20 June 2016 

Breastfeeding mums in Sheffield prepare to strut their stuff on the catwalk to mark National Breastfeeding week (20-26 June).

A fashion show will be taking place during the annual picnic to celebrate National Breast Feeding week. Taking place in the Winter Garden on Wednesday 22 June at 11am, the walkway will showcase mothers modelling their own clothes to demonstrate that feeding and fashion can go hand in hand.

Now in its 17th year, National Breast Feeding week is an opportunity for communities to come together and support breastfeeding mums, encourage expectant parents and raise awareness around the health and wellbeing benefits from breastfeeding. The week long campaign also explores issues that prevent breastfeeding.

The event takes place between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Families can bring a picnic along and make a day of it. There will be information and advice available as well as face painting for the children. Fruit and nibbles will also be provided.

Feedback from new parents in Sheffield revealed that ‘what they wear’ is a barrier faced when trying to breastfeed. Sheffield City Council (Best Start Team) wants to use the fashion show to help break down these barriers and give women the confidence they need.

Breastfeeding mum of one, Amiah Santos said: “I used to be so nervous about breastfeeding in public, I would stay in the house all the time and I got really down. I am taking part in the Fashion Show to help other mums by showing them what I wear to feel confident”.

Breastfeeding can protect babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life. It can also reduce the mother’s risk of some cancers.

Cllr Jackie Drayton, Cabinet Member for Young People and Families said:  “We want to make sure women know that when they decide to breastfeed they can still feel good in what they wear and this Fashion Show can show you how.  It’s important we support and encourage expectant and new mums.

“The event will also remind women that the law is on their side, women have a right to feed their babies where and when they need to.  Breastfeeding is completely natural and there is no reason a woman should be put off making this choice”.

National Breastfeeding Week follows the presentation of prestigious Unicef award earlier this year. Sheffield gained the status for its work in Children’s Centres and is the only place to receive this in Yorkshire and Humber. The award recognises the work promoting breastfeeding which continues to grow successfully across Sheffield’s communities.

In fact, latest statistics show that 80% of new mums in Sheffield initiate breastfeeding.

The infant feeding peers support workers service (formally called breastfeeding peer support workers) have been given the ‘Gold Standard’ from the Unicef Baby Friendly

For up to date information about the event follow https://www.facebook.com/BreastfeedinginSheffield/