Celebrating breastfeeding through interactive sessions and celebration walks

Over 20 mums and their children walked from Penrith Hospital to Brougham Hall and back again to celebrate national breastfeeding awareness week at the weekend.

The walking event was organised by Fiona Sim, Infant Feeding Coordinator at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CPFT) and mums from Penrith Breastfeeding Group.

Fiona said:

“The walk was a great way to get out with mums and children to raise awareness on breastfeeding as well providing support, answering any questions and giving advice.

“Raising the awareness on breastfeeding is particularly important and I hope by doing so it will encourage more new mums to breastfeed their babies. There are many positive health benefits from breastfeeding that aid in baby’s developments and have positive impacts on mum’s health too.

“We all had a great time on the walk and very much enjoyed our pit stop at Bettyann’s tea parlour at Brougham Hall!

“Myself and my colleague Diane Clark (Infant Coordinator at CPFT) have also organised a breastfeeding station at Penrith show in July for mums to come along and feed their babies in comfort. We will be on hand to offer support and advice too. The station will be part of the Penrith Building Society stand.”

 

Accompanying the walkers was Scott Jackson, Penrith’s Mayor who adds:

“Breastfeeding is a wonderful thing, mothers who breastfeed should be encouraged, supported and celebrated but too often they are faced with judgemental eyes in public and lonely problems in private.

“My wife is part of the Penrith breastfeeding support group and what they do is utterly amazing. The group provide fantastic support and create an environment where mums are not alone if they are facing difficulties with breastfeeding”.

 

Penrith Library also hosted a breastfeeding celebration ‘coffee and cake afternoon’ for those who are part of the Penrith Breastfeeding Group. Lots of mums and their babies came along to the event and CPFT’s Infant Feeding Coordinator; Diane Clark also joined them to share her expertise.

At the event, mums and their children got involved in an interactive session called Bounce and Rhyme, which involves children and their parents singing with actions to familiar songs and nursery rhymes. Whilst the children thoroughly enjoyed taking part the session also aids them with socialising and their speech and communication skills.

Diane said:

“We have very low breastfeeding rates in Cumbria and we know that breastfeeding has significant health benefits for both babies and their mothers in reducing the risks of diabetes, obesity , gastroenteritis , breast and ovarian cancers to name a few. It also assists with the development of those early relationships and has some of the most wide reaching and long term effects on a child’s health and development.

“However, breastfeeding is not just the responsibility of the mums, we also need the support of their families, communities and the professionals involved. Breastfeeding Support groups provide a safe, non-judgmental and relaxed environment where parents can get appropriate advice and support.

 

Penrith Breastfeeding Group meets every Tuesday at Penrith Leisure Centre between 1pm-3pm. The group is jointly run by volunteer peer supporters trained by North Cumbria University Hopsitals NHS Trust and CPFT infant feeding Coordinators.

Penrith Library will be starting a Baby Bounce and Rhyme session each Tuesday between 10.30am-11.30am commencing 25th July and continuing throughout August.