A series of events are taking place in Liverpool to mark Breastfeeding Awareness Week.
Most babies in the UK are breastfed, however Liverpool has one of the lowest rates in the country – with just 50.9 percent of new mums feeding naturally after birth and 29.1 percent at six to eight weeks. This compares to a national average of 73.9 percent after birth and 47.2 percent after six weeks.
On Monday 30 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 1 July a picnic is being held in the grounds of Croxteth Hall from 11:30am until 1:30pm, while from 12 noon there is a celebration lunch at Kensington Children’s Centre for all women who have breastfed their babies over the past year.
On Wednesday 2 July there is a special event at Liverpool Women’s Hospital from 11am until 3pm with health information about breast feeding.
On Friday 4 July there is a buffet lunch and massage therapist session at Garston Children’s Centre from 11:30am – 1:30pm, and a similar event at Picton Children’s Centre from 1pm – 3pm.
From Sunday 29 June until Sunday 6 July, 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 informing women about the advantages for the health of both baby and mother.”
Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s interim Director of Public Health said: “Breastmilk really does give babies the best start, as it 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 children 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