Breastfeeding Southampton mums and their babies are featured in a new photographic exhibit celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (Wednesday 1 to Tuesday 7 August) at five locations throughout the city and online. The aim of the exhibit is to encourage awareness of the importance of breastfeeding children and to support women to feel more comfortable to breastfeed, as part of a move towards Southampton becoming a more baby-friendly city.
The pictures by professional photographer Paul Carter show local mothers breastfeeding with their children, partners and friends at iconic locations across Southampton including Westquay South, the Old Walls, cafes in the Cultural Quarter, the Common, Weston Shore and Woolston Library. The photos will be featured in small exhibits at Hardmoor Early Years Centre, IKEA Southampton, Mettricks Guildhall, Princess Anne Hospital, and Woolston Library.
"Breastfeeding in Southampton: Every Day Counts" is presented by Southampton City Council, in partnership with the National Childbirth Trust, University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust and La Leche League Southampton.
Councillor Sarah Bogle, Breastfeeding Champion, Southampton City Council, said: "This photo exhibit provides a great opportunity for residents and visitors to our city to see how we welcome breastfeeding throughout our city, from local restaurants and shops to our parks, beaches and other public spaces.
"I'd like to encourage everyone to visit one or more of the exhibits along this trail or on our social media pages and view these beautiful photographs of local mums breastfeeding their children while enjoying the lovely city of Southampton and all it has to offer."
Abi Wood, Head of Campaigns and Communications, National Childbirth Trust, said: "All women should be supported however they decide to feed their baby and this exhibition is a brilliant and creative way of encouraging support for breastfeeding mothers."
Polly Smith, La Leche League Leader in Southampton says "We are pleased to partner this exhibition. The more we see mothers and babies breastfeeding out and about, the more normal the sight becomes. This helps mothers feel confident to meet their babies' needs wherever they are."
Several local mums who are subjects in the photo exhibition talk about breastfeeding in this short video.
The Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme runs in the city as part of Southampton City Council’s commitment to support women who want to be able to breastfeed. World Breastfeeding Week provides an opportunity for the 158 businesses that are already signed up to the scheme to show their support of breastfeeding mums, celebrate their participation in the scheme and encourage other businesses to sign up to the scheme. Scheme participants pledge to develop and implement a breastfeeding welcome policy to ensure that the whole organisation and workforce are aware of their responsibilities in enabling a mother to breastfeed wherever and whenever she needs.
Find out more about the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme.
Visit the Southampton Breastfeeding Welcome Facebook page for local information and resources.