2) in a public place. This means that a person in charge of a child under the age of 2 has the right to feed that child when required without the fear of interruption or criticism.

To show businesses are on board with the scheme they can display a ‘Dumfries & Galloway is Breastfeeding Friendly’ window sticker and scheme certificate. This way mothers can easily distinguish that a business is an inviting one for a breastfeeding mother. This can increase repeat business and also attract additional business through word of mouth at mother and baby groups that women attend.

Additional support can also be found with Bump, Baby and Beyond who run their own facebook page and help new mothers in a variety of ways including breastfeeding support.

A muslin for feeding is also included in the Scottish Government’s Baby box of which 2238 have been delivered to new mothers in Dumfries & Galloway.

For more information on the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme contact Fiona Paton, Nurse Manager for Health Visiting and Family Nurse Partnership Services [email protected] or for any constituent looking for help and support contact Emma Harper MSP, Unit 1, 7 Loreburne Centre, Dumfries Tel 01387 255 334.

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