In the summer of 2008 the South Sound Breastfeeding
Network launched the ongoing "Breastfeeding Welcome Here"
campaign to support breastfeeding in our local community. (Click
here to read the article that appeared in The Olympian regarding
This campaign utilizes the new International Breastfeeding
Symbol from Mothering Magazine.
The goal of this campaign is to encourage more
women to breastfeed their babies and for a longer duration by making
our community more friendly to breastfeeding families.
The use of this symbol will be to both alert moms
to public locations where they can breastfeed comfortably, and to
encourage the view that breastfeeding is normal, accepted, and welcomed.
Breastfeeding mothers have many reasons to be
out in public and the fact is that babies cannot wait to be fed.
means that we need businesses and community leaders responsible
for public spaces to be active in helping to create a breastfeeding
Why not just use a bottle? The reason is simple:
Many breastfed babies will not or cannot take a bottle, and many
mothers are unable or unwilling to express their breast milk. Babies
are born to be breastfed.
Breastfeeding is normal and mothers' have the
right to feed their babies wherever they are.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends
exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding
for a minimum of one year. The World Health Organization recommends
breastfeeding for a minimum of two years.
Women who follow this advice are not just making
a lifestyle choice - they are following doctors' orders.
The risks of not breastfeeding are significant.
The "2005 Progress Report on Breastfeeding" concluded
that increasing the incidence of exclusive breastfeeding in the
US would reduce under-five mortality in children by 19%.
The Healthy People 2010 goals of the US Department
of Health and Human Services call for a minimum of 75% breastfeeding
initiation, 50% breastfeeding at six months, and 25% at one year.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics,
the lack of public support for breastfeeding is one of the obstacles
to its success. If our culture embraced breastfeeding as the normal
way to feed infants, more women will breastfeed and the health statistics
will likely change for the better.
Breastfeeding is not just a personal choice -
it is a medical choice that has a huge impact on the health of women
and babies and the community at large.
Adopt a breastfeeding friendly policy (guidelines
below) for all patrons and employees and be sure to train all
employees in the matter. Consider posting the International Breastfeeding
Symbol in a prominent place, such as the front door or at the check-out,
and on your website where you can link to our site.
Below is a list of guidelines for businesses and
an FAQ about the symbol. Usage of the symbol is not legally-binding
and the South Sound Breastfeeding Network will not monitor or regulate
its use. These guidelines are offered as a voluntary way for business
to become more breastfeeding friendly regardless if they display
1. Welcome Breastfeeding Mothers
If you display the International Breastfeeding Symbol, mothers are
to be welcomed to breastfeed their children within your establishment.
This means that they will never be harassed, treated poorly, and
asked to leave, cover up or move as a result of breastfeeding.
2. Provide a Designated Breastfeeding Area
Offer breastfeeding mothers a quiet, private area in which to breastfeed.
If the symbol designates a particular room, this should be a room
for breastfeeding or pumping that is clean, private (not a bathroom)
and has a comfortable chair, an outlet for an electric breast pump,
and hand-washing facilities nearby. Note: It is not imperative
to have a separate nursing room to be considered "breastfeeding-friendly"
- just welcomed.
3. Establish an Official Policy and
Establish an official policy on breastfeeding and actively educate
your employees about your policy. Post the policy and these guidelines
where employees can see them. With stories in the news about breastfeeding
mothers being kicked off airplanes and out of shopping malls, it
is important to educate your staff about state laws so that if faced
with a complaining customer, the breastfeeding mother will not have
to choose between feeding her child in peace (i.e. leaving and taking
her business elsewhere) or educating people about her rights in
order to do so, both of which are disruptive to the breastfeeding
4. Support Breastfeeding Employees
Encourage, support, and protect breastfeeding for nursing employees
by offering frequent breaks for pumping, a place to pump and a place
to store breast milk. You may also consider additional options such
as flexible schedules, telecommuting, and job-sharing.
This FAQ is provided from Mother Magazine's website
What is the purpose of the International Breastfeeding
- To increase public awareness of breastfeeding
- To designate breastfeeding and family friendly
facilities in public
- To provide an alternative to the use of the
image of a baby bottle
Where can the symbol be used?
- In large public places where people stay for
extended periods of time. In airports, malls, amusement parks,
conferences, convention halls, or expos, for example, to designate
a breastfeeding friendly room.
- In professional offices, retail stores or restaurants
to designate the establishment as breastfeeding friendly.
- In businesses, to designate a lactation room.
the existence of the symbol mean that breastfeeding should be hidden?
No, of course breastfeeding should not be hidden.
Breastfeeding does not require a special place and is appropriate-as
the Canadian slogan says-"anytime, anywhere." The purpose
of the symbol is not to segregate breastfeeding, but to help integrate
it into society by better accommodating it in public.
For example, sometimes there are no chairs in
public, sometimes nowhere to change the baby, or for the mother
separated from her baby, nowhere to plug in an electric breast pump.
Mothers welcome quiet, private places in public where they can collect
themselves and their children. The symbol could designate these
kinds of places.
If the symbol is used to designate a family
or breastfeeding friendly room in a public setting, what should
that room have?
- A comfortable chair
- An electric plug for a breast pump
- A changing table
For more information on the International Breastfeeding
Symbol visit Mothering.com
are happy to showcase South
Sound area businesses and public locations on our website that
are breastfeeding friendly."Breastfeeding Friendly" means
the business encourages and supports breastfeeding for all patrons
If you are a business or public location that
is breastfeeding friendly and would like to be added to our website,
please contact us at email@example.com.
Check out our Breastfeeding