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