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'Breasts are not just a sexual thing' - The Devon mums fighting for the right to breastfeed in public

Mums are encouraged to breastfeed at this bookshop in Tiverton. Photo: ITV News

More than 60 businesses across Devon have signed up to a new campaign to promote breastfeeding.

The county council wants to create a network of places where mums can feel comfortable about feeding when they are out and about.

Many mums still feel embarrassed or awkward about breastfeeding in public. Credit: ITV News

In Devon, of the 74% of mums who start breastfeeding, only 50% are still feeding their children themselves within just a few weeks.

But many mums feel self conscious about breastfeeding, particularly in public places.

You shouldn't get judgement, but you do. People think of breastfeeding in other ways, they don't see it as you're just feeding your baby. We shouldn't have to go to the toilet to feed a child, you wouldn't go to the toilet to feed yourself so why should your baby have to do the same?

– Kathryn Hulland, mum
Mum Kathryn says she sometimes feels 'judged' when breastfeeding. Credit: ITV News

Public Health Devon has launched its Positive About Breastfeeding scheme to encourage businesses to show their support to staff and members of the public.

Kayleigh Diggle, who runs a book shop in Tiverton, was one of the first to sign up.

Kayleigh Diggle wants to create a 'safe space' for breastfeeding. Credit: ITV News

We just want mums to feel comfortable when they are feeding because then feeding will be more successful. They can come somewhere like this, they can get support if they need to, we can point them in the right direction. But just to know that it's a safe space.

– Kayleigh Diggle

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Almost three quarters of mothers start breastfeeding (73%) but this drops to 44% at six to eight weeks. Just 45% of babies in the South West are breastfed after two months.

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