A number of coffee shops in Louth are being asked to support breastfeeding mums.
Breastfeeding in public can be a daunting prospect especially for a first-time mum.
A new initiative has been introduced in the North East called "Breastfeeding Welcome Here" to help and support mums when they are out. Over 112 coffee shops and restaurants have been asked to participate in the event in Cavan, Meath, Monaghan and Louth.
This scheme is all about increasing the social acceptability of breastfeeding. The businesses taking part display a small poster on the premises to let mums know that they are welcome to feed in all areas of the premises and will not be asked to stop breastfeeding. . Those who have agreed to take part are very aware of the importance for breastfeeding mums to know that they can come to their local coffee shop or restaurants where they will be warmly welcomed.
The scheme has worked very effectively in Northern Ireland since 2005. Increasing low breastfeeding rates involves raising awareness about breastfeeding and wellbeing. This can be achieved through promoting social acceptability of breastfeeding in public. Emer Smyth, Manager of the Health Promotion and Improvement Department explained that “We must start normalising breastfeeding and create the right conditions for mothers to breastfeed in comfort wherever they are. Breastfeeding should not be a cause for concern, as mothers just want to be able to feed their babies where they need to and make breastfeeding part of everyday life”.
The Steering Committee which was formed to promote breastfeeding rates in the North East is made up of representatives from the HSE, Cuidiu and La Leche League would like to commend those businesses that are helping by doing their bit to support breastfeeding mothers.
The health benefits of breastfeeding include; lower risk of infection, allergies, obesity, diabetes and cot death. Women who breastfeed may also have a lower risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.
Coffee shops and restaurants already taking part in the initiative include; The Beehive Cafe in Ballyjamesduff, Dinkens Bakery and Coffee Shop in Monaghan, The Riverfront in Virginia and Chrissie’s Coffee Shop in Ashbourne.
A full list of coffee shops and restaurants participating in this initiative are available by emailing the Health Promotion and Improvement Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you own a coffee shop and you wish to take part in this initiative please contact the Health Promotion and Improvement Department at 041 6860718.