Department store John Lewis has become the latest venue in Liverpool to secure a charter mark for being breast feeding friendly.
The city council’s ‘Breastfeeding Mayoral Quality Mark’ aims to make Liverpool a place where mums can breastfeed in comfort when they are out and about.
Successful businesses sign up to a 10 point plan which includes:
Allow breastfeeding in all public areas
Making private areas available for feeding where possible
Offering mums a free drink of water or tea/coffee
Promoting support services for breastfeeding
Since the scheme was launched in September, more than 80 cafes, shops and restaurants across Liverpool have achieved the Quality Mark.
Each venue receives a certificate and a badge that they can place in their window or door to let customers know they are breast feeding friendly.
Deputy Mayor, Cllr Ann O’Byrne, who handed over the Quality Mark certificate to staff at the Liverpool ONE store, said: “I am absolutely delighted that John Lewis have secured the Breastfeeding Mayoral Quality Mark.
“The store is hugely popular with mums with young children, and the Quality Mark will let them be assured that they can feed their child without being disturbed.”
Liverpool is seeing an increase in breastfeeding rates, but still lags behind the national average, and the Quality Mark is aimed at making sure they are many venues where mums feel comfortable breastfeeding.
A total of 53 percent of new mums feed naturally, compared to 74 percent elsewhere, dropping to 32 percent at six to eight weeks against 44 percent across the rest of the country.
John Lewis Liverpool Head of Branch, Mark Blundell, said: “We are extremely thankful for receiving the Breastfeeding Mayoral Quality Mark from Liverpool Bambi’s. It is great for our existing customers and new customers to know that they are able to feel comfortable and at ease feeding their child within our store.”
To mark the accreditation, the first 30 mums to visit with babies on Tuesday received a special John Lewis gift bag.
The city’s peer support group for breastfeeding, Liverpool Bambis – who are based at and managed by Wavertree, Childwall and Woolton Children’s Centre – has supported 16,000 mums over the last five years.