In Search of the UK’s Breastfeeding Friendly Hotspots

In celebration of National Breastfeeding Week 2015, we were delighted to reveal the first results from our ongoing search into some of the UK’s breastfeeding friendly hotspots.

Breastfeeding mothers should always be made to feel welcome; however there have been enough news stories recently to suggest otherwise. When a baby wants to feed, they want to feed – mothers should certainly not be asked to cover-up, go to a toilet or even worse, leave where they are. We understand that the impact of a negative experience on a newly breastfeeding mother could be detrimental and for this reason we are eager to compile a list of breastfeeding friendly restaurants and cafes that welcome and support breastfeeding mothers.

Our search has seen more than 300 restaurants and cafes contacted across major cities in the UK. A great collection of independent cafes came out on top including This is Leaf café and Bold Street Café in Liverpool, Boston Tea Party in Bristol and The Herb Garden in Newcastle, but it was especially promising to see popular restaurant chain Pizza Express leading the way with its family friendly approach. The restaurant group noticeably demonstrated a remarkable level of support for breastfeeding mothers with faultless feedback from the staff the team spoke with, making it a clear winner in our search so far.

The report was compiled following two calls to each venue on different occasions asking if it would be ok to breastfeed in their establishment. Pizza Express staff all gave positive and reassuring responses with 100% of those we spoke with saying ‘oh absolutely, of course’.

The research, which we will continue with, is not about naming or shaming – it is quite simply about giving mums the added confidence they may need when picking somewhere to stop and breastfeed. "We are often asked for tips when breastfeeding out and about", says Sioned Hilton, our Lactation Consultant, "and although many women are quite rightly proud and confident when feeding their baby, others do feel self conscious. It is for these women we decided to start researching this area."

Commenting on Pizza Express’ achievement, Zoe Bowley, Operations Director, said: “We know that, when mums are negotiating so many new challenges, a warm welcome can make the biggest difference. Over the last 50 years, young families have grown up with us, and we hope that each new generation of mums knows that Pizza Express will always welcome them with a friendly smile.”

This research is certainly an ongoing project for us but this is a great starting point and we will continue to work on this to provide support to mums across the UK, helping to ensure they always feel confident when breastfeeding out and about.