Mums on the march for breastfeeding

Mums in Liverpool are coming together to spread the word about the benefits of breastfeeding.

Most babies in the UK are breastfed, however Liverpool has one of the lowest rates in the country – with around 51 percent of new mums feeding naturally after birth and 29 percent at six to eight weeks. This compares to a national average of around 74 percent after birth and 47 percent after six weeks.

During Breastfeeding Awareness Week from 20 – 26 June, a series of celebration events will be held at across the city.

On Monday 22 June, mums are invited to share their breastfeeding stories – good and bad – with others at West Derby Children’s Centre from 1.30pm- 3pm. 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.

On Wednesday 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 (weather permitting) from 12 – 2pm.

And new parents will also get the chance to find out more about the Bambis breastfeeding support service at Mothercare at Speke Retail Park from 11-1pm and 6:30pm-8pm on Thursday 25 June.

Cabinet member for children’s services and health, Councillor Roz Gladden, said: “All the evidence is that breast feeding even for a short period of time gives children the very best start in life.

“Our Children’s Centres do an amazing job spreading the word and are working hard to increase the rates of breastfeeding in the city.

“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.

“We want mums to know that there is lots of health and support out there for them if the need it.”

Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s 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