MUM’S marched through Eglinton Country Park to break down breastfeeding barriers.

It comes after Scotland launched a campaign to remove the stigma around breastfeeding in public.

Tournament Café at Eglinton Country Park signed up to the Breastfeeding Friendly scheme and supported the walk by hosting a tea break as part of the morning activities.

Ruth Campbell, Consultant Dietitian in Public Health Nutrition, said: “It was great to see so many people getting involved and helping to spread the word about the benefits of breastfeeding, and removing any barriers to breastfeeding in public.

“Mums tell us that feeling uncomfortable in public is one of the main barriers to breastfeeding. And so it makes sense to remove those barriers. We are therefore working hard to make sure everyone knows about the Breastfeeding Act. Part of this is letting people know that it is not OK to suggest to a mum that is feeding her child that she covers up, goes to a toilet, or has to move away from other people. An encouraging smile is all that is needed.

Ruth was keen to share the benefits of breastfeeding. She added: “We have more proven information about the benefits of breastfeeding than we ever had before. We know that breast milk helps protect babies from things like ear and chest infections, diarrhoea and vomiting. Long term, it means children have a lower risk of diabetes, eczema and obesity later in life and that mothers have less chance of getting breast and ovarian cancer and heart disease.

A part of the Scottish Government’s new scheme is to promote the Breastfeeding etc. (Scotland) Act 2005, which makes it illegal to stop a mother feeding her baby breast or formula milk in premises where the public has general access.

The Breastfeeding Network in partnership with NHS Ayrshire and Arran, are campaigning to educate local businesses, staff members and the public in Ayrshire.

Businesses and venues display the Breastfeeding Friendly Scotland sticker to show their support.

Helen McDowall, from North Ayrshire Ranger Service, explains “We are delighted to sign up to the scheme as we want to ensure that mums feel comfortable and confident to breastfeed in our premises and in public in general.”