Breastfeeding Welcome in Bedford as Businesses Sign up for #Freetofeed Campaign

Published on 01 August 2019

A new awareness campaign helping mums become more confident when breastfeeding in public has taken off in Bedford, just in time for World Breastfeeding Week. The Bedfordshire #FreeToFeed campaign, run by NHS community services and local authorities, is encouraging businesses to do their bit to help new mums feel comfortable feeding their children when out and about.

Thanks to collaboration between Bedford BID and Bedfordshire Community Services NHS, 14 businesses have already signed up to the campaign, displaying a window sticker and pledging to openly welcome breastfeeding mums to their establishment.

“Bedford BID is proud to support the #FreeToFeed campaign, because we want to make sure mothers and their children have every opportunity to feel comfortable and confident breastfeeding around Bedford. Families have the right to enjoy our town and its great many family-friendly businesses, so we’re glad to see many of them embrace this important campaign and support the health and happiness of their customers. We hope this is just the beginning, and invite other Bedford businesses to join the campaign today” said Christina Rowe, Director of Operations, Bedford BID.

The campaign is also encouraging mums and families to review businesses and venues on Breastfeeding Hub, a smartphone app which allows mums to leave a rating for how breastfeeding friendly a place was, as well as accessing breastfeeding support and information.

The #FreeToFeed campaign is timely because rates of breastfeeding, which protects children from illness and reduces mothers’ risk of certain cancers, are declining across England. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first six months of a baby’s life, but according to Public Health England, just 55% in Bedford Borough are breastfeeding 6-8 weeks after their child’s birth. At the same time, UNICEF estimates that 80% of UK mums stop breastfeeding before they want to, often due to lack of support. Normalising breastfeeding and making it as easy as possible for mums is therefore an important part of encouraging more families to choose to breastfeed for longer.

To join the campaign in Bedford, contact Bedford BID on 01234 404500. To find out more about the campaign and how to take part more generally, visit the #FreeToFeed webpage or search the hashtag on social media.

To find out more about NHS support available in Bedford and across Bedfordshire, visit the Bedfordshire Community Services NHS baby friendly team pages 



FreeToFeed - campaign video from CCS NHS Trust on Vimeo.

A big thank you to the businesses that have joined the campaign so far:

  • Albero Lounge
  • Anytime Fitness
  • ArloArts
  • bbtea
  • Bedford Central Library
  • Boutique Planet
  • Brewhouse & Kitchen
  • Close Encounters
  • Coffee With Art
  • Costa Coffee
  • FatCap Smokehouse
  • Frescoes Coffee House
  • Gallone's
  • Made in Bedford at Number 13
  • Rogan's Books
  • Silks Hair & Beauty
  • Slide Record Shop
  • Soft Play (Harpur Centre with Sue Ryder)
  • The Body Shop
  • The Gallery
  • The Mobility Hub
  • West 4 Café
  • Nandos 
  • River cafe 
  • Slug and lettuce 
  • Vanilla tree 
  • The Rose 
  • La Piazza 
  • George and dragon 
  • Epanoui 
  • Sandwich Express 

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