As Parents in partnership volunteer mothers we are celebrating breastfeeding awareness week by recognising Bridgend as a breastfeeding community, where mothers in Bridgend are being supported to give their babies “the best start for life”.
Jamie Oliver is in schools working with children, demonstrating that the best nutrition provides the best results, talking about the calorific content and the resultant poor diet. We all need to think of starting before this, breastfeeding is the only fast food that is part on normal physiology and the reproductive cycle. We are fighting for women to regain control of what should be a woman’s domain, in becoming educated and providing each and every woman with the knowledge and skills that we have lost over the years with the introduction of formula milks with its resultant same effects as poor diet in the young children targeted by Jamie Oliver in his campaign for healthy school meals in children.
A baby has a natural intuitive choice to breastfeed; all its reflexes are deigned for a baby to make its way to the breast to initiate feeding. Education can give mothers a clear understanding of her baby and their abilities.
Our campaign in Bridgend has attained us over 80 breastfeeding peers supporters trained within the area, with seven support groups running, within Caerau, Bettws, Ogmore Vale, North Cornelly, Porthcawl, Bridgend and Brackla. We have also registered over 80 Premises around Bridgend that are ‘Breastfeeding Welcome.’ Mothers perpetuate the message to other mothers and normalise breastfeeding. For a mother to make a choice on feeding we will need education, there are no better educators than your peers. For each one of us that has benefited from education it has allowed us to spread the word, “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” and wear the t-shirt. We think it is admirable that all these mothers in our charity have taken these steps to benefit not only themselves but others.
Lu Rees, chair of PIPSW, commented:
‘Breastfeeding week for pipsw is an opportunity to celebrate not only the support for breastfeeding mums that is provided, but also the success of partnership working, which has enabled us as a charity to back into communities and give something back.
Our volunteers work hard to provide a high service of support to breastfeeding mums and do a fantastic job!
PIPSW started as a small voluntary organisation by a group of parents and midwives who had a vision to achieve a better outcome in our communities for new and expectant parents; 4 years later, we are achieving these outcomes.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every volunteer, both past and present who has contributed to the success of PIPSW.’
As an ongoing part of our campaign we challenged Mothercare stalls throughout Wales in conjunction with the Royal College of Midwives to become Breastfeeding Welcome a scheme run by the Welsh Assembly. During National Breastfeeding Awareness Week peer supporter mothers will be managing a stall within Mothercare in Bridgend. To date ten Mothercare stores have come on board, including Bridgend and Swansea. We have also approached leisure centres and libraries in the area to become breastfeeding welcome.
First Minister Carwyn Jones supports Parents in Partnership and states ‘I am pleased to be a supporter of Parents in Partnership Wales, and know of the good work that their dedicated team, and trained peer mentors carry out with Mums in the area. Breastfeeding has proven to be the best start that you can give to a new baby and I warmly welcome the news that stores in Bridgend are joining the “feeding friendly” scheme. It’s great that Parents in Partnership are raising awareness of this crucially important message.
To celebrate this we are all gathering together at Mothercare at 10.15am on Monday June 20th to give them their award, Wyn Griffiths Chair OF ABMU will be giving the award, and Deputy Mayoress of Bridgend Marlene Thomas will also be present. We are then doing a sponsored pram push/toddle waddle through Bridgend to the leisure centre that is also Breastfeeding welcome.
The pram /push toddle waddle is to raise funds for breast pumps for neonatal unit and other babies that have had early difficulties with feeding. We have three mums who have attended our support groups supporting this and willing to share their stories. They have had experiences with neonatal services and have some incredible stories.
Oliver’s mum, Melanie Johnson says ‘after Ollie was born I was left feeling shocked and numb, I was supposed to be enjoying a cuddle with my new baby while he happily breastfed. Instead he was 25 miles away in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Singleton Hospital undergoing a new cooling therapy that would reduce his chance of severe brain damage. Ollie was under sedation for 3 days and was then fed via a tube for another week. So I had to hand express to try and get some of the protein rich, antibody packed first milk (colostrums) and then use the breast pumps at the hospital every 2 to 3 hours to provide him with enough breast milk for his feeds. I was under a lot of pressure to keep up with the high demand for milk and I was also having difficulty establishing my milk supply because I was still recovering myself. Despite our difficult start I managed to breastfeed Ollie for 24 months. I feel that the amazing support I received has helped me to achieve this. Parents in Partnership support groups were fantastic as we could share our concerns and offer each other support during our breastfeeding experience. By breastfeeding Ollie, I truly believe it has been the best possible start for him and has helped him grow into the strong and bubbly little boy he is today.’
Mum to premature twins, Sarah Smiles tells her story. ‘Our twin boys were born 7 weeks early (33 weeks) at POW Hospital, Bridgend in November 2011. I was fortunate to have a trouble free delivery and afterwards our boys were taken to the Special Care Baby Unit. As they were so premature, they had to receive my breastmilk through a nasal tube as they did not yet have their suckle reflex. I was on the maternity ward for the first week where I used a pump to gather my milk. After a few days I was encouraged by the nurses in SCBU to put the boys to the breast as often as I could for them to familiarise themselves with the smell/touch etc, and eventually when the boys were almost two weeks old, they latched on for the first time. Once they were moved to the nursery I would put them to the breast every time their feed was due to wean them off the nasal feeding tube and for the final week, I was moved into the mother and baby unit so that they could be fed exclusively from the breast before coming home. During their stay, I received fantastic support from the staff that helped me and the boys master the art of latching on, and eventually the skill of feeding both at the same time – which came in very handy. The advice and support I received was outstanding and their encouragement was invaluable during the highs, and also the tearful lows, soon there was no stopping us! Six months on and I can honestly say I absolutely love breastfeeding my boys. Breastfeeding was always what I planned to do, and I’ll always be grateful for the support I received at the hospital, and also the continuing support I receive from my local breastfeeding group Parents in Partnership. I’d encourage everyone to breastfeed their babies, it’s the best experience I’ve ever had.’
Lucy Hutchins’s son Charlie had a difficult start to life after experiencing surgery at the Kings College Hospital London while still inside his mummy’s tummy. Lucy says ‘for Charlie and I, being able to go to a support group was so rewarding. After Charlie spending 7 weeks in intensive care, fighting for his life, it was gratifying to be able to go to the Parents in Partnership groups and act like a normal mum and son. The other mums at the support group supported me and treated Charlie like a ‘normal’ baby, which helped us adjust to the difficult start we’d experienced. The relaxed and supportive nature of the groups really helped and become an enjoyable part of our week.’
Cathy Dowling Head of Midwifery ABMU Healthboard said ‘although you would think breast feeding is such a natural thing its not always the case for every mother and their baby. There is strong evidence to suggest that support and accurate information from all health professionals and women who have had similar experiences is crucial to success. We have valued greatly all the hard work and dedication from the parents in partnership and all the support they have given not just women but the midwifery staff too.’
The leisure centre has fully supported the event and we are looking to celebrate the partnership working that has occurred across all Bridgend to make this happen. Lucy will talk on Charlie’s amazing start to life, and her determination to breastfeed. There will be stalls of interest to the mothers and play facilities for young children so that mums can enjoy a fun day.
There will be raffles for further fund raising and it is with thanks to local businesses in Bridgend and Mcarthur Glen that have donated raffle prizes.
On the 21st of June the mums of Ogmore Vale who are just now completing their training are launching their support group between 10.00am and 12pm at Ogmore Life Centre.
On the 22nd June we are celebrating by having a meeting where we are inviting health professional to join us in Neath Port Talbot hospital, there are now two support groups with a third planned for the area and many are that are breastfeeding welcome thanks to our mums. We are looking to expand our network to ensure mothers in Neath Port Talbot can have the same level of support.
If anyone would like more information regarding Parents In Partnership, please email email@example.com Or visit our website www.pipsw.org.uk
This is from the TIPS newsletter
Send Sharon your stories and photos and if they are featured in future newsletters they could win you a signed copy of Breastfeeding: the essential guide
“Marking National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 19-25 June 2011
“I was disappointed that the NHS decided to cancel this year’s National Breastfeeding Awareness week as part of the budget cuts. You can read more about this here…
It’s not surprising that UK rates of breastfeeding are so low when the Department of Health fails to support an awareness-raising event that has the potential to promote healthier babies and, in the longer term, save the NHS money!
Undeterred, TIPS® have decided to mark National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2011 and celebrate all things breastfeeding. Please send us your stories and photos – if featured in future newsletters, these could win you a signed copy of Sharon’s book Breastfeeding: the essential guide. You can check out our FAQs on breastfeeding or download the TIPS® factsheets on breastfeeding and tongue-tie from the ‘for parents’ section of our website.”
BREASTFEEDING FLASHMOB to challenge low breastfeeding rates.
Time: 2pm Friday 24th June, central Leeds.
Please visit the facebook page for more details.
Here are a few events organised for the week of 20th June which is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. (At least, it is in Wales – in England it’s deemed a waste of precious cash & so it’s been cancelled!! Very short-sighted, and the subject of a petition set up by Lisa Lactivist, as well as a Campaign by Baby Milk Action.)
Latest news – the petition is being shared by Bounty!!
Further news – BFAW now heavily supported by RCM & Mothercare instead.
This is all from http://flintshirefeeders.blogspot.com/2011/05/breastfeeding-awareness-week-bfaw.html for more information about events please visit the Flintshire Feeders website or their Facebook Page
This listing has been drawn up from several sources, but it’s not definitive, I’m sure – please feel free to add more, or to correct what I post (either in a comment below, or on the Flintshire Facebook page).
A general note, before the events:
Peer Supporter, Sara Evans, has been in touch with all North Wales MP’s, AM’s, MEP’s to ask them to sign their High Street offices up to the BF welcome scheme as a symbolic gesture to show their support for new mothers and babies – some have already responded very supportively!
Just one example of the amazing work that is being done by mother-to-mother volunteers.
Picnic in Conwy – Saturday 18th June
sharing from the Conwy group:
First of all, the week will begin with a family picnic in the park…
Taking place at Bodlondeb Park, Conwy from 12.30am.
See the facebook page here (https://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=193673077347410)
I hear it went well & the weather was perfect!
Peer Supporters’ Meeting – All North Wales Regions
Monday 20th June
The first Gathering of Breastfeeding Peer Supporters (also co-ordinators & community midwives) from across all the areas of North Wales. We will meet in Rhyl and spend the day networking, learning from each other’s experiences, and hearing presentations from speakers. Sharon Breward (LC), and others will present workshops on various topics.
More info available in a doc on Conwy BFF group, where Siona revealed the venue will be the community centre at Rhyl Firestation! I’m sure we’ll all be far too busy to ogle at Firemen, or their calendars (http://dave6.posterous.com/fw-2011-naked-fireman-calendar).
Sadly, numbers are going to be limited by the space & lack of childcare (tiny budget as always, here) – but we hope the next such event will be more child-friendly. If you are bringing a baby on June 20th, babes in arms/slings will be OK but they should be non-mobile. (Insurance at the venue is the restriction, apparently.)
There will be a few items from Lactivist for sale (at a discount price for PS).
The event will be opened by the A.M. Ann Jones!!
Walk at Loggerheads – Monday 20th June
Ma’s Bar, Mold’s Breastfeeding Support group are hoping to repeat last year’s very enjoyable walk in Loggerheads Park. Last year the Caffi Florence obliged with cupcakes decorated as very tasteful boob-cakes (pink icing & strawberries, in case you are after tips) – and Sarah’s just confirmed that they will do so again this year. Walkers will meet outside the cafe at 11 am.
Ideal for those who’d like a short stride out with dogs. The walk is even more pram-friendly now, but if you’re babywearing maybe you’d like to walk the longer routes. Facebook event page for this walk.
Broughton Shopping Park
The Health Visitors, Midwives & other maternity support staff are sending delegates to a large Retail Park nearby (Broughton) where they will be talking with Parents & Grannies, answering questions, aswell as handing out BFAW freebies, leaflets etc. They have attended before and always make a point of discussing the issue of BF in public with the cafes on site.
Mothercare: Sealand Rd.
You may have heard recently of the actions of the RCM & Mothercare to reinstate the cancelled BF awareness week. Peer Supporters from Flintshire are going to be hanging out in Mothercare near Chester during BFAW week (various times). Midwifery staff from Chester are also attending. Hoping to meet lots of parents-to-be.
In Wrexham, the Peer Supporters are focussing on their groups (including the newest addition, at Caia Park) – they have arranged for a series of adverts on Heart FM throughout this week and next – promoting the groups, BF, and Peer Support. They hope this will boost attendance & community awareness.
Walk at Alyn Waters Park, Gwersyllt – Thursday 23rd June, 10am-12 noon
The NCT have a regular walk named Prams in the Park, and they are happy to have a joint do for this week (it is usually open to anyone, actually). The Peer Supporters from both Flintshire & Wrexham should find this a convenient spot. Page about Alyn Waters: here.
Again, this park is a lovely spot for a walk with or without a pram/ toddlers. It’s also blessed with a cafe, so even if the weather is poor, do still come along for a natter!
Facebook event page for this walk.
Birkenhead Flash Mob – Saturday 25th June
More details on the Facebook page,
A dance routine is being practised! Organised by the BF support workers in Wirral’s HomeStart.
Turn up & cheer them on!!
Birkenhead, in the square outside House of Frasier, Saturday 11am.
(Press report here: Wirral Globe )
Snowdon Trip Saturday 25th June
sharing from the Gwynedd group:
All Aboard the Breastfeeding Express!!
To celebrate National BF Week we are hoping to have a trip up Snowdon on the train, with as many BF mums, babies and supporters as possible and a press photo at the summit. This has been very popular – there have been enough people booked on to charter a train – the aim now is to fill it!
The train leaves Llanberis at 1pm on Saturday 25 June. As this is a group booking, please DO NOT buy your tickets online / individually. You will need to bring cash on the day and we will pay for the tickets together at that point.
Child £13 (age 4 – 15)
We need 54 paying travellers (adults or children) to charter our own train, and we need to confirm this number with the railway by 1 June.
To give plenty of time to purchase the tickets, take photos etc. we need to meet at the train station at 12pm midday on Saturday 25 June.
More information about the journey, how to get to the station, parking, etc. can be found here:
www.snowdonrailway.co.uk but please especially take note of the following:
- Children – A child is classed as between the ages of 4 and 15. Children aged 3 years and under may travel free of charge as long as they sit on an adult’s knee and do not occupy a seat.
- Can I take a rucksack, pushchair or bike onto the train? – Snowdon Mountain Railway regrets that due to lack of space it is not practical to carry large, bulky items. Pushchairs may be left, at the owner’s own risk, at Llanberis station with the platform staff for collection on return.
- Are there toilets on the mountain? – There are toilet facilities at the Llanberis Station and Hafod Eryri at the summit of Snowdon. Please note there are no toilets or other facilities at Clogwyn or elsewhere on the mountain.
We are advised to bring slings, backpacks & toddler harnesses as there are steep drops and children need to be secured. Sound like a great opportunity to learn more about Babywearing, and see lots of slings in action!
Each baby or toddler (3 and under) must have an accompanying adult.
Also make sure you bring warm clothing and sturdy footwear as it can be cold and windy at the summit. Only a few weeks ago, there was snowfall at the summit!!
If you plan to come, please add your name to the doc titled ‘Snowdon Trip’ at the Gwynedd and Anglesey Breastfeeding Peer Supporters Facebook page.
Do not pay online, you need to pay on the day to get group discount. You are welcome to invite other BF mums and their supporters. Adult tickets are usually £25 so it is a good price and should be great fun on the day.
2011 Festival Programme (Saturday 13th – Friday 19th August 2011, Ulverston, Cumbria, UK)
All events are FREE
For more information please visit www.thebreastfeedingfestival.org.uk/
Saturday 13th August – Saturday 27th August
Breakfast in Bed and other portraits, Ulverston Library, Kings Road, Ulverston (during library opening hours) An exhibition of breastfeeding portrait prints by the American artist Samantha Weber (www.samanthaweber.com) _______________________ Saturday 13th August
Breastfeeding Fair, in the Main Hall, Coronation Hall, County Square, Ulverston, 11am-4pm Stalls from charities and campaign groups, and local businesses, with prizes to be won, and something for everyone. This event includes a fashion show, which will be starting at 2pm.
Sunday 14th August
Latching On: The Politics of Breastfeeding in America, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am A screening of the documentary film by Katja Esson, distributed by Women Make Movies (wmm.com), followed by a discussion of the issues raised in the film, with (via Skype) Sally Tedstone, Development Manager, Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition.
Baby Friendly – what’s it all about?, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 3pm A talk by Shel Banks, Baby Friendly Co-ordinator, Blackpool Victoria Hospital _________________________ Monday 15th August
Kangaroo Mother Care, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am A talk (via Skype) by Jill Bergman, author of ‘Hold Your Premie’
Milk Banking and Milk Sharing, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 3pm A talk by Gillian Weaver, Chair of UK Association for Milk Banking
Tuesday 16th August
Pregnancy Pampering, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am With Jade Litten, Nature’s Touch
Birth Art, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 2pm A workshop led by Kate Gray. All materials provided.
Wednesday 17th August
The Role of the Father in Breastfeeding, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am A recorded talk by Jarold (Tom) Johnston, IBCLC, Certified Nurse Midwife and Lactation Consultant
Fathers’ Breastfeeding Workshop, at Ulverston Children’s Centre, Lund Terrace, Ulverston, 3pm A workshop for fathers and fathers-to-be, by Sean Lancaster, Family Learning Assistant, Action for Children _________________________ Thursday 18th August
Baby-Led Weaning, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am A workshop by Gill Rapley (via Skype), co-author of ‘Baby-led weaning:
Helping your baby to love good food’
Elimination Communication, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 3pm A workshop on nappy-free babies – speaker TBC.
Friday 19th August
Baby Bumpkin, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulverston, 10am Baby yoga with Marie Wynn, Tatty Bumpkin North Cumbria, in two sessions as follows:
10am: Baby Bumpkin 1 (8 weeks to crawling)
11am: Baby Bumpkin 2 (crawling to 2 years)
Breastfeeding in Public, in the Meeting Room, Lanternhouse, Ulvesrton, 3pm A workshop, with Karen Butterfield, Treasurer and Press Officer, The Breastfeeding Festival.
Melinda Messenger champions first ever celebration of ‘boobies for babies’
Time: 2pm Friday 24th June, central London
An expected 100-200 breastfeeding mothers will all nurse their infants together in a flashmob, championed by ex-Page 3 favourite Melinda Messenger and organised by two mothers from Henley-on-Thames.
The mothers want to celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Week call for a more breastfeeding friendly UK and aim to improve on the shockingly low breastfeeding rates. Many women feel inhibited about breastfeeding in public despite the equality act passed in 2010 that protects women, allowing them to breastfeed their baby anywhere regardless of the baby’s age. The sight of a nursing woman is rare in the UK.
A recent survey of 1,200 women carried out by the National Childbirth Trust showed 65 per cent intended to not breastfeed for fear of being stared at.
Mother of 3, and winner of 2003 celebrity mum of the year award Melinda Messenger says: “The law says mums have the right to breastfeed anywhere but they can be put off by uncomfortable looks and embarrassed stares so we need to challenge British reserve and celebrate the act of breastfeeding in public.”
Overall, only 35 per cent of UK babies are exclusively breastfed at one week, 21 per cent at six weeks, 7 per cent at four months and only 3 per cent at five months of age (source: Office for National Statistics). This is despite the World Health Organisation recommending exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age. This shows there is something seriously wrong with the breastfeeding culture in the UK.
The flashmob is an independent group of mothers that are passionate enough about breastfeeding to try to improve on these scary statistics. By creating this large collection of nursing mums they hope to achieve the following:
* Encourage mothers to feel confident when they breastfeed in public.
* Help those who do not feel comfortable around nursing mothers to feel more at ease.
* Call for a more open- and healthy-minded attitude to breastfeeding for future generations.
* Remind people of the breast’s primary purpose, a natural part of our existence.
* Get breasts in the media for the right reason.
The originator and main organiser of the flashmob, Rose Tolhurst, says ‘”I was amazed at how the Facebook flashmob group grew so quickly. There are so many passionate breastfeeders out there who all want to do their bit to tackle society’s prudish attitudes towards breasts. If we can encourage even a handful of women to feed confidently in public then it will have been worth it. This is not a breast versus bottle issue, it’s bigger than that, it is breast versus society!”
Co-organiser of the flashmob, Anna Higgs, adds “It’s time for us breastfeeding mothers to take a stand. Boobs are for babies too, and we want to remind the general public that breastfeeding in public is natural and not an antisocial act. This is particularly important since according to a recent BBC documentary ‘Is Breast Best?’ the UK has the second lowest breastfeeding rates out of 36 European countries.”
Rose and Anna recruited the breastfeeding mothers through Facebook and by posting a ‘call to arms’ on various parenting and pro-breastfeeding websites. A straw poll of the flashmobbers reveal that 63% have received uncomfortable looks or comments from strangers while feeding in public.
Some of the mums in the flashmob have been made to feel acutely embarrassed by ill-judged comments from staff in hospitals, famous high street stores and coffee shops. For example, Kelly Parsons was having a cup of tea and feeding her baby in Starbucks. Even with her discreet nursing apron on a member of staff took offence and asked her to do it somewhere else next time! (For further personal stories and contact details please see supporting document ‘Breast Stories’)
Photos and case studies will be available on demand after the event.
Media enquires to:
Rose Tolhurst – Flashmob Main Organiser rose_tolhurst(at)yahoo(dot)com
Anna Higgs – Flashmob Co-organiser annacolette(at)gmail(dot)com
Rose Tolhurst blogs at: nurturewithsoul.blogspot.com
Anna Higgs blogs at: http://www.partmummypartme.blogspot.com/
WHO Breastfeeding Facts and Statistics http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
The Office for National Statistics performs its Infant Feeding Survey every five years. The figures from the 2005 survey were published in March 2008. http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/health-and-lifestyles-related-surveys/infant-feeding-survey/infant-feeding-survey-2005
Mother and Baby survey, carried out in conjunction with NCT. http://nctwatch.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/mother-and-baby-survey-reveals-mothers-worries-about-breastfeeding-in-public/
NCT Document summary: Key Baby Feeding Statistics from the 2005 UK Infant Feeding survey. http://www.nct.org.uk/sites/default/files/related_documents/DS14%20Infant%20Feeding%20Survey%202005%20Key%20Statistics%20%5BUK%5D.pdf
National Breastfeeding Week Info for 2011: http://www.lactivist.net/?p=2768
National Breastfeeding Week 2011 – A Call for Action
Urgent action you can take in National Breastfeeding Week ( 19th – 25th June 2011) to lobby for improved breastfeeding support so that all women can make informed choices about their infant feeding decisions .
Have your say in National Breastfeeding Week
National Breastfeeding week is a brilliant time for Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition supporters to play their part in our shared aim to deliver the objectives of the Manifesto. Along with any local activities that you may be involved with, please join us and play your part to support the objectives of the Manifesto. Let 2011 be the year we hit 10.000 supporters and spread the word about the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme .
(As there is some variation in the approach of the governments of the 4 countries of the UK we have developed slightly different sets of actions, please look for your country).
Have a great week and have your say !
For supporters in Scotland
1. Help us hit 10,000 supporters and e mail a friend
Go to : http://www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/email_friend.php and encourage your friends to become a supporter, the more supporters we have the stronger our influence with politicians.
Let 2011 be the year we hit 10,0000 supporters
2. Check if your MSP is a BMC supporter
Go to : www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/msp_supporters.php
if your MSP is not a supporter click on email your MSP www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/email_your_msp.php
3. Help us to spread the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme
E mail or write to your Local Health Board with a suggestion that they consider joining the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme (if there is no scheme locally), or they work with the BMC to link the local scheme to the Google maps section of the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme web site (www.breastfeedingwelcomescheme.org.uk)
To find a sample letter click herewww.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/publications.php
look for sample letter to Local Health Board re Welcome
For more about the Welcome Scheme go to:
For supporters in Wales
1. Help us to hit 10,000 supporters and e mail a friend
Go to e mail a friend:
and encourage your friends to become a supporter, the more supporters we have the stronger our influence with politicians .
Let 2011 be the year we hit 10,000 supporters
2. Check if your Assembly Member is a BMC supporter,
Click here: www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/am_supporters.php
if not click on the link to email your AMwww.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/email_your_am.php
Before the May 2011 election all the AM were supporters of the BMC, let’s make that happen again
For supporters in England
You will probably be aware that since the arrival of the Coalition government we have seen that:
• National Best Practice advisors have had their roles discontinued
• Regional Infant Feeding Leads post contracts have ended
• Planned activities to support breastfeeding have been suspended
• Materials and leadership for National Breastfeeding Week have not been developed
This sets a very worrying trend and there is a significant risk that gains made over the last few years will be lost at a time when public services are under huge pressure. Hence there are some additional actions that we are suggesting for supporters in England. Now is our opportunity to influence the deliberations of the Department of Health.We want to make sure that Ministers and civil servants are clear that breastfeeding must remain a strategic priority for the new Department of Public Health
1. Help us to hit 10,000 supporters and e mail a friend
Go to : www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/email_friend.php
and encourage your friends to become a supporter, the more supporters we have the stronger our influence with politicians.
Let this be the year we hit 10,000 supporters .
2. Check if your MP is a BMC supporter,
Click on the link : www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/mp_supporters.php
If your MP is a supporter please send a letter asking for his / her support to raise the profile of breastfeeding with the new team in the Department of Health.
Find sample letter at :
http://www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/publications.php look for letter to MP who is a supporter
Better still visit your MP in his/ her surgery , MP’s represent an average of 60,000 people and receive hundreds of letters, telephone calls, e mails and invitations every week.They are usually required to be in Parliament from Monday to Thursday each week, when Parliament is sitting ( which roughly coincides with school terms). Friday is spent in the constituency, giving MP’s a chance to have meetings with their staff, attend local events and hold surgeries for their consituents. Contact with your MP in person is an effective way of building up a good relationship and encouraging them to take up the issue .
You will find details of your MP at :
http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/mps ,enter your postcode into find your MP this will give you their details including web site address. Details of the MP’s surgeries will be there .
If your MP is not a BMC supporter click on the link to email your MP
Better still visit your MP in his/ her surgery ( see above for why this is important and how you can find out about the surgery).
3. Help us spread the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme
E mail or write to your local Primary Care Trust or Local Authority with a suggestion they consider joining the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme (if there is no scheme locally), or they work with the BMC to link the local scheme to the Google maps section of the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme web site
For more about the Welcome Scheme go to:
You will find a sample letter at:www.breastfeedingmanifesto.org.uk/publications.php
look for sample letter to local PCT re Welcome
Breastfeeding Manifesto Coalition news
Over the Spring and Summer months we have Sally Tedstone working as the Development Manager for the Manifesto .
Sally’s background :
Sally has been a midwife for over 20 years ,has worked as an Infant Feeding Coordinator in maternity units, a Baby Friendly Manager in a PCT, as a Senior Professional Officer for UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative and most recently has been the Healthy Early Years and Infant Feeding Lead for the Department of Health South West .
Thanks everyone and have a good week
For support with any of the actions please contact Sally at: firstname.lastname@example.org
To celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness week at the end of this month an Independent group of mums are meeting at a central London Location to take part in this unique event!
To be involved & find out more please join our facebook group:
Alternatively mail email@example.com
Definition of a Flash mob:
a group of people coordinated by email to meet to perform some predetermined action at a particular place and time and then disperse quickly (or in our case disperse when we are ready)
This excellent article about the importance of funding to help people become aware of the huge benefits of breastfeeding is copied onto www.lactivist.net with permission from the writer Anna Cahalin and also from the Real Parenting Blog where it was first published.
5 May 2011
National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2011, which was due to run from 19 – 25th June, has had its government funding withdrawn. This announcement was made on 7th April on the NHS Local website, but seemed to have escaped the attention of the national press; a quick search of both the top four broadsheets and red-tops brought back zero results for this story.
It is understandable that the government don’t want this too widely publicised. Not only have huge funding cuts been made resulting in the loss of potentially hundreds of Sure Start centres across the UK, which consequently means the demise of the breastfeeding support groups run by these centres, but now they no longer wish to invest money in raising awareness of the importance of breastfeeding.
It is universally acknowledged that breastfeeding provides babies with the best start in life. The World Health Organisation states that “Virtually all mothers can breastfeed, provided they have accurate information, and the support of their family, the health care system and society at large”. This message, however, does not always reach those in more deprived areas, or those who are less educated, or young mothers*.
This was entirely the point of the establishment of Sure Start centres; that the disadvantaged and less-educated families would be provided with access to support groups and classes, ensuring their children had an opportunity to grow up “healthier and more ready to learn, [with] stronger families and communities, less crime and fewer school-age pregnancies”.
Those families without access to the internet or the media or other literature will not be made aware of how important breastfeeding is if this message is not continually broadcast across all communities.
Although the Department of Health spokesperson stated that, “support and information is currently available to health professionals and parents via NHS Choices, the National Breastfeeding Helpline, UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative and the peer support programmes”, the continuous cuts in government funding regarding parenting and child health can only lead to a larger divide between the classes, leaving the more disadvantaged families unable to easily access information and support.
The promotion of breastfeeding surely deserves some funding? The Lactivist certainly thinks so, and if you do too, they have set up an online petition which you can access here to convince the government to continue funding National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. 100, 000 or more signatures will see this topic brought to debate in parliament, so if you feel strongly that these cuts are wrong, get signing!
* Foster K, Lader D, Cheesbrough S. Infant feeding 1995. 1997, Office for National Statistics: The Stationery Office: London. I would just like to make the point that although the evidence for the WHO statement is now over ten years old, a study published in the British Medical Journal in 2009 also states that “breastfeeding has well known advantages for mothers and children, yet its rates are lower than recommended”, proving that little has changed in the last decade.
If you need help with breastfeeding, here are Ten breastfeeding resources on the web
Anna is a first-time mum to her 8 month old daughter, Ella, a Diagnostic Radiographer with a degree in English and a brief background in PR, trying to set up as a freelance writer. Anna blogs at dummymummy.
There is no government funding for Breastfeeding Awareness Week this year but that need not stop us!
I asked on the Lactivist Facebook page for ideas for events to promote breastfeeding. So far we have this list, please feel free to add to it and I’ll follow it up with more details that can help, including a draft press release.
I’ll also collect a bunch of free printable resources for anyone to use – if you have any ideas of things they could cover please add them to the comments.
- Flash mob, maybe out side the houses of parliament?
- Meeting in unfriendly cafes
- Meeting in friendly cafes
- Putting up Breastfeeding Welcome Here posters in cafes/libraries/shops
- Giving out ‘thank you for breastfeeding in public‘ cards
- Get a group together and play ‘breastfeeding bingo’ or ‘full term breastfeeding bingo’
- Getting older siblings to draw pictures/paint pictures of mummy nursing little ones to create a display at children’s centres or libraries
- Doing a big picnic with peer supporters present where mums can come a discuss any problems and have leaflets to give out and people can come to learn more
- Booby themed cake sale.
- Art competition?
- Picnics organised at BF groups – everyone brings something and everyone shares.
- Hand and foot canvas momentoes – mums bring their own canvases or pay to buy one on the day, children’s centre or group provides the paint and baby wipes!
- Pram push along the high street giving out ‘breastfeeding welcome’ stickers to shops and cafes.
- Put together a breastfeeding calender with mums at local groups etc
- BF picnics are a great idea, it would give the press something decent to report on
- Doing a stand or something in our local mothercare.
- Hold a stitch, nurse and bitch event, and knit boobs for your local peer group to use as a teaching aid.
Please add your ideas!
I set up Lactivist when my son was tiny and for the last 7 years I have worked very hard to build it up. It has never paid me a wage. The hours I put into it have increased and I have reached the point where I need to spend that time earning some money.
Over the 7 years I have given away hundreds of Lactivist t-shirts, bags, stickers, postcards and badges to anyone who asked for them. They have been used as giveaways and to promote breastfeeding. I’d love to be able to continue to give them away but if I do that Lactivist will fold. I am giving it one more year and if at the end of this year I am not able to take £30 a week from it for running it then I will close it down.
I still want to be able to support all the groups that have had free Lactivist goodies in the past but this year, I am unable to give away these items and so I am pleased to offer them at a 50% discount to the prices quoted on my website. Just email me firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
You can help to keep Lactivist running by letting people know about it. Pass around the discount code ‘lactivist’ which gives people 10% off their order. Give people flyers, leave them in clinics, and health centers. Become a contributor on www.lactivist.net to help to keep that alive and to make sure that news about breastfeeding still reaches people.
To coincide with National Breast Feeding Week in June an independent group of mums is organising a Breast feeding Flash Mob in a central London location. If you would like to be involved please join the facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_154794384577591
Come and join us for a celebration tea party!
Mums to Be, Breastfeeding Mums, Peer Supporters, Parents and Children all welcome
Information …. Goody Bags ….. Raffle …. Refreshments
2-4 pm on Wednesday, 13th May 2009 at Saplings Children’s Centre, Queensway, Bletchley
Please park in the leisure centre carpark – cars parked outside the pub may be clamped!
Ulverston support group, Natural Beginnings is organising a Big Breastfeed to kick start Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Taking place on Sunday 10th in Ford Park at 2pm, Karen hopes it will attract mums, mums to be, parents, partners, friends & family as well as local businesses to find out more about breastfeeding and how they can help. “Breastfeeding in public can be quite daunting so hopefully this event will help mums feel more comfortable and at ease with everyone around them doing it too!”
Trained supporters will be on hand on the Sunday and also at the week long events taking place around the town. The breastfeeding roadshow will be at the support group on Monday 1 til 3, at Lindal toddlers on Tuesday afternoon, 1 til 3, at Lowick toddler group 10 til 11.30 on the Wednesday and at Home & Finance Cafe on Friday morning 9.30 til 11. Rounding up the week, Karen will be doing her bit about breastfeeding at the antenatal class (see you midwife for more details).
If anyone would like any information about any of the events taking place please feel free to contact me email@example.com, visit our website www.naturalbeginnings.org.uk or our online support group. www.bibsbotsnboobs.proboards.com
As part of national breastfeeding awareness week 2009, Tiverton breastfeeding peer supporters are holding a baby blockbuster at the Merlin Tivoli cinema in Tiverton, mid Devon.
We have privately hired out the cinema for a tba U/PG film on wednesday 13th may 2009. Tickets are £2 per adult and all children/babies are free of charge. We welcome families supporting breastfeeding or anyone wanting to find out more from our peer supporters.
There will be a multitude of information available in the foyer, tons of freebies for mums and free fruit for the children.
Doors open at 10.30 and the film will start at 11am, to aviod disappointment, register a place with Tiverton Childrens centre on 01884 250449 or buy tickets on the door.
To all parents to be, parents/or carers and grandparents who have an interest in breastfeeding
An INVITATION to a social get together to celebrate Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2009
Meet our newly trained NCT Breastfeeding Peer Supporters
Town Hall, Chippenham
12th May 2009
10.30 to 12 noon
Nearly new sale
Baby/ toddler play area
To find out more about Breastfeeding Awareness Week go to www.nct.org.uk
Supported by Redlands Children Centre, Chippenham
To celebrate and raise awareness for Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2009 (10-17 May) NCT Croydon are hosting a BREASTFEEDING DROP-IN at Café Giardino, 30 Croydon Centrale, Drummond Centre, CR0 1TY on the 13th May between 10am and 12pm.
Katie Fisher, a lactation consultant and a breastfeeding counsellor will also be present to talk to breastfeeding mums, or anyone who would like advice or information about breastfeeding.
FREE Tea or Coffee for every breastfeeding Mother.
Also open for expectant mums and their partners for information and advice on breastfeeding.