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Last Updated: Monday, 15 May 2006, 07:11 GMT 08:11 UK
Breast feeding 'welcome' campaign
Women breastfeeding in a cafe
Businesses are being urged to sign up for the initiative
A campaign to encourage more women to breastfeed and persuade businesses to provide a warmer welcome for them has been launched in Wales.

It comes as new research shows that 86% of people in Wales are comfortable with a woman breastfeeding in public.

The Welsh Assembly Government is behind the scheme to help mothers identify safe and welcoming places to feed their babies.

Stars Tanni Grey-Thompson and Gabby Logan are among those backing the move.

The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme, launched in National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, is aimed at any business or establishment open to the general public - including shops, community centres and restaurants.

Businesses which sign up for the scheme must pledge that breastfeeding mothers will not be asked to move or stop feeding and that all public areas will be non-smoking.

Not only do your children benefit form all the goodness of natural milk but it is a uniquely bonding experience
Gabby Logan

They will be issued with "Breastfeeding Welcome" stickers to show new mothers they are welcome to feed their babies.

Breastfeeding Co-ordinator for Wales Sue Sky said it has been scientifically proven that breastfeeding provides important health protection for both mother and baby.

"Breastfed babies visit the doctor less often that those who are bottle-fed, and are less likely to have heart disease when they get older. For mums, it reduces the risk of ovarian and breast cancer.

"Women should feel comfortable feeding their baby anywhere as nothing could be more natural," said Ms Sky.

"The scheme is about reassuring women that attitudes have changed and creating a supportive atmosphere for mums to give their babies the best possible start in life."

Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson and daughter Carys
Paralympic athlete Tanni Grey-Thompson is backing the campaign

The scheme is being supported by TV presenter Gabby Logan, herself mother to 10-month-old twins Reuben and Lois.

"I would definitely encourage other mothers to breastfeed," she said.

"Not only do your children benefit form all the goodness of natural milk but it is a uniquely bonding experience," Ms Logan added.

"New mothers are much more mobile these days and local businesses should be encouraged to make mothers feel welcome to breastfeed on their premises."

Welsh children's minister Jane Hutt said Wales was "providing a lead" when it comes to the promotion of breastfeeding and support for women who want to breastfeed.

She said: "We hope this scheme will eventually result in a network of breastfeeding-friendly premises opening their doors to new mums all over Wales.


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