Posted on Friday 20th May 2011
Breastfeeding cafes are growing in popularity
New mums across north Cumbria are being offered extra support in giving their babies the best start in life with the opening of breastfeeding cafés.
One café which opened in Carlisle earlier this year to provide a welcoming base for breastfeeding mums and their babies is proving to be a great success.
And tomorrow (Saturday, 21 May) a breastfeeding café will open for the day in Whitehaven, offering a similar haven to new parents in West Cumbria.
The Breastfeeding Mums and Babes Café operates every Wednesday from 1-2.30pm at the Old Hall Café at Petteril Bank School in Burnett Road, Harraby, Carlisle.
All expectant or new mothers are welcome to go along for a cup of tea and a chat with other mums. The Cumberland Infirmary’s Infant Feeding Coordinator Helen Ferris and Breastfeeding Support Worker Lindsey Russell are also on hand each week to offer advice and support.
Helen said: “The café has really taken off and we have quite a few mums there each week. It’s a really nice place to socialise, with leather sofas and tables where they can sit and have a coffee, and nobody bats an eyelid if they breastfeed their babies.
“We really want to thank the Old Hall Café for letting us use their facilities. It’s really helping to make breastfeeding a normal thing to see in the community.
“It also gives us a good opportunity for us to sort out any problems women may be having with breastfeeding in a relaxed atmosphere.”
Sharon Rogan, Infant Feeding Coordinator for West Cumbria, is behind tomorrow’s event in Whitehaven, which is being held at St Nicholas Church in Lowther Street from 10am to 4pm with the help of breastfeeding peer supporters – volunteers who have successfully breastfed their own children and have now been trained to help other new mums.
“Baby cafés have become popular throughout the country so we want to take that ethos, raise awareness of breastfeeding and make it the norm within public venues across Cumbria,” explained Sharon.
“We are also working in partnership with Ann-Marie Steel, NCT co-coordinator, updating the breastfeeding directory for West Cumbria, which contains information on breastfeeding friendly cafés and other venues. They are given a star rating from zero to three depending on how supportive they are to breastfeeding mothers and how suitable their facilities are. This will be launched during Breastfeeding Awareness Week in June.”
There will also be a week of events around Cumbria to mark Breastfeeding Awareness Week from 19-25 June including a teddy bears’ picnic in Carlisle, plus a Bump to Baby Fair on Wednesday 15 June at the Crown & Mitre Hotel in the city.
Breastfeeding Mums Groups, run by midwives and health workers and supported by trained volunteers, are held on a weekly basis throughout north Cumbria as follows:
• Belah Community Centre, Carlisle – Thursday 2-3.30pm
• Morton Community Centre, Carlisle – Friday 1-2.30pm
• Penrith Birth Centre – Thursday 1-3pm
• Aspatria Children’s Centre – Monday 10-11.30am – 016973 22777
• Wigton Children’s Centre – Thursday 1.15-2.30pm – 016973 49555
• Maryport Children’s Centre – Monday 1-2.30pm – 01900 819190
• Cockermouth Methodist Church – Wednesday 10.30am-12noon
• Workington Minto Centre, Westfield – Friday 1.30-3pm tel 01900 706149
• Whitehaven Children’s Centre, Mirehouse – Tuesday 1-2.30pm – 01946 62681
• Egremont Children’s Centre, Orgill – Wednesday 10-11.30am – 08455 436907
• Cleator Moor Children’s Centre –1st and 3rd Wednesday in the month – 01946 817900
• Seascale, Shackles – Monday 11am-12.30pm
For more information about any of these groups, events or general advice on breastfeeding, call Helen Ferris on 07879 632018 or Sharon Rogan on 07733 361687.