Breastfeeding is important to me. Feeding a baby full stop is an important topic. Is it important to you ?
Then read on because you might just want to take note, and maybe even get involved in an exciting project!
As a paediatric doctor returning from a year of maternity leave I found myself wanting more from my job. Looking after children, when they are sick is rewarding I cannot say it is anything but rewarding. However…Medicine in the run of the mill day to day practice lacks something.
Creativity and innovation.
Turns out medicine is full of innovation, and once you open your eyes to it you realise there are many like minded individuals with amazing ideas driving it forward and making healthcare better.
I am proud to say that I am on the NHS Clinical entrepreneur fellowship. A chance to pursue my creative entrepreneurial aspirations alongside my professional ones, With mentors and networking opportunities I just would not have been able to access without it.
In particular I want to make feeding your baby in public be it breast, expressed or formula… an all round easier and more comfortable experience.
As parents we deserve to look after our children in clean and free environments. Must you always pay for a coffee to sit somewhere nice?
We can make it happen! With that in mind, I have a project with a vision that I would like to share with you all.
Hana Pie is not just a blog. It is the initiation of a journey towards creating better public feeding spaces.
There is a deeper message too.
Worldwide 800 000 deaths from childhood illnesses and 20 000 deaths from breast cancer could be avoided just by increasing the rate of breastfeeding. Isn’t that staggering.
I want to stress most importantly that there is a misconception that breastfeeding saves lives in developing countries and not the western world. That is not so, here in our modern age cities we as a society benefit from breastfeeding too from a health and economical perspective.
So doesn’t it make sense to support mothers in making that choice ? When it can often times feel like the challenging choice, then we should recognise the commitment a woman puts in and make her feel that society supports and celebrates her choice.
I propose creating a hub for example in retail centres which will be much more than the current substandard baby rooms that do exist where it is deemed decent and acceptable to feed your baby in a plastic chair near the nappy bin and changing table !
The central hub will be multifunctional, it’s heart will be a free seating area that will be visually inviting and practical. Giving families a chance to meet with their peers and also providing more private spaces for those who prefer that option.
For infants there will be a sensory area to stimulate and develop their growing senses and self awareness.
We have to be honest here, retail is a sector where without the investment the concept will not work. There is a reason why corporate responsibility lends only the isolated corners of a baby changing room to breastfeeding mothers.
This project has 3 streams to maintain revenue to fund the free feeding space.
- ‘Hana Pie’ Childrenswear brand whose proportion of profit will directly fund the social impact element, being the free seating area and sensory space.
- A community space designed to attract local groups and classes which will generate revenue through hire.
- A ‘Pop up’ Shop which will be ever-changing creating interest for users, accessing products which are not ordinarily available on the high street which will generate revenue through hire and sales.
There are approximately 700, 000 babies born each year, the vast majority of mothers will try to breastfeed – roughly 70%. But by 1 week it drops to 46% and by 6 weeks 23%.
Public breastfeeding is one part of the issue, it isn’t the whole slice of the pie. Yet I do believe society and peer support is so vital that it can have an impact.
1 in 10 mothers decide not to breastfeed because they worry about how they will cope in public!
It is time to prove this concept has substance !
It is time to take on board your ideas because this is an evolution, and can only work if we cater to what Mothers and families in general want from this project.
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