Parents are empowered to breastfeed or pump in venues across South Cambs thanks to a campaign which is celebrating its first anniversary.

The #FreeToFeedCP campaign is marking the anniversary during World Breastfeeding Week, and has seen more than 70 venues in the district demonstrate their support in the last 12 months.

Venues and organisations which have signed up to the project include Govia Thameslink Railway and Shepreth Wildlife Park.

Mums Kat O'Shea and Lucy Borg have praised the campaign for giving parents confidence knowing that venues are welcoming and understanding.

Kat, who is breastfeeding her third child Lucas, said: "The #FreeToFeed project is a brilliant campaign as it is easy to look for the sticker in a window.

"It can make a significant difference to help women feel more comfortable about going in to feed their children. Having that welcoming atmosphere can really empower women to feel safe.

"Plus, I’m sure it will encourage women to return if they know they can relax in a welcoming environment, so it’s good for business too."

Lucy, 23, who is breastfeeding her first baby, son Ashton Ramsay, said: "There’s not always a designated place where you can go to feed and while I’m happy to feed him in the open, not everyone is comfortable, so the #FreeToFeed project is great for helping give women confidence to feed in public."

Venues pledge their support for the campaign by signing up, ensuring staff are aware about being breastfeeding and pump friendly, and displaying campaign stickers and promotional material in their premises.

The initiative is also supported by NHS Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Infant Feeding Team, while funding comes from the public health team at Cambridgeshire County Council.

Cllr Susan van de Ven, vice-chair of Cambs County Council's adults and health committee and local member for Melbourn and Bassingbourn, said: "Breastfeeding is well known to lead to positive health outcomes for both mother and baby, so we were very pleased to support the work of #FreeToFeedCP as part of our commitment to help the residents of Cambridgeshire to be as healthy as they can be.

"We are now delighted to hear how successful the campaign has been in its first year.

"I was surprised to learn that breastfeeding rates in the UK are among the worst in the world so it’s vital that projects that destigmatize both breastfeeding and pumping in public continue to be supported."


Due to the success of the South Cambs campaign, the scheme is now being rolled out into East Cambs and Peterborough.

Leader of South Cambs District Council Cllr Bridget Smith said: "We are delighted at how successful #FreeToFeedCP has been in the last year.

"Breastfeeding is proven to be very beneficial to the health of the mother and baby, so it should not be daunting to breastfeed or pump in public while families are out with their children.

"As someone who breast fed all three of my sons, I feel strongly that normalising breastfeeding and pumping in public is really important."