Breastfeeding Celebration Week across Blackburn with Darwen

Published Friday 25 June 2021 at 10:26

As part of Breastfeeding Celebration Week, Blackburn with Darwen Councillors, residents and staff have met to mark the occasion and support breastfeeding mothers across our borough.

Breastfeeding Celebration Week runs from 21st to 27th June 2021, and this year the theme looks at how partners and the wider family unit can support the breastfeeding initiation and duration.

In partnership with the Lancashire and South Cumbria Foundation Trust and the East Lancashire Hospitals Trust, Blackburn with Darwen Council have installed permanent signage in the town centres to signify a commitment to promoting and supporting breastfeeding in our borough.

Councillor Julie Gunn, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Education, said:

We’re here to celebrate this fantastic achievement of Blackburn with Darwen being a breastfeeding friendly borough yet again, giving our youngest residents the best start in life.

A healthy, loving, engaging start in life that is brought about by breastfeeding – and what a fantastic thing to be doing!

Blackburn with Darwen became a breastfeeding friendly borough in 2017 as part of the healthy weight declaration, and since then we have been going from strength to strength.

Our maternity services have recently been awarded the UNICEF Gold Baby Friendly accreditation – the first services in the country to achieve this!

We also hold this accreditation for our health visiting and children’s centres services.

Councillor Jackie Floyd, Chair of the Blackburn with Darwen Food Resilience Alliance, said:

I am so proud of the mums, partners, families, health visitors and midwives across our borough who have seen us be awarded the gold standard by UNICEF for our maternity services.

This is a fantastic example of collaboration at its best across both of our breastfeeding friendly towns!

Sadie Blamire, mum of two from Blackburn, discussed why she believes it’s important to live in a breastfeeding friendly borough…

You need support when you’re breastfeeding, whether you’re on your own or you have a partner or a community, it’s important to have that support – because even though it’s a completely natural thing, it’s not the easiest to do sometimes.

Mary Foster, mum of two from Darwen, said:

For me, it’s really important that Darwen maintains this breastfeeding friendly status because it means mums feel safe and secure feeding babies in public.

As a new mum, you can feel quite nervous and anxious, but it’s becoming a norm, which it should be, because breastfeeding is normal and it’s the best that you can give your baby!

Francesca Smith, mum of two from Darwen, said:

I really feel strongly that breastfeeding mothers shouldn’t be restricted and shouldn’t have to live a half-life.

You should be able to go wherever you want and have the confidence to know that you can breastfeed anywhere.

Staff also came along to join in the celebrations, with visits from a breastfeeding peer supporter that works with Blackburn with Darwen Council and a midwife from the ELH NHS Trust.

Mischa Russell, Baby Friendly Specialist Midwife at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

It’s really sad that eight out of ten mums don’t reach their breastfeeding goals.

We need to promote mums, to make them feel safe, to educate mums, so that they feel that they can continue breastfeeding, which is really important.

If you are a mother who needs breastfeeding support, please visit – there are many incredible services and healthcare workers who are ready to help!

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Health, said:

Blackburn with Darwen is proud to be a breastfeeding friendly borough.

It’s important that the whole community comes together to support our mothers and families through this journey, and as we can see from the feedback of our residents and the recent Gold Standard Award for our maternity services – this is certainly the case!

Congratulations to everyone involved in receiving such an amazing recognition.

Let’s continue making Blackburn with Darwen a safe and supportive place to breastfeed.

You can watch a video from the day here:

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