We have teamed up with the Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust to encourage more of the region’s new mothers to feel confident to breastfeed when out and about.
We have long been an advocate of the right to breastfeed in public but the UK has some of the lowest rates in Europe.
“We support a mother’s right to breastfeed her baby in public - and this includes doing so on any of our buses,” said our head of communications, Nikki Honer.
“Many of our customers are mothers and children, and we understand completely that babies need to be fed when they are hungry. With the numbers of those choosing to breastfeed being so low, we want to make sure people are aware of our stance. And we’re backing Dorset Healthcare University Foundation Trust’s latest campaign.”
The UK has a high drop-off rate for breastfeeding at around six weeks, with an associated rise in adverse long-term health conditions. One reason for this is that mothers don’t feel confident about feeding in public.
Liz Stacey, breastfeeding lead adviser at Dorset Healthcare, added: “The principle behind the scheme is to have a recognisable logo that women can identify with and feel confident that they will be well received to breastfeed at a particular venue. Local venues and services agree to display a special sticker and sign up for a Certificate of Good Practice.
“Breastfeeding mothers are protected by the Equality Act (2010), a law which bans unfair treatment. The Equality Act states that it is sex discrimination to treat a woman less favourably because she is breastfeeding.
“The Breastfeeding Welcome scheme aims to facilitate greater acceptance and promotion of breastfeeding in commercial and community settings with the overall goal of supporting our local breastfeeding mothers and increasing local breastfeeding rates.
“As many mothers use public transport, we’re delighted that Morebus is helping us with this important campaign."
We have a clause in our conditions of carriage that states our support towards a mother's right to breastfeed and we will continue to raise awareness alongside the NHS to provide mother's with a safe place to feed.