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‘We wanted make cafe safe place for breastfeeding mums’

The owner of a city centre cafe says the reception of a service to support breastfeeding mums has been really positive.

Burgate Coffee House, near Canterbury Cathedral, offers a cup of tea to breastfeeding mothers completely on the house.

The cafe began running the service as they wanted the cafe to be a ‘safe space’ for mothers and babies who needed a rest.

Burgate Coffee House, near Canterbury Cathedral

Luisa Vicent, the owner of Burgate Coffee House said: “We’ve had lots of people, it has been really popular.

“We have had some negative reactions but most of them are extremely positive and supportive.”

Mrs. Vicent said she took inspiration from a cafe in New Zealand and thought the offer would be well appreciated in Canterbury.


Luisa Vicent is the owner of Burgate Coffee House

“I saw a post years and years ago, before I had my first kid,” Luisa said. “I thought it was a really nice thing to do.

“When I found myself with kids coming to the UK, I found that I was being judged somewhat for breastfeeding.”

Mrs. Vicent is originally from Venezuela, where she says that breastfeeding in public is more common and much more accepted than it is here in the UK.

“Breastfeeding back home is more normal and it’s natural to see it,” she said.

“[Venezuela’s] a poor country so [breastfeeding] is encouraged as it’s free.

“But in the UK, if you’re doing it in public, like on a bus, you tend to get stared at.”

According to an investigation by experts in 2022, mothers are put off breastfeeding in public fearing comments or disgust from onlookers.

It is legal to breastfeed in public in the UK owing to the Equality Act 2010, but there is a stigma attached.

Luisa said that the cafe wanted to be a space that was welcoming to everyone.

“You can bottle feed your baby anywhere, but breastfeeding mums can’t always do that.

“But here they can come as they need and feel nice and comfortable.

“So we just wanted to make it a safe place for everyone including the breastfeeding mums.”

Burgate Coffee House is open 8:30-5:30 Monday to Friday, 10:00-05:30 on Saturdays and 10:30-16:30 on Sundays.

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