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Dedicated breastfeeding room opened at The Moor Market in Sheffield

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A dedicated breastfeeding room has been opened at The Moor Market in Sheffield as part of a campaign to encourage the practice among new mums.

The room was unveiled today to give mothers a discreet area to feed their babies and it comes as part of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 to 7).

Claire Robinson, breastfeeding friendly co-ordinator for public health in Sheffield, said there are now nearly 300 'breastfeeding friendly' venues across the city which are vital to giving new mums the support they need.

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She said: "They are hugely important to mums who are trying to build their confidence to breastfeed in public places.

"It can be very daunting, in particularly a new mum, to do it for the first time and in front of other people.

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"They can be frightened that maybe they may not be being as discreet as they want to be, they may be showing a part of the body that they do not want to show.

"So it is something that mums need to learn in a comfortable, supportive and welcoming environment."

Medical experts say there are a number of health benefits of breastfeeding such as helping to protect the baby from illness and infections.

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Earlier this year, a report revealed that the UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in the world, with just 34 per cent of babies receiving breast milk at six months of age.

According to research by Swansea University, 40 per cent of women who stop breastfeeding by six weeks cite being judged, discouraged and shamed in public as a main reason.