In Blackburn with Darwen we want to encourage as many families as possible to breastfeed their babies.  There are a number of reasons for this:

  • Breastfeeding supports bonding and attachment
  • Breastfeeding is free (compared with the rising costs of formula)
  • Breastmilk adapts for each baby’s unique nutrition and immunity needs
  • Breastfeeding has health benefits for mum and baby
  • Breastfed babies have fewer hospital admissions
  • Breastfeeding requires no preparation (formula carries a pathogen risk if not prepared correctly)
  • Breastfeeding supports climate goals – it requires no commercial processing, transportation or waste disposal issues (formula tins are not currently recyclable.)

We already have a comprehensive offer regarding support with breastfeeding in BwD, including:

  • Breastfeeding support groups Monday – Friday at Family Hubs and Children’s Centres
  • 1-1 support from Level 3 Children’s Centre Staff
  • Specialist lactation support from ELHT Baby Friendly Team for feeding issues
  • Breast pump loan scheme
  • Free, premium access to Anya, a pregnancy and breastfeeding support app

Despite these initiatives, we still find that a significant number of families in our community either choose not to start breastfeeding, or have stopped breastfeeding by the time their baby is 6-8 weeks old. 

We would be interested in funding local groups to creatively address our aims to support new mums to start breastfeeding or continue to breastfeed for longer.

Suggestions include:

  • Local awareness campaigns
  • Targeted support for groups that are least likely to initiate breastfeeding.
  • Work with young people to raise awareness of breastfeeding benefits.
  • Videos/digital media resources
  • Work to support the wider family around breastfeeding.
  • Community attitudinal surveys to breastfeeding.

The project will work with Public Health and the Baby Friendly Team to ensure that any content and messages conform to UNICEF Baby Friendly Standards.  Training and support will be given when appropriate.