Mums marched in support of breastfeeding in Liverpool on Monday 24 June.
As part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week, a series of events are being held across the city all week to spread the word about the advantages of mother’s milk and the support on offer through the Bambi’s service.
Liverpool has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country – with just 52 percent of new mums feeding naturally after birth and only 29 percent after six to eight weeks (up two percent compared to last year). This compares to a national average of 78 percent after birth and 50 percent after six weeks.
On Monday 24 June, families will gather on the steps of St George’s Hall at 11:30am before marching to Chavasse Park where they will hold a family picnic from 12 – 2pm.
On Tuesday 25 June a picnic is being held in the grounds of Croxteth Hall from 11:30am until 1:30pm.
On Wednesday 26 June there is a special event at Liverpool Women’s Hospital from 11am until 3pm with face painting, health information and information about breast feeding.
On Thursday 27 June there is a cake and biscuit decorating session from 10am – 11am at Buckingham Road Community Centre and a ‘high tea’ at Tuebrook Children’s Centre from 2 – 3pm.
And from Monday to Saturday, mums are invited to share their breastfeeding stories – good and bad – with others in the community room on the fourth floor at the World Museum on William Brown Street. Among those taking part will be ‘peer supporters’ – mums who have breast fed their children and are now ambassadors in the community, providing information, encouragement and training.
Cabinet member for education, Councillor Jane Corbett, said: “Liverpool has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding among new mothers in the country, a trend we really need to reverse.
“These events are a fun way of spreading the word about the benefits of breastfeeding and educating women about the advantages for the health of both baby and mother.
“There is lots of help and support available through our Children’s Centres, and our message to new mums is to ask for help if they need it.”
Dr Paula Grey, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health said: “Breastfeeding is so important as it really does give babies the best start.
“Breast milk is the only natural food designed for babies and is all that’s needed for the first six months of life.
“It protects babies from infections and diseases and has many benefits for both youngsters and mothers.”
A Breastfeeding Welcome scheme, with more than 150 places that will accommodate and welcome families, has been established. A list of venues, and more information about the importance of breast feeding, is available at www.amazingbreastmilk.nhs.uk