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Feeding Out & About

After your baby is born and you recover from the birth you will begin to think about getting out and about. If you are breastfeeding your baby this can bring with it the worries about feeding your baby in front of other people or in public places such as a café or in the park. 

To begin with it can help to feed your baby somewhere you feel comfortable such as the home of a close relative or friend. See the tab below for other handy hints to help you prepare to feed your baby outside the home. As you feed more out and about your confidence will grow until it is as relaxed as feeding at home. 

As a breastfeeding mother you are protected by law in the United Kingdom to breastfeed your baby anywhere you need to. A guide to your legal rights is contained in the second tab below.

Some places such as cafes or shops have registered themselves as breastfeeding friendly and display Breastfeeding Welcome stickers on their windows or doors.

  • Breastfeeding your baby is something you should be proud of. It is your right in law to feed your baby where ever you want. 

    To begin with you may feel a little self conscious but you could consider the following to help you with this:

    • Look out for venues displaying the Breastfeeding Welcome Sticker.
    • Try practising in front of a mirror before you go out for the first time to find out exactly what can be seen.
    • You can buy special breastfeeding tops which are designed to help you breast feed in public. 
    • You could use a muslin or scarf as an additional cover if you would like some more cover.
    • Its good to know what your babies feeding cues are, so you can start to feed them before they cry, meaning that less people will notice what you are doing.

    Its a good idea to make a list of good places to breastfeed in public near you, so you don’t search to find somewhere when you are out. Shopping centres, department stores and babywear shops often have baby-feeding rooms, which are quiet and private with a comfy chair and changing facilities.

    Breastfeeding Mum Meets is a registered charity run by a team of dedicated volunteers in Norfolk. They have put together a dedicated list of breastfeeding friendly venues. 

    *Click here* to find out more.

     

  • If you breastfeed in public, there may be someone who lets you know they disapprove. But remember you are not doing anything wrong. Know your legal rights and be proud of what you are doing for your baby.

    Your Rights

    • It is entirely legal to breastfeed in public places anywhere in the UK.
    • Under the Equality Act 2010, it is considered sex discrimination if a breastfeeding woman is treated unfairly anywhere in the UK.
    • Shops, cafe, restaurants or any service provider dealing directly with the public must not discriminate, harass or victimise a woman because she is breastfeeding. Discrimination includes refusing to provide a service, providing a lower standard of service or providing a service on different terms.
    • Businesses, such as a cafes, restaurants and shops, are not allowed to ask a woman to stop breastfeeding her child or refuse to serve her. 

    To find out more about your legal rights when breastfeeding *click here*.

  • Returning to work if you are still breastfeeding your baby can bring up lots of questions. If you are breastfeeding your baby you may be worried that you will have to stop this to go back to work. But you do not need to stop breastfeeding on your return to work unless you choose to do so.  

    If you are returning to work continue to breastfeed your baby before you leave and when you return - it is a lovely way to say goodbye and hello. Keep breastfeeding in the evening and through the night as this will help you produce milk to express for your baby.

    Although Parliament has still not legislated to make breastfeeding/expressing breaks in the workplace a statutory requirement, employers must meet obligations to breastfeeding employees under Health and Safety Law, Flexible Working Law and Discrimination Law. To understand more about your rights in the workplace as breastfeeding mother returning to work please *click here*.

     

Who Can Help?

If your baby is less than 28 days old you can contact your local midwifery team or you can contact the Healthy Child Programme at any time following your baby's birth by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590.

Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Norfolk Healthy Child Programme has a team of infant feeding champions who can contact you by video call/telephone initially to discuss your questions and refer you to further help if required. All of our staff are trained to Unicef standards to provide you with the best possible breastfeeding support and advice.

It may help in the first instance to look again at our page on Positioning and Attachment and *click here* to read the Essential Guide to Feeding & Caring for your Baby. 

If you would like to make connections with other parents please click on the links for our Just One Norfolk Community Forum; the Norfolk Community Directory and Early Childhood & Family Service (ECFS) below

 

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