Mothers have welcomed the news that an Edmonton church has become one of the first in the country to actively promote breastfeeding in a place of worship.
All Saints Church in Church Street, Edmonton, has signed up for Enfield’s ‘Breastfeeding-Friendly Business’ scheme along with coffee shops and other businesses.
Vicar Stuart Owen believes this is a positive step to promote breastfeeding in public places.
He said: “When we saw the opportunity come up I was delighted to put this to the church committee as something we can really promote.
“Although I’m sure many places of worship are, in practice, ‘breastfeeding-friendly’, I’d imagine that many Mums might well feel more self-conscious about breastfeeding in a church than in their local café.
“Churches should be places with children at their heart, and places where people come to be nourished and nurtured, and joining this scheme is a simple, practical way of affirming that.”
Mother’s Day had a double celebration at the church will Mums gathering to launch the new policy at the church.
Nadine Wills, mother of two of Latymer Road, adjacent to the church said: “It is great news that the church is publically promoting this. We don’t want breastfeeding to not feel natural anymore and having somewhere like a church encouraging this is good.”
Emma Chapman said: “I felt so conscious breastfeeding while out and about that I used to hide in the car and get my husband to hang jumpers in the window to hide me. I’d have been a lot less worried if I knew somewhere was breastfeeding friendly and I didn’t have to worry about disapproving looks.”
Breastfeeding has recently been in the public eye after a woman was labelled a ‘tramp’ on social media website Facebook for breastfeeding her daughter on a step.
Mr Owen added: “This is one of the most natural things in the world and it is baffling that anyone could think otherwise.
“When we announced the new scheme, it was met with a round of applause which was fantastic. You never know how people are going to react to something like this.”
CEO of parent website Mumsnet Justine Roberts said: "Lots of Mumsnet users say they feel disapproval when they're out and need to breastfeed their child.
“It's great to hear that churches at least are accommodating what is, after all, a completely natural process. Let's hope their actions will help shift attitudes of those who still consider breastfeeding taboo."
Pope Francis has also come out in favour of encouraging breastfeeding in places of worship and told national media in January: “If they are hungry, mothers, feed them, without thinking twice, because they are the most important people here."