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Highland Life / News / NHS Highland / Would you eat your lunch in the loo?

Would you eat your lunch in the loo?

Issued: 11 Sep 2007

NHS Highland is re-launching its Baby Welcome sticker scheme to improve the health of babies by making mums feel more comfortable when they are breastfeeding in public. Public buildings, shops, cafés and restaurants are being asked to display a Baby Welcome sticker. Putting up the sticker means their employees know that under the Breastfeeding etc Scotland Act (2005) it is an offence to stop or move a woman feeding a child under 2 years of age milk in a public place. The venue's name will also go on NHS Highland website to show they back breastfeeding.

Infant Feeding Advisor Karen Mackay said: "We have to stop mums being told to move into the toilets if they want to breastfeed - would you like to eat your lunch in the loo? The law was brought in because some women stop breastfeeding because they feel uncomfortable or were told to stop when they were out and about." Breastfeeding has huge health benefits. It protects against asthma and allergies and also type two diabetes. It lowers blood pressure and reduces childhood obesity thus reducing the risk of coronary heart disease in later life.

Today's [Tuesday 11th September 2007] launch took place at the ground of Inverness Caledonian Thistle. The team is committed to fitness and improving health. Manager Craig Brewster said: "Many of the players have children and the team strongly supports any woman who wants to breastfeed their babies. It's in the interests of everyone in Scotland, including football teams, to have a healthier population so I hope Baby Welcome will be a great success."

At the moment more than 70% of children born at Raigmore Hospital are breastfed. However by three months many women have stopped breastfeeding and switched to bottles. Infant Feeding Advisor Janet Kellock said: "We plan to offer peer support so women can talk to each other and find what works for them. We would like to hear from women who would like more support with breastfeeding and anyone who has had either a positive or negative experience in a public place."

Childhood obesity is a growing concern for parents and the NHS. Research shows breastfed babies are less likely to have weight problems. It can also help mothers lose weight after pregnancy.

If you want to get in touch with the Infant Feeding Advisors to join the Baby Welcome Scheme or find out more about their work call 01463 704842.

The Baby Welcome Sticker launch is part of the second themed week as part of Healthy Highland 2007 which is a celebration of Highland as a healthy and vibrant place to live. To find out more visit www.healthyhighland.com

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme