Monday, 27 June 2011

Breastfeeding Flashmob Leeds - challenging low breastfeeding rates in the UK

Well last week was Breastfeeding Awareness Week and seeing as the Government had deemed fit to cut the funding for any organised events, I decided to organise one of my own, after seeing an event that was being organised in London – a breastfeeding flashmob. What an excellent idea!

I set up a group on facebook, sorted out a press release and tweeted like mad. After the first couple of days we only had a few members and I didn’t think it would happen but over the weekend and the following few days an amazing 200+ women joined the group and so things were looking good. Media were informed, as were local newspapers. I wasn’t sure who would cover the story and when I didn’t hear anything back I had my doubts anyone would.

The day of the flashmob arrived and I “reminded” all the media and sent them my contact details. Luckily, Leeds Television & a lovely lady from BBC contacted me. Unfortunately though, I didn’t realise they needed permission to film in the venue – Leeds Station, which had been kept a secret and so couldn’t actually film anything but Yorkshire Evening Post were there and I heard we made page 2 of today’s edition.

I arrived at the station and there were a few other mums so because we were early decided to go for a quick drink. Went to the main meeting place in the station to be greeted by about 60 mums and a reporter from RealRadio. I could have cried. All these ladies were here to support something I feel so passionate about.

At 2pm we all sat down and had a lovely breastfeed, much to the amazement of the public. We didn’t get on negative comment or stare and that was lovely or maybe they just didn’t dare. We wanted to get across the message that breastfeeding in public is fine and mums shouldn’t feel self conscious or embarrassed to feed their children. We certainly weren’t there to have a dig at bottle-feeding mums. It was breast v society not breast v bottle and I hope this is what we achieved.

These are a couple pictures my daughter took on the day but there are more on Real Radio Yorks facebook page.

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