Most breastfeeding mums will, at various times, want or need to feed their baby outside the home. However, research shows that many mothers feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public, which is obviously a barrier to continued breastfeeding.
Creating a community in which breastfeeding is welcomed and supported serves two purposes: it means mums will feel comfortable breastfeeding their children wherever they are and whenever they need to be fed (which is a great outcome in itself) but it also increases the visibility of breastfeeding and therefore helps to normalise it amongst the general population.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association has three initiatives that support breastfeeding outside the home.
Breastfeeding Welcome Here
The Breastfeeding Welcome Here program has been designed to improve community acceptance of breastfeeding in public through the accreditation and promotion of breastfeeding friendly businesses and services. Any venue can be accredited: restaurants, indoor play centres, chemists, local government services, shops, banks and so on.
To be eligible to display the Breastfeeding Welcome Here sticker or folder, a business or service must have the following attributes:
- a welcoming attitude from staff and management
- a smoke free environment
- room to move a pram.
Once accredited, the business or service is listed on the ABA website, making it easy for mums to find venues in which they will feel comfortable breastfeeding.
Baby’s Day Out
Baby’s Day Out, held in October each year, is an initiative designed to celebrate our babies’ place in the community and their right to be breastfed anywhere, anytime. Baby’s Day Out is an event for the whole community. By participating in Baby’s Day Out, we can show the wider community that breastfeeding is a normal part of life for a baby. Just as we socialise when we eat, so babies have the right to be included in their family’s normal activities and not taken away to have their meals or snacks in cars or toilets or under blankets.
Find out how you can get involved by checking out the Baby’s Day Out website.
Baby Care rooms
The Australian Breastfeeding Association awards Baby Care Room accreditation to premises which provide facilities to enable mothers to feed and change their babies and toddlers when they are away from home.
The Baby Care Room symbol is awarded to premises with a range of facilities, and the more facilities a room has, the higher the rating the room can achieve.
Find out which baby care rooms in your state are accredited.