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Urban Design Solutions to Support Breastfeeding in Public

by Lisa Amir, MBBS, MMed, PhD, IBCLC
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 L-CERP
  • Learning Format: Webinar
  • Handout: Yes

Some mothers find it challenging to breastfeed outside the home, and this may contribute to cessation of breastfeeding earlier than planned. To date, breastfeeding women have not been included in most public space designs, such as parks, shopping centres or public buildings. I worked with experts in planning and urban design to explore design features that invite or deter breastfeeding in public. We conducted interviews and focus groups with breastfeeding mothers in three local government areas in Victoria, Australia. We received input from over 80 mothers speaking five languages, as well as health professionals and council planning staff. Many participants reported avoiding breastfeeding in public spaces due to social expectations or physical comfort. Mothers reported that best spaces for breastfeeding were dignified, safe, comfortable, accessible, compatible with their other needs and responsibilities with a high level of amenity. Using these data, we developed design guidelines that outline how a range of everyday shared spaces could become breastfeeding-friendly as well as the optimal design characteristics for dedicated breastfeeding spaces.

Learning Objectives:

1. Explain why breastfeeding outside the home may be a barrier for some women.

2. List some strategies that women use if breastfeeding outside the home.

3. Describe features of a breastfeeding-friendly space.

Presentations: 1  |  Hours / CE Credits:  |  Viewing Time: 4 Weeks