Interest in the Southend Supports Breastfeeding scheme has taken off with London Southend Airport the latest to sign up to the scheme promoting a welcoming environment for families who wish to breastfeed.

We are working together with Southend-on-Sea Borough Council on the Southend Supports Breastfeeding scheme, across the whole of the borough, to support and enable mothers to feel confident to breastfeed in public places.

Developed in partnership with Public Health, Southend Supports Breastfeeding has so far seen over 40 public venues across the borough sign up with an agreement to welcome breastfeeding mothers, including retail shops, cafes, museums, retail centres and restaurants. Organisations that participate are encouraged to display a window sticker of the ‘Southend Supports Breastfeeding’ logo to let mothers know that they are welcome to breastfeed there.

Families who wish to breastfeed while out and about in Southend can use the search tool on the A Better Start Southend website to find the nearest location that has joined the scheme: www.abetterstartsouthend.co.uk/southendsupportsbreastfeeding

Breastfeeding is widely recognised as having lifelong health benefits, for baby and mother, and helps develop emotional bonds which contribute to the child’s overall health and wellbeing. However, research shows that many women give up breastfeeding sooner than they want to and more than one third (34%) of women reported feeling uncomfortable and embarrassed to breastfeeding in public spaces.

London Southend Airport Corporate & Social Responsibility Manager Jo Marchetti says: “We welcome the opportunity to promote a welcoming environment for families who wish to breastfeed, and are so are delighted to sign up to the Southend Supports Breastfeeding scheme. This fits perfectly with our customer friendly ethos and efforts to make travelling easier for everyone.”

Sabrina Kerr, Health Improvement Practitioner Advanced, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and A Better Start Southend says: “We are delighted that such a key organisation as London Southend Airport has joined up to pledge it will provide a welcoming environment for breastfeeding mothers and families. As well as helping provide a friendly environment and choice about how to feed infants, Southend Supports Breastfeeding scheme will also help change attitudes and perceptions about breastfeeding and to help make news stories of negative breastfeeding experiences a thing of the past.”

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