This week, Bambis (Babies and Mums Breastfeeding Information Service) are celebrating breastfeeding and the achievements of the many Liverpool mums who have breastfed and expressed breast milk in the last year. Bambis Co-ordinator Sarah Todd explains more about their work…
Feeding is one of the core skills a mum and baby learn in the first few days and weeks of life and there is strong evidence of the health benefits that breastfeeding brings such as a reduction in the chance of infections, decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) for babies and a reduction in osteoporosis, breast and ovarian cancer for mum.
Like learning any new skill, breastfeeding is not always easy for every mum. Some mums tell us about times they have felt anxious, experienced pain, or felt under-confident with breastfeeding, particularly in the early days. But, from our experience, with the right guidance, information and support, many mums can feed with confidence and achieve their own breastfeeding goals.
There are lots of ways for pregnant and new mums and parents in Liverpool to get support with breastfeeding, including from midwives, health visitors, and Bambis. As a peer support service, it is our mission to provide support to all breastfeeding mothers across the city, including mothers who express and mixed feed. We offer antenatal workshops and support after birth 7 days a week via hospital visits, text messages, phone calls and home visits. Mums can help one another in Bambis groups that meet in our Children’s Centres, offering moral support, as well reaching out to us for further guidance. We also help Liverpool to be more breastfeeding friendly, promoting breastfeeding in events across the city and signing businesses up to the breastfeeding friendly charter.
We appreciate the support and ongoing funding from Liverpool City Council’s Public Health team which enables us to provide these services to benefit the families across the city and support them to make informed choices in how they feed their babies.
Breastfeeding is increasingly common in Liverpool, with more than half (52.6%) of babies being breastfed at two weeks of age in 2021/22. We are working together with Liverpool City Council Public Health and the other commissioners and providers of feeding support in Liverpool to build on this and work more effectively across the city to better support all babies and their parents with feeding in the first year of life and to enable as many as possible to benefit from breastmilk for longer.
Bambis, along with our children’s centre staff, have put together lots of activities for Merseyside Breastfeeding Week. To begin our week of celebrations we welcomed anyone breastfeeding, expressing, or using mixed to take part in a parade through the city centre from St George’s Hall, finishing with a family picnic at Chavasse Park.