Plea from Sheffield mother sees dedicated breastfeeding room opened at Moor Market

Roxanne Reid, Rhyder Ramsey, aged 17 weeks, Renyeyah Ramsey, six, Coun Jackie Drayton, Coun Dawn Dale, Richard Arnold, acting assistant manager at The Moor Market, and Heather Sawrey from Jessop Wing.
Roxanne Reid, Rhyder Ramsey, aged 17 weeks, Renyeyah Ramsey, six, Coun Jackie Drayton, Coun Dawn Dale, Richard Arnold, acting assistant manager at The Moor Market, and Heather Sawrey from Jessop Wing.

A complaint by a new mother who wanted a quiet space to breastfeed her son has led to a dedicated room being opened in The Moor Market.

Roxanne Reid, of Woodthorpe, contacted market officials after being unable to find a quiet space to feed son 17-week-old Rhyder Ramsey and resorted to using the disabled toilet.

Charlie Molloy with  Lyra, Mary Stovold with Seth,and Rowan Allen-Eyre with Willow

Charlie Molloy with Lyra, Mary Stovold with Seth,and Rowan Allen-Eyre with Willow

Now a dedicated room has been officially opened as part of a campaign to encourage breastfeeding among young mothers.

It comes after figures revealed the almost half of new mothers in Sheffield stop breastfeeding within two months.

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Mother-of-two Roxanne, aged 31, said: "I was needing to feed my son so I asked if there was anywhere to feed him.

"They said I could feed anywhere, but all the seats were full as it was really busy so I was looking for somewhere calm and quiet.

Roxanne Reid, Rhyder Ramsey, 17 weeks, Renyeyah Ramsey, six, Coun Jackie Drayton, and Coun Dawn Dale. Pictures: Chris Etchells

Roxanne Reid, Rhyder Ramsey, 17 weeks, Renyeyah Ramsey, six, Coun Jackie Drayton, and Coun Dawn Dale. Pictures: Chris Etchells

"I was told there was a chair in the disabled toilet so I went in there, but someone knocked on the door to use it while I was in.

"I had stopped someone using the disabled toilet because there wasn't space elsewhere so I emailed The Moor Market managers to complain."

The room was unveiled today and comes during World Breastfeeding Week, which runs until August 7.

Roxanne added: "The number of people at the unveiling shows me what I great thing it is.

Mothers and their children at the breastfeeding celebratory event at The Moor Market

Mothers and their children at the breastfeeding celebratory event at The Moor Market

"I will breastfeed wherever there is a chair but I know a lot of people want somewhere more discreet and quieter."

Sheffield has the highest breastfeeding rates in Yorkshire and has been awarded the Unicef Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation. It is currently aiming to become the first area in the country to gain the gold award.

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NHS guidelines recommend that babies are exclusively breastfed for six months at least, but many new mothers stop within the first two months.

Between January and March 2108, GPs in Sheffield asked 1,476 mothers at their six-to-eight week check-up how they were feeding their babies.

Roxanne Reid with son Rhyder Ramsey, aged 17 weeks

Roxanne Reid with son Rhyder Ramsey, aged 17 weeks

The figures, released by Public Health England, show that 727 mothers said they were not breastfeeding at all.

Clare Robinson, breastfeeding friendly co-ordinator for public health in Sheffield, said there are now nearly 300 'breastfeeding friendly' venues across the city.

All Sheffield Council buildings will soon all have a quiet space or room for mothers to breastfeed in.

She said that organisations acorss the city work in conjunction with each other to support mothers right through from pregnancy.

Clare said: "Even though every mother has a legal right to breastfeed some can want somewhere a bit more discreet.

"We are trying to help and make it easier for mothers who want to breastfeed and are able to and want to continue the journey, which can often be difficult, for as long as possible."

Coun Jackie Drayton, Sheffield Council cabinet member for children and families and Baby Safe champion, said it was great the thriving Moor Market now had a dedicated room.

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"Breastfeeding is great, but I know for some mothers it can be difficult," she said.

"We are not saying that mothers have to hide away when breastfeeding, but we want them to have this quiet area if they want it."

To find out more about breastfeeding in Sheffield and the support available click here.