A mother’s campaign for family-friendly cafes in Hastings

International breastfeeding sticker
International breastfeeding sticker

A NEW mother is reviewing Hastings’ cafes with the aim of encouraging a more family-friendly approach.

Zion Lights, 27, of Southwater Road, St Leonards, has received an enthusiastic response to her campaign, which sees the reviews published on her blog Mammas for Victory, each with a star rating.

Zion, mother of three-month-old Arwyn, has so far reviewed 12 eateries in Hastings, and uses a range of criteria to assess each one before awarding the rating.

These include things like how easy it is to breast feed, whether there is a changing table, whether there are bottle heating facilities, and a good children’s menu, whether there are additional facilities such as high chairs, and the general level of service.

She said: “I always discuss my experience with the manager afterwards and make any suggestions. It is then that I can often tell exactly how friendly they are.

“Even very small changes can make such a massive difference for a mum, it can make or break your day.”

She is also keen to break down the stigma surrounding breastfeeding in public places, and offers those cafes that already have a family friendly atmosphere, the international breastfeeding sticker (pictured).

Zion, a former secondary school English tutor, was spurred into action after watching a documentary, Is Breast Best?, while heavily pregnant, which she felt presented an overly negative picture of the challenges facing new mothers.

She said that in America, many cafes carried the international breastfeeding symbol, which is very different to the situation in this country.

“I wrote a couple of reviews, and a lot of people thought it was a really good idea,” she added.

Zion is now aiming to visit two or three new cafes a week, and wants to review as many in the town as possible.

She would also welcome invitations from cafe owners to go and review their premises.

Zion’s blog can be found at mammasforvictory.blogspot.com.