Blog: Baby comes too
Catherine Sleep | 28 July 2006
Here in Britain we are a long way from meeting the breastfeeding targets set out by the World Health Organisation. While the WHO recommends that mothers breastfeed until the age of two, only 22% of British mothers are still doing so at six months. Compare this with the 80% of Norwegian mothers still going strong at six months and you have to wonder where the problem lies.
Of course there are all sorts of reasons. Some mums simply cannot or do not want to breastfeed, and that’s entirely their decision. But why should this group be so much larger here than in Norway? As someone who’s been through the whole thing recently, I believe that the reasons why many mothers give up at an early stage are practical and cultural. Breastfeeding mums need to feel that the people around them approve, or at least do not disapprove, of what they are doing.
This means being able to quietly breastfeed in public places without fear of recrimination or embarrassment. By public, I do not mean perching on a pedestal in the ladies’ loo, which is unpleasant at best and deeply unhygienic at worst. The foodservice sector can really lead the way here, and that’s why the Baby Friendly Campaign launched yesterday by Mother & Baby magazine is so worthwhile.
The campaign recognises and rewards eateries that welcome babies and parents as customers. One of the criteria is that the restaurant allows breastfeeding mums to feed their babies within the main dining area, which to me is key. Other nice touches include: a willingness to warm baby food; the provision of a good number of clean highchairs in working order (well qualified – you see any number of cafés with one highchair that’s grubby with broken straps, i.e. useless); and clean baby changing facilities for both mums and (hurrah!) dads.
The campaign is good news. It’s not about making restaurants into places no self-respecting diner without a baby would want to be; it’s about finding places where mums can discreetly meet the needs of their babies while enjoying a meal or drink themselves. I’d like to see this become a commercial imperative, but that takes time.
Perhaps typically, the restaurants that have signed up so far are at the, shall we say, value end of the foodservice world, for example Harvester, Moto, Ikea and any number of supermarket cafés. I don’t see The Ivy or Nobu among those names but it’s surely just a matter of time… anyone got Gordon Ramsay’s phone number?
The UK's competition regulator has given the all-clear to Hain Celestial's bid to buy UK food and beverage group Orchard House Foods, nine months after the US group announced the deal....
Hershey made an unusual announcement today (20 September), sharing its own sales data for the last four weeks to assuage any possible investor concern over figures released by Nielsen....
As the UK starts to ponder what kind of a relationship it wants with the European Union post-Brexit, EU leaders have been lining up to warn that Britain will not be allowed to "cherry pick" deals and ...
Low food prices continue to hold back inflation rates in the UK as the supermarket price war continues in the face of rising import costs. ...
- Interview: Mondelez eyes sweet success in China
- The benefits of engaging staff in sustainability
- How food companies involve staff in sustainability
- Why Danone is withdrawing Dumex from Vietnam
- How PepsiCo is taking action on palm oil
- 2 Sisters chief Boparan buys Bernard Matthews
- Fonterra says value-added strategy paying off
- B&G Foods acquires ABF's US spice business
- General Mills profit falls as sales disappoint
- MP calls for probe into Bernard Matthews "sale"
- The Big 15: Strategies and Priorities of Top Packaged Food Players in Comparison
- Global Chocolate Confectionery Overview: Challenges, Opportunities and Risks
- Global Foodservice Market 2016-2020
- Global Food and Drinks Closures: Performance and Opportunities
- Fast Food Restaurants in the US - Industry Market Research Report