A SCOTS mum who felt forced to breastfeed in disabled toilets has set up her own cafe for pregnant women and new mothers.
Louise Dale, 26, felt pressure to breastfeed in private because she was uncomfortable doing it in front of other people.
The mother-of-one, from Edinburgh, even resorted to locking herself in a toilet to feed her young child, James.
She found the experience so distressing she decided to set up a new business, from scratch, to cater for new and expecting parents.
Babies and Bumps, in the city’s Morningside area, comes with a special breastfeeding room and a Japanese-inspired lounging area.
It also features “play pods” where parents can leave their children whilst they enjoy a coffee.
And a special ‘bump-o-meter’ to allow pregnant mothers to track their progress by taking a snap beside a board.
“As a young mum I felt like I had to go and give a feed in the toilets because I couldn’t find a public space where I felt comfortable enough,” she said.
“Especially because I look young I felt that people were staring at me and possibly judging me.
“The toilet was the only place to breastfeed but it wasn’t nice and James would never settle as he likes to watch the world around him.
“Eventually I thought that I wouldn’t eat my lunch in a toilet, so why should my son have to?
“I also tried other things like placing a muslin cloth over him so he could feed in public, but that didn’t work either.
“It was when he was about three months old and on holiday that I sat down and wrote a list of things that I wish could be different – and that’s where the idea for the cafe came from.
“I just wanted to create a space that mothers felt comfortable and relaxed, and not where they had to hide to feed their child.
“If something like this had been around when James was young I definitely wouldn’t have felt like I needed to use a toilet to breastfeed.”
Her cafe, which opened last Monday, has already been such a hit with mothers that the breastfeeding room has hardly been used – as they feel comfortable enough to do it in public.
“People have been telling me it’s a really good idea and that they needed a space such as this,” Louise added.
“It’s somewhere that both parents and children can relax.”
Babies and Bumps offers food that caters for all customers, including a lactogenic menu which helps encourage women to produce milk.
There is even a babies menu which is split into three sections – smooth, lump and whole.