Hundreds of parents and toddlers enjoyed a festival celebrating breastfeeding in Chester.
More than 200 families attended the city’s first ever Breastival event at Storyhouse, set up by Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP) and Breastfeeding Friendly Chester in partnership with Bosom Buddy peer supporters.
The festival included talks from NHS doctors and midwives on infant sleeping, feeding habits and the benefits of skin-to-skin contact.
There were also lots of fun activities for the whole family to enjoy, including baby ballet, singing and messy play.
CWP infant feeding coordinator Laura Evans said: “The main aim of today’s event was to normalise breastfeeding and celebrate this wonderful part of parenting.
“Today has also been a fantastic opportunity to bring people together and share our knowledge and advice with families, whether they want answers to minor queries or require further support.”
Breastfeeding is known to reduce the risk of female cancer, heart disease and diabetes, whilst boosting mental health and hormones linked to parent-child bonding and attachment. Benefits for babies include reduced risk of respiratory problems, allergies and infections.
In 2015/16 just over a third of babies in Cheshire West and Chester were either fully or partially breastfed after eight weeks, compared to 43% nationally.
CWP, Breastfeeding Friendly Chester and Storyhouse have already agreed to hold more awareness raising events to improve local breastfeeding uptake.
For more information on future events, as well as other support available, please visit www.cwp.nhs.uk , or follow Breastfeeding Friendly Chester on Twitter and Facebook.