Renfrewshire Community Health Partnership (CHP) is presenting Renfrewshire Leisure with the Breastfeeding Welcome Award in recognition of their positive approach to protecting and supporting breastfeeding within all of their eight leisure and sport facilities.
The Breastfeeding Award was developed initially by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and over the past six months, 150 members of staff across eight leisure centres have completed specialist training in order to provide a welcoming atmosphere for all breastfeeding women.
Carole Anderson, health improvement senior - infant feeding, said: “This work highlights the benefits of community planning partnerships and has led to a particularly successful collaboration between the two organisations.
“In Scotland we have a Breastfeeding Act, which protects a women right to breastfeed her infant in public places. However, breastfeeding in public can often be challenging for women, for the fear of negative comments or reactions from others. Knowing there is a comfortable environment to breastfeed is very important to women, when out and about with their baby. This award displayed in the reception area and on the door as you enter the leisure centres, shows that this facility promotes and supports breastfeeding as the normal and natural way to feed infants and young children.”
Breastfeeding is increasingly recognised as a public health priority and promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months offers many health benefits to infants such as a reduced risk of stomach, respiratory and ear infections, as well a long term conditions such as asthma and diabetes. Breastfeeding mums have a lower risk of breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis.
Chief executive of Renfrewshire Leisure Joyce McKellar said: “We are delighted to have had so many staff in our leisure centres undergo the breastfeeding welcome training. We hope the training can be extended to other staff and more of our facilities will be recognised by breastfeeding mums as somewhere they can be comfortable feeding their babies.”
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Notes to Editor
The eight centres being recognised with the Breastfeeding Welcome Award are:
Lagoon Leisure Centre
Elderslie Leisure Centre
Erskine Sports Centre
Erskine Swimming Pool
Johnstone Swimming Pool
Linwood Sports Centre
Ralston Sports Centre
Renfrew Leisure Centre