Sheffield to become first Breastfeeding Friendly council

Sheffield City Council is set to become a Breastfeeding Friendly Local Authority, with the council encouraging all key partners to become breastfeeding friendly as well.

The decision, which will be confirmed if approved by the council’s cabinet, will also mean that the council will encourage all partners to have a breastfeeding policy in place, encourage other venues throughout the city to support breastfeeding and provide training to its public facing staff.

Jackie Drayton, cabinet member for Children and Families at the council said: “In Sheffield nearly 80 per cent of new mothers breastfeed their babies in the first few days and the city’s breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks are the highest in Yorkshire and Humber. However we realise that these rates would decrease significantly without the appropriate support available to mums and dads.

“Sheffield City Council, working with its partners, have done some fantastic work to help support breastfeeding mums in the city.  The Council wants to build on this by becoming the first Breastfeeding Friendly Local Authority in the country and encourage other large and small organisations to follow our lead. We know that mums can breastfeed wherever they want to but we also recognise that some new mums find it difficult to breastfeed when they are out and about.  Providing places and support for mums to breastfeed gives mums more choice, and can help them to continue to breastfeed their children.”

Sheffield City Council was one of the first local authorities to receive the prestigious Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative Gold accreditation in 2019 in recognition of the excellent services and joint working in supporting women to breastfeed.