Posted on Wednesday 6th July 2011
Launch of the breastfeeding directory at Dunmail Park
Midwives across north Cumbria are continuing in their drive to promote breastfeeding, following a series of successful events to mark Breastfeeding Awareness Week last month.
Events held across north Cumbria to mark the awareness week (19-25 June) included a teddy bears’ picnic, a ‘big toddle’ and several breastfeeding parties.
The main event in Carlisle was the city’s first Bump to Baby Fair, where more than 40 organisations and businesses ran stalls showcasing products, information and advice for new parents and mums-to-be.
Helen Ferris, Infant Feeding Coordinator at the Cumberland Infirmary, helped organise the events in the Carlisle area along with Barnardo’s peer supporters and is keen to build on that success.
A raffle at the Bump to Baby Fair with prizes donated by local firms raised £550 for a breast feeding pump for the Cumberland Infirmary and Helen is keen to keep the momentum going, both in terms of fundraising and awareness.
“This particular pump really makes a difference if mums are struggling with breastfeeding,” said Helen. “It was designed based on a lot of research into the way babies actually feed. We are hoping to raise £1,200 in total for the pump and stand.”
Helen, Barnardo’s support workers and volunteers will take over the running of the Salvation Army coffee shop on Wigton Road in Carlisle for one day to raise more money towards the pump and also highlight the breastfeeding cause. The café will be open from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, 16 July.
The West Cumbria branch of the National Childbirth Trust and local breastfeeding peer supporters used the awareness week to launch the latest edition of a guide to local cafés and other venues which welcome breastfeeding families. The directory was launched at Dunmail Park near Workington where midwives and volunteers hosted an information stand for three days.
Local mothers have welcomed the publication of this, the fourth edition, which is part of the ‘You CAN Do It Here!’ campaign, covering cafés, shops and tourist attractions across West Cumbria.
The new guide includes an additional 17 venues and was produced in response to mothers’ concerns about where they were welcome with a breastfeeding baby.
“Mothers who breastfeed are doing the very best for their baby and need to be welcomed and encouraged to feed while they are out and about with their babies,” said Ann-Marie Steel, NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor. “The establishments covered in this guide are helping to get this message across and showing a real commitment to families.”
Sharon Rogan, Infant Feeding Advisor at West Cumberland Hospital, added: “Breastfeeding offers babies a healthy, nutritious start in life. It helps protect them against illnesses such as gastroenteritis, chest and ear infections, and best of all it is free. Formula milk can cost families over £450 a year. Women need to be able to breastfeed wherever they are with their babies.”
Copies of the West Cumbria guide are available from Ann-Marie Steel on 01900 821719 or Sharon Rogan on 07733 361687.
A similar guide for the Carlisle area, which was produced last year, is available from Helen Ferris on 07879 632018.