New initiative to make Sligo ‘breastfeeding friendly’

A new ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’ initiative has been announced in Sligo.

The launch coincides with National Breastfeeding Week.

Breastfeeding in public in Ireland is protected by law; no person or premises can deny a woman the right to feed her child.

The new initiative aims to improve the health and wellbeing of breastfeeding mothers, babies and their families.

It hopes to do this by encouraging businesses, organisations and communities to become even more ‘Breastfeeding Friendly’.

Minister Frank Feighan, who launched the initiative, said he wants to encourage businesses, organisations and communities to sign up and make ‘We’re Breastfeeding Friendly Sligo’ a success for everyone”.

Katie Loftus, a breast-feeding mother from Sligo, described the initiative as a hugely positive and progressive move.

By signing up to “We’re Breastfeeding Friendly Sligo”, private, community and statutory organisations across Sligo can show they welcome and support breastfeeding by some easy and zero-cost actions.

Any business, community group or organisation that has premises open to the general public is eligible to join.

Hotels, community centres, sports and recreation facilities, cafes, restaurants, libraries or health centres can all fall under the breastfeeding friendly banner.

Cara O’Neill, HSE Head of Health and Wellbeing in the region, said participants’ premises must be acceptable for breastfeeding in all areas that are open to the public.

Staff members must be supportive and aware of the campaign and breastfeeding mothers should not be asked to move or stop breastfeeding.