Free to Feed: A breastfeeding friendly business initiative
All families and their children should feel free to breastfeed in public, anytime, anywhere.
This is the vision of the Free to Feed (external link) campaign, which aims to help breastfeeding and/or pumping mothers to feel confident and relaxed when feeding their baby in public.
It also encourages businesses to sign up and pledge to be a #FreeToFeedCP location, where mothers breastfeeding (external link) their little ones are openly welcomed to visit, especially if they feel like they need a safe space when out and about. More information for businesses can be found on this webpage.
Breastfeeding has amazing health benefits for both mother and child, but not every mum who wants to breastfeed has the support they need to do so. Here some breastfeeding mums explain why it is important to them, and why all mums should be free to feed in public: Breastfeeding Campaign Video (external link).
Nothing beats a recommendation from a happy customer. Breastfeeding mums who are able to sit anywhere while breastfeeding - and who receive a warm welcome from staff, management and customers - will come back, telling their friends and increasing repeat custom. Embracing and normalising breastfeeding will not only help boost your business, but will help improve the overall health of the population and create a better and healthier community for everyone.
How your business can participate
From making it clear that your business, workplace or venue is breastfeeding friendly with one of our #FreeToFeedCP stickers, to training your staff, there are plenty of actions you can take to support mothers who choose to breastfeed.
Start by signing our Pledge Form to join the campaign. This demonstrates that your business, venue or organisation is ready and willing to join our campaign and support breastfeeding and/or pumping mothers and families. We will get back in touch with you to share campaign materials, so make sure to leave your contact details.
If you have additional questions about the scheme, please contact Freetofeed@eastcambs.gov.uk
Criteria for businesses joining our campaign
- Hold a staff awareness session to help all staff members understand and support breastfeeding and/or pumping mums
- Display the Breastfeeding Friendly #FreeToFeedCP sticker/certificate
- Respect a breastfeeding mother's legal rights under the Equality Act 2010 to breastfeed in public without being discriminated against, which includes being asked to move or cover up
- Respond sensitively and support mothers if inappropriate comments are made about breastfeeding and/or pumping
- Provide a clean and comfortable environment to breastfeed in and also, if requested, a more private area. Toilet/changing facilities are not appropriate
- Other small adaptations might include: easy access and a safe place to park a pram; baby-changing facilities for both mothers and fathers; a small play area or play activities to keep your older children occupied while baby is being fed; a statement on your website to show your support
Supporting the #FreeToFeedCP campaign
Normalising breastfeeding and pumping in public is something we can all help with through conversation and support. We are looking for family champions to help create a supportive #FreeToFeedCP network. If you would like to be a family champion please email email@example.com to register your interest.
Also available is dedicated 'Breastfeeding or pumping in public webpage (external link) which shares tips and advice to help families feel confident and relaxed.
#FreeToFeedCP want to understand your experiences of breastfeeding and/or pumping away from home. Please complete the Breastfeeding in Public survey (external link) to help us learn more.
A PDF copy of participating #FreeToFeedCP locations is available (PDF).
Businesses wishing to promote their #FreeToFeedCP participation can download the East Cambridgeshire promotional guide
Remember to use the hashtag #FreeToFeedCP on social media and tag the NHS and the District Council.
Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Healthy Child Programme:
East Cambridgeshire District Council: