A Salford charity is working to support breastfeeding mothers and combat negative options on the practice.

Breastfeeding is a legal and human right, however women in Salford feel they need a safer space to go to do this and charities like BOOBS are here to support these women.

Be Open On Breastfeeding Salford (BOOBS) is part of Visit from the Stork CIC, a social enterprise for parents and parents-to-be across Salford and Greater Manchester. They are a community group who’s aim is to empower women to be more open about breastfeeding experiences and inspire others to breastfeed for longer.

BOOBS supports around 100 mums a month with face-to-face and online peer support and community events to raise awareness on the need to have more safe spaces for mums across the city of Salford.

Zoe Rushton, project manager at BOOBS said: “Every mum should have the chance to have a happy, safe and comfortable breastfeeding journey.

“We want to get small businesses signed up to be ‘Boobs approved’ where they sign up to support mums breastfeeding. This can be café’s, play centres, restaurants. In a survey of our mums, they would prefer to choose a café which is ‘Boobs approved’ rather than a regular one. Because it is extra confidence for them that no one is going to challenge them or say anything to you.”

The UK has almost the worst breastfeeding rate in the world, according to the UK health agency, Eight out of ten women in the UK stop breastfeeding before they want to. This is despite the well documented benefits of breastfeeding and a national ambition to increase breastfeeding rates.

Breast milk is the ideal food for new-borns and infants, supplying all the nutrients they need for healthy development. It contains antibodies that help protect infants from common childhood illnesses. It is the best thing for the child and the mother’s health both physically and mentally.

This month, BOOBS is tackling unsolicited advice and comments.

Zoe continued: “The comments that women can get in public when breastfeeding are ridiculous and appalling, and although legally you can breastfeed anywhere there is still a stigma around it.

“It is really disappointing that in 2022 we still have these comments being made to mums that are doing absolutely nothing wrong.”

Lots of the women who come to the support groups have been referred by midwifes and health visitors, as sometimes the correct help or knowledge isn’t available from the hospitals or social services due to the known resource shortages.

“Getting referrals is great. It can be heart-breaking but it’s great that we are there to pick up the slack.” said Zoe.

BOOBS are running a Christmas café on Friday 9th December at Clifton Community Centre from 10am. This can be a friendly and safe environment for mothers to meet other breastfeeding mums and learn more on the topic.

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