A Liverpool prison is the latest organisation 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.
Since the scheme was launched in September last year, a total of 116 premises including cafes, shops and restaurants across Liverpool have achieved the Quality Mark – including HMP Altcourse in Fazakerley.
Successful businesses sign up to a 10 point plan which includes:
• Support 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
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.
Altcourse Prison has a special room set aside for the families of inmates who have young children and uses it to encourage them to bath their babies, play with them and encourage positive relationships as a way of reducing reoffending.
Deputy Mayor, Councillor Ann O’Byrne, said: “Word is spreading about the Breastfeeding Mayoral Quality Mark and now to the extensive list of cafes, restaurants, shops and public buildings I am delighted we can add HMP Altcourse.
“This is all part of our drive to make sure that mums are able to feed their child in comfort without being disturbed, wherever they are.”
Community Engagement Manager at HMP Altcourse, Paul Handley, said: “We are delighted to have secured the Charter Mark and have already had interest from a number of other prisons in the work that we are doing here to promote breastfeeding by visitors. Both Oakwood in Wolverhampton and Parc in South Wales have started to create similar rooms in their prisons. They are using the Liverpool BAMBIS Mayoral charter as a guide and are also quoting Liverpool BAMBIS as the service to aspire to.”
Liverpool is seeing an increase in breastfeeding rates and is making steady progress towards the national average. The Quality Mark is aimed at making sure there are many venues where mums feel comfortable breastfeeding.
A total of 55 percent of new mums feed naturally in Liverpool, compared to 74 percent elsewhere, dropping to 33.5 percent at six to eight weeks against 44 percent across the rest of the country.
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 18,000 mums over the last five years.