Feeding-Friendly Cheltenham

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Local partners launch baby-friendly feeding initiative

Last month saw the inception of Feeding-friendly Cheltenham, a scheme that enables local businesses to sign up to a directory letting breastfeeding mothers and bottle-feeding parents know that they are welcome to feed their babies in their establishment. It aims to provide safe spaces for these parents without fear of judgement.

Why do we need a scheme like this?

Residents, and hopefully visitors, will know that Cheltenham is a warm (in spirit if not always in weather!) and welcoming town. Home to fantastic festivals, country pubs, delicious eateries, beautiful outdoor spaces and more. There is also an array of parks, playgroups and outdoor activities to get involved with. Those living in the area with children can often be heard saying it’s a great place to raise family.

There are many businesses that have always welcomed breastfeeding mothers and parents alike. Cheltenham’s John Lewis even has its own dedicated feeding room. And in fact, The Equality Act 2010 protects the rights of breastfeeding mothers and states that it’s discrimination to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. However, recently a mother unfortunately had a negative experience when it came to trying to breastfeed her child in a local shop, something which felt really at odds with the town many of us know as being so family-friendly.

This sparked a conversation between local copywriter and pregnancy yoga teacher, Roxy Seymour-Marsh, The Motherhood Society founder, Victoria Newman, and Cheltenham Rocks.

What if there was a way for businesses to signal that they not only welcome breastfeeding and bottle-feeding parents in their establishments, but also that they will actively uphold their right to do so?

And so, working together to launch a scheme that would do just that, Feeding-friendly Cheltenham came to be.

What does it involve?

Feeding-friendly Cheltenham exists to support breastfeeding mothers and bottle-feeding parents, with their right to feed their baby in a safe space without fear of judgement.

It works with local businesses and organisations to provide education on the need for such places and, as mentioned, provides stickers that will enable parents to recognise those which are a member of the initiative.

Local businesses can sign up to the scheme and be featured in the directory on The Motherhood Society website, as well as on Cheltenham Rocks’ interactive map. They will also receive a Feeding-friendly Cheltenham sticker to pop in their window so parents can spot a member quickly and easily when they’re out and about.

If you’re a local business based in Cheltenham or the surrounding area, head to the sign up page to register.

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