Published Thursday 1 August 2019 at 10:13
World Breastfeeding Week gets underway this week with Witton Country Park hosting a special event on Saturday, August 3 as part of the celebrations.
The ‘Global Big Latch On’ will take place from 10am-12pm and will see people gathering together at the park to breastfeed and offer peer support to each other.
The Blackburn with Darwen event is organised by local infant feeding peer support volunteers, Breast Intentions BwD, who support the community all year round and enjoy helping and sharing their experiences and passing on knowledge.
Friends, family and the community are all invited to join in on this celebration to promote and protect breastfeeding.
Everyone attending will get a certificate and a count will take place of all the breastfeeding mums, which will be registered online and added to the world-wide count.
World Breastfeeding Week is taking place from August 1-7. The theme for this year’s drive is “Empower parents. Enable breastfeeding” – with a focus on supporting breastfeeding in the work place.
Breastfeeding in Blackburn with Darwen and East Lancashire has made great strides in recent years. In 1991, just 27 per cent of mothers initiated breastfeeding; the current figure is 77 per cent.
Blackburn with Darwen became a breastfeeding friendly borough in 2018 and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (ELHT) became the first NHS Trust in the country to achieve UNICEF Baby Friendly ‘Gold Standard’ in 2017. The Chief Midwifery Officer for England visited ELHT to celebrate this success, whilst presenting her own awards to the service.
And two of the area’s major providers of children and family services were jubilant after once again being re-accredited as ‘baby friendly’ organisations by UNICEF UK in March this year.
Following inspection by independent UNICEF UK assessors in March, the hard work and dedication of staff and supporters at Blackburn with Darwen Children’s Centres and Lancashire Care Foundation NHS Trust’s (LCFT) Health Visiting service have been rewarded by having their UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative status renewed.
Sue Henry, Baby Friendly Lead ELHT, said:
It is imperative that as a community we wrap around breastfeeding mothers and support them to feel proud to keep breastfeeding their babies. Local employers are welcomed to seek support from our team to ensure their breastfeeding policies are supportive
Breast Intentions BwD organiser, Laura Little, said:
We’re lucky in BwD that our baby friendly team has helped to create an environment where mothers are surrounded by a village of people supporting and guiding them along their breastfeeding journey, but more still needs to be done to help normalise and promote breastfeeding. A big obstacle for women is returning to work- businesses can help make the transition smoother by supporting breastfeeding.
Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said:
Blackburn with Darwen is a proud breastfeeding-friendly borough. The Witton Park event will be the perfect occasion to celebrate this and for mums to meet other breastfeeding and expectant mothers, to have a chat or to ask any questions they may have, as well as taking part in fun activities for all the family.