Survey shows that Southampton venues feel welcoming to breastfeeding mums
A mystery shopper survey conducted by the National Childbirth Trust reveals that Southampton venues are overwhelmingly welcoming to breastfeeding families.
Seventeen venues from across the city, including bars, cafes, a community centre, a shopping centre and an independent cinema, were surveyed over Summer 2017 and rated on whether a breastfeeding mum felt confident to breastfeed there and whether staff were supportive of that decision.
Some key results of the survey:
- 82% of respondents said they felt ‘confident’ or ‘very confident’ breastfeeding in any area of the venue. 24% of the respondents asked staff for assistance in all cases the staff were marked as being ‘happy’ or ‘very happy’ to help
- 82% of the respondents said they would recommend the venue to another breastfeeding family and another 12% said they might
- In only 59% of venues did the shoppers report seeing the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme sticker. In nearly a quarter of venues (24%) neither the sticker nor the poster were displayed
The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme runs in the city as part of Southampton City Council’s commitment to support women who want to be able to breastfeed.
Currently 158 venues participate in the scheme in which the venue pledges to develop and implement a breastfeeding welcome policy to ensure that the whole organisation and workforce are aware of their responsibilities in enabling a mother to breastfeed wherever and whenever she needs.
The number of Southampton mums who choose to breastfeed continues to improve, according to latest data from NHS Southampton Clinical Commissioning Group and the council, half of new mothers citywide are now choosing to breastfeed their child at 6-8 weeks. This compares to 44% of mums for England during the same period.
Councillor Sarah Bogle from Southampton City Council commented:
“We are delighted to see that 82% of the venues surveyed felt welcoming to breastfeeding mothers, and that the same amount felt confident feeding on the premises. We acknowledge that a mother’s right to breastfeed wherever she needs to is protected in law but we are very proud that venues in Southampton are so welcoming to women who wish to do so.
"It's also great to see that almost 60% of the venues on board are using the Breastfeeding Welcome signage. I would encourage the remaining 40% that aren't to take a moment to ensure they are displaying the signage prominently."
A list of venues can also be found on the Breastfeeding Welcome website.
The scheme remains open to new members. To sign up and be listed alongside other participating venues, visit the Breastfeeding Welcome website.
Southampton City Council produced a short video with the local NHS to promote World Breastfeeding Week in 2017. You can watch that again on YouTube