Coronation Street actor Jennie McAlpine has given her full support to a brand new campaign to get restaurants and cafes to declare themselves breastfeeding friendly.
Her city centre restaurant Annie’s became the first in Manchester to be awarded the Manchester Breastfeeding Friendly mark when she hosted a group of breastfeeding mums at the restaurant last week during World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August)
Businesses are being encouraged to sign up to a new breastfeeding welcome scheme in Manchester to support mothers who want to breastfeed their babies in the city.
The Breastfeeding Friendly Mark is a sign that restaurants and cafés can put in their window or door to alert people they are a breastfeeding-friendly business.
The initiative comes from Public Health experts within Manchester Health and Care Commissioning (MHCC). It is part of the life course approach in Manchester with the focus on starting well.
The UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Health professionals want to change this and to encourage mothers to breastfeed their babies exclusively for the first six months as research shows this has huge health benefits both for the mother and child.
Councillor Bev Craig, Executive Member for Adult Health and Social Care, Manchester City Council, said:
“We want Manchester to be a welcoming place for parents and this is a positive step. Many businesses already are breastfeeding friendly but we want to break down any barriers that mothers may have about feeding their child in public so they know when they enter a café or restaurant in the city that they won’t get a hostile reaction.”
Annie’s restaurant in the city centre is one of the first businesses to sign up and Jennie McAlpine, Coronation Street actor and owner of Annie’s restaurant in Manchester City Centre, said:
“The breastfeeding friendly mark is such a great and welcome idea. We at Annie’s will be proudly displaying ours. As a mum, finding a place where you can feed your baby in what you know are comfy and welcoming surroundings is so important. Well done Manchester!”
David Regan, Director of Population Health and Wellbeing at Manchester Health and Care Commissioning , said:
“There are proven health benefits to breastfeeding and this campaign emphasises our commitment to support mothers across the city to breastfeed. We want breastfeeding in public to be a normal part of everyday life and we ask all businesses and organisations across the city to join the breastfeeding-friendly scheme.”