Mums and mums-to-be attended the official opening of the Town Hall’s breastfeeding room event, today (Monday 1st October).

The new dedicated room, just off the reception area of the Town Hall, will be available for use by any breastfeeding mums. It has been freshly painted, with a comfortable breastfeeding chair, baby changing station, a water cooler and fan. Sheffield City Council is working to ensure that all its premises as well as those of its partners and contractors have such facilities for breastfeeding mums.

Sheffield was one of the first areas to receive the prestigious Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation for its children’s centres in Yorkshire. The Unicef accreditation recognises the city’s work in protecting and promoting breastfeeding and implementing the best standards to support women in feeding and caring for their babies. The Council is aiming to ensure these standards are maintained across all its services.

Lucy Mellon- Jameson, is a 30 year old mum with a 9 week old baby Jude. When Jude was just eight days old she was feeding Jude in a café when a woman sat near her got up and took her food back to counter saying she didn’t want to eat in the café because of what Lucy was doing.

Lucy said: “It made me feel awful, I stayed in the café for a couple of minutes and then I went back to the car to feed Jude. It made me feel really reluctant to feed again when I was going out. Having a space in town such as this room would have really helped me.”

Councillor Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s cabinet member for children and families said: “Breastfeeding rates in Sheffield are the highest in Yorkshire and Humber, with nearly 80 per cent of new mothers breastfeeding their babies in the first few days. However we know these rates decrease significantly after the first few weeks.

“Although we know mums can feed wherever they want to, we recognise some new mums do find it difficult to breastfeed when they are out and about. Providing rooms such as this one is about giving mums more choice, mums who don’t feel that confident or who want a more private space the option to continue to breastfeed their children.”

If you would like to find out more information or get support and information about breastfeeding please contact your infant support worker at your local family centre or go to www.breastfeedinginsheffield.co.uk