Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Establishment
The Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme (BFS) exists across the whole of Scotland. The purpose of this scheme is to ensure breastfeeding mums know that if they see the BFS sign the establishment will make them feel welcome and be supportive of her feeding choice.
What everyone should know
Breastfeeding mums are protected by the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 to feed an infant up to the age of 2 years in public places or establishments that allow children access. The Equality Act 2010 protects a mum for as long as she wants to breastfeed, there is no age restriction.
Why become a breastfeeding friendly establishment?
The Scottish Infant Feeding Survey 2017 identified that mums understood they could breastfeed in public areas however, almost half of the mums lacked confidence in doing so.
The Scottish Government want establishments to show support by joining the new scheme and display the BFS logo which would provide reassurance a breastfeeding mum would be welcome.
There are currently around 400 members of the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme in The Lothians ranging from council venues (e.g. libraries, office buildings, town halls) to schools and nurseries, sports centres, museums and visitor attractions, small businesses, restaurants and cafes.
Once signed up to the scheme, your business can appear on the BFS interactive map which shows all participating venues across Scotland.
What does my premises need to do to become breastfeeding friendly?
To become breastfeeding friendly, your premises need to
- Be clean, warm and comfortable
- Display a sign showing that breastfeeding is welcome in all public areas
- Where possible and if requested provide a discreet feeding place
If your business has several locations you can sign them all up in one go to make the process as easy as possible. You just need to communicate the scheme to your staff members at each location.
Do I need to train my staff to support breastfeeding mothers?
Anyone who works in a breastfeeding friendly premise just needs to remember the following:
- Stop for a brief chat to make it clear that breastfeeding mothers are welcome
- Offer a chair if mother does not have one
- Ask if any help is required
- If available or appropriate, ask if privacy to feed discretely is required
- Offer a glass of water
Why is it important that we have premises which are breastfeeding friendly?
- We want to support the needs and rights of our customers, visitors or clients and be more family friendly.
- Babies need feeding when they ask for it. Their stomachs are very small and breast milk is quickly digested.
- Breastfeeding is good for mothers and babies because it protects against a range of illnesses.
- Breastfeeding works best when mother and baby are relaxed.
- Hungry, upset babies and infants will generally be helped to calm down and become quiet when breastfeeding. This is good for all our customers and clients.
How does the scheme help mothers to breastfeed?
There are three main ways that the BFS helps mothers:
- When a mother sees the BFS stickers/posters/logo displayed, then she knows that the business will be supportive of her right to breastfeed her baby on their premises
– The mother should not be asked to move or stop feeding her baby.
- The scheme raises the profile of breastfeeding as a natural way to feed your baby. In the future we hope that all mums will choose to breastfeed.
- The scheme ensures that businesses, and their staff members, are aware of the laws around breastfeeding.
Sign your business up to the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme
The team are Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland are on hand if you have any questions or want to get in touch about anything. Contact them today via email email@example.com
You can sign your business up to the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland Scheme on the NHS Lothian website today.