10 Nov 2015
Local mothers and babies met with staff and drivers at Ayr bus station this week to celebrate Stagecoach West Scotland’s decision to display Breastfeed Happily Here stickers on 50 local buses as part of NHS Ayrshire & Arran’s Breastfeed Happily Here initiative.
The NHS initiative, which is promoted by the Breastfeeding Network, is a way of ensuring that mums feel welcomed to breastfeed when they are out and about in the community. Businesses who sign up for the scheme display their ‘Breastfeed happily here’ sticker to let customers know that they welcome breastfeeding mums. It is a voluntary scheme which does not involve any changes to facilities. All that is needed is a positive attitude towards breastfeeding mums.
Ruth Campbell, Consultant Dietician in Public Health Nutrition, explains:
“Breastfeeding can be done very discretely - most people wouldn’t notice if a mum is breastfeeding her baby. Even though there's a law in place to allow mums to breastfeed in public places, there are still occasions where breastfeeding mums receive negative reactions. We want our communities to see breastfeeding mums as perfectly normal.
“The Breastfeed Happily Here stickers make it clear to everyone that a venue supports breastfeeding and this makes mums feel at ease.
Emma McNae, Marketing Manager, Stagecoach West Scotland comments: “We are delighted to support the Breastfeed Happily Here initiative which we hope will ensure that breastfeeding mums and the whole family will feel welcome on our bus services.”
The Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 means that it is illegal to stop a mother feeding her baby breast or formula milk in premises where the public has general access.
Ruth adds: “Breast milk gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first six months of life and helps protect them from infection and diseases, such as ear infections, gastro-intestinal infections, chest infections, childhood diabetes and obesity.
“The longer a mum breastfeeds, the more health benefits there are for mother and baby. It can reduce the chances of women getting diseases such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer or weak bones later in life.”
More than 80 venues all over Ayrshire have now signed up to the scheme and are displaying their stickers.
Julie Peterkin of the Breastfeeding Network added: “We are delighted with the outstanding support we have received from local businesses and organisations in Ayrshire and Arran. We have been overwhelmed with positive messages and stories on social media and in the community.”
. The Facebook page has some wonderful stories and pictures from mums who have had positive experiences around Ayrshire.firstname.lastname@example.orgIf you own or work for an Ayrshire business that would like to display a ‘Breastfeed happily here’ sticker, or if you would like to find out which venues have signed up, please contact the Breastfeeding Network Facebook page by searching for Breastfeed Happily Here Ayrshire or email