A SERIES of activities to celebrate breastfeeding are taking place in Liverpool this week and started today (20 June) with mums marching from St George’s Hall to Chavasse Park with banners and posters promoting breastfeeding. During National Breastfeeding Celebration Week from 20 – 26 June, a number of events have been organised by Liverpool Community Bambis, who offer breastfeeding support to mums. Other highlights include: Tuesday 21 June – a breast feeding picnic is taking place at Score Lane Park in Childwall from 1-3pm. Call 0151 233 5733 to book a place. Wednesday 22 June – a teddy bears picnic is being held at Walton Children’s Centre from 1:30pm – 3pm. Call 0151 233 6620 to book a place. Thursday 23 June – a vintage afternoon tea party is happening at Tuebrook Children’s Centre from 12:30pm – 2pm. Call 0151 233 3830 to book a place. Friday 24 June – Liverpool Community Bambis will be in the foyer at Liverpool Women’s Hospital during the day offering advice and support. Although breastfeeding is on the increase in Liverpool, the city still lags behind the national average with only around half of new mums feeding naturally compared to almost three quarters across the country, and this drops to 35 percent at six to eight weeks compared to 44 percent across the rest of the country. Cabinet member for children’s services, Councillor Barry Kushner, said: “Experts are united in the view that breast feeding even for a short period of time gives children the very best start in life. “We recognise that it can be difficult for new mums, which is why the work of Liverpool Community Bambis in offering support and advice is absolutely invaluable. “These events are a fun way of spreading the word about the benefits of breastfeeding and informing women about the advantages for the health of both baby and mother. “We want mums to know that there is lots of health and support out there for them if they need it.” Sandra Davies, Liverpool’s Director of Public Health said: “Breastmilk really does give babies the best start, as it is all that’s needed for the first six months of life. “It protects babies from infections and diseases and has many benefits for both children and mothers.” A Breastfeeding Welcome scheme, with more than 200 places that will accommodate and welcome families in Liverpool, has been established. A list of venues, and more information about the importance of breast feeding, is available at http://www.amazingbreastmilk.nhs.uk/how-to-breastfeed/feeding-out-about/breastfeeding-friendly-locations/liverpool/ Mums are being urged to support the week of events by sharing pictures and thoughts on social media such as Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #celebratingbreastfeeding. Liverpool Community Bambis can be found on Facebook and are on Twitter @bambisliverpool. During Breast Feeding Awareness week the Bambis team at Liverpool Women’s Hospital will be sharing interesting facts and information on social media at www.facebook.com/liverpoolwomens and @liverpoolwomens on Twitter.