“I want mothers to feel empowered to breastfeed in public and know that they are legally protected to do so. Let’s normalise this for the next generation.”
Meg Schubert is supporting the first ever World Breastfeeding in Public Day today (Tuesday 22 February 2022), and as Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust she is passionate about encouraging women to feel more confident to do so.
She started her role with the Trust last November, having joined Walsall Healthcare in 2018, and oversees infant feeding in maternity, the Neonatal Unit and the Paediatric Assessment Unit offering help and advice where needed to help mums and babies.
“I’m here for any extra support that breastfeeding mums may need,” she explained.
“While colleagues refer mums to me mums can also refer themselves. Breastfeeding is a natural boost to baby’s health, reducing the risk of them developing infectious diseases, and also creates a lovely closeness but that doesn’t mean it is always easy. I want mums to feel comfortable to ask for my help, know that they’re not alone and to feel encouraged to persevere with it. I am also here to support mums who choose to formula feed.”
Meg’s colleagues are also getting involved in World Breastfeeding in Public Day by sharing photos of themselves breastfeeding in public.
“We’ve got some wonderful pictures at the zoo, in the park, showing real solidarity for each other and also demonstrating how portable breast milk is! I want mothers to feel empowered to breastfeed in public and know that they are legally protected to do so. Let’s normalise this for the next generation.
“It’s also important that women realise that they will be supported to do so throughout our hospital and community services.”
In Walsall, the breastfeeding initiation rate was 67.7% in January 2022 and mother-of-one Meg is keen to continue improving that rate.
“We want to encourage positive relationships in the wider family too,” she said. “Women in some families have never breastfed and we want to support others to understand and appreciate the benefits it brings so they can make an informed choice with the help of their loved ones and the people they respect.”