DOZENS of mums and babies piled into a Dorchester pub to celebrate breastfeeding.
The Royal Oak Wetherspoons in High West Street hosted a tea party to mark World Breastfeeding Week, which runs annually at the start of August.
It was organised by local Breastfeeding support group ‘Breastfriends’ and staff at the county town pub.
Shift manager Rixa Meyer was presented with a Breastfeeding Welcome Certificate from infant feeding co-ordinator Elizabeth Carter.
The scheme promotes ‘breastfeeding friendly’ establishments which are committed to being welcome to mothers so they should be able to feed when they are out and about in peace and comfort.
Pub manager Michelle O’Neil said: “I hope that all breastfeeding mums will find a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere here at The Royal Oak, where they can feed and nurture their babies without being disturbed.”
The Equality Act 2010 makes it clear that it’s against the law for a woman to get less favourable treatment because she is breastfeeding when receiving services.
There are around five or six establishments which already have the certificate and Ms Meyer says the aim is to get more on the list.
Jane Thrift, peer support trainer and coordinator, said: “It can be common for new mothers to feel nervous and vulnerable, so it is especially important that they are comfortable to go out with their babies to avoid feeling isolated as well. Unfortunately there has been recent press coverage of women having negative experiences when breastfeeding in public. We aim to provide women with a positive experience.”
More than 20 mums, babies, toddlers and siblings turned up for the event at the Dorchester pub.
A list of breastfeeding friendly places in Dorset can be found in the Real Baby Milk guide.
There are also support groups which provide advice, support and offer friendship for mothers across the county including one in Dorchester held on Mondays between 10.30am and noon at the Trinity Parish Centre, Culliford Road.
For more information on groups, a new Dorset Breast Start app and breastfeeding friendly places visit realbabymilk.org