A local boxing club has been left-hooked on supporting breastfeeding mums after signing up to the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme.
Littleborough Boxing Club is the most recent venue in the borough to sign up to the scheme, which aims to help mums feel more comfortable feeding their babies when out in the community.
The club has pledged its support for breastfeeding mums as part of its new community activities programme, which includes sessions for babies.
'Breastfeeding is important for the health and development of our babies'
Julie Durrant, centre development officer at Littleborough Boxing Club, said: "We know how important breastfeeding is for the health and development of our babies and we have lots of new activities available to support them like baby ballet, baby massage and baby sensory. This was the perfect time to sign up to the scheme and let mums know that we are breastfeeding friendly. I hope it will encourage more and more mums to come along to our sessions, meet other mums and just have fun."
The scheme, supported by Rochdale Borough Council, is free for businesses that can provide a comfortable, public area for feeding mums and privacy for those who prefer it. They must also adopt a breastfeeding policy, train their staff on how to implement the policy and display the scheme's charter and sticker to tell visitors they welcome breastfeeding.
'Places like this make it easy and comfortable for mums'
Thanks to the scheme there are now 80 breastfeeding welcome venues in the borough, including council buildings, cafes, shops and hairdressers.
Sheree Edwards, age 23, from Whitworth and her daughter Annie-Mae Hughes attend the baby sensory sessions at Littleborough Boxing Club. Sheree said: "My daughter was premature so breastfeeding was really important to help her develop and grow in the early stages. Places like this make it easy and comfortable for mums to feed their babies when they're out and about and I think it's great."
Breastfeeding mum Trish Henstock, aged 31, attends the session with son James, she said: "Originally I'm from America and there are no schemes like this out there to encourage breastfeeding. It is so much better to know which places are welcoming for us mums and I hope more good work like this will continue so everyone can feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere."
'Help us create a breastfeeding friendly borough full of healthy and happy children'
Councillor Janet Emsley, Rochdale Borough Council's cabinet member for culture, health and wellbeing, said: "We are committed to giving our children their best start in life and breastfeeding really is the best way to ensure they are getting the vitamins and nutrients they need to protect them from illness throughout their lives. I am extremely pleased that another venue has signed up to the scheme which makes it easier for new mums to make the right choice for their babies without feeling uncomfortable or facing stigma. I urge all businesses to sign-up to the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme and help us create a breastfeeding friendly borough so we can have generations of healthy and happy children."
For more information about the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme visit
Breastfeeding welcome in the Rochdale borough or contact the council's public health team at
firstname.lastname@example.org or 01706 927081.