Signing up to the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme’
The Gibraltar Breastfeeding Association will introduce an initiative for local establishments to sign up to a ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme’ as it hosts its annual Big Latch On event, on Saturday August 5.
The initiative asks business to sign up to a number of simple requests in order to provide a welcome, safe, clean and comfortable environment for breastfeeding mothers with the correct level of support from friendly, positive staff.
These requests include ensuring that breastfeeding is acceptable in all areas of the businesses premises open to the public and that a mother is not asked to move or stop breastfeeding.
Where possible, private areas will be made available for breastfeeding mothers who would prefer to privately feed and staff will be informed about the ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme’ and how to be supportive to the needs of breastfeeding mums and families.
The business will then be given the GBA’s logo to display in their window.
As Café Solo has supported the Big Latch On for the last six years they have been invited to be the first business to sign up to this scheme and the Association will be presenting them with the sticker on Saturday.
This scheme is part of the UNICEF baby friendly Initiative to protect, promote and support the needs of breastfeeding women, babies and families.
In June, Minister for Equality Samantha Sacramento indicated her intention to publish draft legislation which, once approved, will make it discriminatory for businesses and establishments not to permit breastfeeding.
In a statement the GBA said this will make a huge difference to breastfeeding and the health of families in Gibraltar.
The Association stated: “Why would such a small clause make a difference I hear you ask, I see breastfeeding all the time? Actually you don’t.”
“So many mums are too embarrassed to feed in public, are scared even with a cover in case they get told off and are intimidated, in a task which is hard to establish and awkward for the first few months.”
“Instead of relaxing and feeding their baby when he or she is hungry they skulk off to find a space to do so or rush off home.”
“The majority of people are happy to see a woman breastfeed her baby.”
“But it only takes the one uneducated comment to jeopardise a whole breastfeeding relationship or even cause a woman, already vulnerable due to her hormonal changes, to fall into depression.”
“Breastfeeding only offends because it is an unusual subversive act, which has been sexualised by the consumer industry.”
Make it familiar and open and the shock factor is removed, the Group said.
“The more mums are seen feeding the more it is emulated and learnt from,” it added.