Words by Smiley Team
To overcome barriers to public breastfeeding, the Rotherham 0-19 Infant Feeding Team is launching a creative initiative across the South Yorkshire town of Rotherham.
This summer, Rotherham Backs Breastfeeding will kick off to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and to make feeding in public easier for new parents.
Led by The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, it will use work from local artists to confront the stigma around public breastfeeding.
“We want our campaign to be eye-catching, memorable and special,” Vicky Wilkinson, a Community Infant Feeding Co-ordinator who is running the campaign.
“There are many talented artists, crafters and creators in Rotherham that we would love to involve in the campaign. We are asking for a variety of art and craft donations, a unique piece of art or craft for inclusion in an exhibition to run in conjunction with the campaign,” she added.
The campaign came about after local parents were photographed feeding their babies in a number of iconic spots around the town. The photos will go on posters and bus adverts to promote the campaign. Additionally, hand-knitted, crocheted and sewn items donated to the initiative will get distributed during the campaign.
Behind the campaign is an understanding that anxiety around feeding in public often prevents new parents from breastfeeding, with knock-on effects on their babies.
“For breastfeeding to be successful it is necessary for babies to feed regularly to maintain an adequate milk supply and to prevent discomfort for the person breastfeeding,” she elaborated.
To overcome this, the campaign aims to help them feel comfortable feeding their babies in public spaces.
Vicky explained: “We want to create a culture of encouragement and support for breastfeeding across Rotherham so that everyone feels comfortable to feed their babies wherever they are.”
The campaigners are asking for local artists to submit small and medium-size artwork that celebrates babies being breastfed or expresses important messages in favour of public breastfeeding.
SUPPORT: To send artworks to the campaign, find out more about Rotherham Backs Breastfeeding.
DONATE: Help Rotherham Hospital care for patients, their families and carers. Donate to Rotherham Hospital and Community Charity.