Two Sheffield mums have launched a campaign designed to promote breastfeeding as a normal part of everyday life.
#normalisenormal aims to support new mums who want to breastfeed by showing them that feeding in public is nothing to be embarrassed about. Using posters and brightly coloured wristbands, the campaign celebrates breastfeeding as a natural part of parenting.
Official figures show that the UK is still lagging behind other countries when it comes to infant feeding. Statistics from Public Health England for 2016-17 show that around 80 per cent of women start breastfeeding, but that this figure plummets to 44.4 per cent by the time their baby reaches six to eight weeks.
This figure is much lower than countries like Norway where the breastfeeding rate at six to eight weeks is 71 per cent. Experts believe public health cuts, social stigma and a lack of family support could be to blame for many British mums deciding to switch to formula feeding.
Sarah Blunkett and Emma Mainwaring, from Chapeltown, want #normalisenormal to show new mums that they don’t need to feel awkward and self-conscious about breastfeeding in public. They are also keen to encourage the general public to see breastfeeding as just an ordinary part of the world around them. As part of this campaign, Sarah and Emma have released a series of posters and social media posts which have been shared in a bid to make breastfeeding more visible.
“We hope that displaying positive images of breastfeeding will show the community that there is nothing to feel awkward about, instead it is something to be celebrated,” said Sarah, a mum-of-three, and the founder of the breastfeeding clothing brand, Stylish Mum.
“Breastfeeding can seem overwhelming in the early days of being a mum and we know many women find it even more daunting to do it in public or around their family and friends. No one should feel like they have to hide away to feed their baby.
“The idea behind the #normalisenormal wristbands is for people to show they are supportive of breastfeeding. Mums have been breastfeeding their babies for thousands of years so it is time for us to stand up for new parents and tell the world it is nothing to be embarrassed about.”
The #normalisenormal wristbands are available for £3.50 each from www.stylishmum.co.uk and are being sold to raise awareness and funds for the initiative.
Call Sarah on 0333 0502058 if you would like more details, or would like to get involved in the campaign.