Starbucks signs up to campaign to support breastfeeding mothers

Baristas have been given training in needs of parents with young children and in how to support them ‘without judgment’

Starbucks has promised to support breastfeeding mothers using its 800 UK outlets, making it the first high street chain to back a more parent-friendly approach.

The company has signed up to a campaign by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) to encourage businesses to do more to help those feeding children, whether by breast, bottle or high chair.

Baristas have been given training in understanding the needs of parents with young children or babies and in how to support them “without judgment”.

Sarah McMullen, NCT head of research and quality, said: “We know from our members that many struggle with unwanted attention and comments on their feeding method whether it’s by breast, bottle or in a high chair, when out and about with their baby or child.

“It’s important that parents feel reassured they have the support of staff and won’t be judged. We also know that it can be a challenge for establishments to understand and assist with the needs of parents with very young children.”

Rhys Iley, vice-president of operations for Starbucks in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said: “We recognise that parents out on their own with very young children, sometimes for the first time, appreciate some support.

“Our collaboration with NCT and its members builds on our existing customer service principles and through working with NCT we have already refreshed our training and improved our facilities,” Iley said. “We hope parents of young children visiting our stores will let us know, there and then, if there is anything we can do to improve their experience.”

Last month, NCT was one of six organisations that wrote to the Guardian appealing for UK governments to play a more active part in promoting breastfeeding, saying the UK’s breastfeeding rates at 12 months were the lowest in the world.

Powered by article was written by James Meikle, for on Thursday 3rd March 2016 00.01 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010