To celebrate National Breastfeeding Week, which begins on Monday (18 September, 2023), the City of Wolverhampton Council and The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust are holding a free event for families with young children, new mothers, mums to be and their families.

It takes place next Thursday 21 September from 10am to 12noon at St Thomas' Centre, Church Street, Wednesfield WV11 1SS. There is a small free car park at the venue.

There will be breastfeeding support along with a range of 'have a go' activities including a baby sensory taster session, first aid, Indian head massage, STORK baby safety training, mindfulness with Starfish and smoking cessation. Wolverhampton Libraries will be introducing Bookstart, while the NCT will be running a sling and nappy library.

John Denley, Wolverhampton's Director of Public Health, said: "Breastfeeding has long term benefits for mother and baby and so we're keen to encourage it. 

"Research shows that babies who are breastfed are less likely to develop a range of illnesses such as ear infections and upset tummies. It also sets the child on a healthy growth path. And the longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.

"The aim of this event is to give parents the information they need to make a fully informed choice on feeding their baby, and to support and develop their relationship with their new arrival.

“They can also get advice about a range of other issues which will benefit themselves and their child, and have the chance to meet other new parents.” 

Specialist Midwife Amanda Costello added: “The early days with a new baby can be amazing and exciting but can also be challenging – infant feeding support during these times will come from family, friends and health professionals. 

“Supporting infant feeding is everyone’s business – we want to hear families’ experiences and thoughts on what has worked well for them and what we could improve. We look forward to meeting and speaking to families at the event.”

As well as next week's celebration, there are 3 regular breastfeeding support groups in Wolverhampton. They meet on Mondays from 10am to noon at Low Hill Family Hub, Fourth Avenue, on Wednesdays from 10.30am to 12.30pm at The Children’s Village, Graiseley Lane, Wednesfield, and on Fridays from 10am to noon at Whitmore Reans Strengthening Families Hub, Lansdowne Road.

For more help and support, visit Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Friend is a digital tool from Start for Life, offering practical information and advice on breastfeeding available on Amazon Alexa and Facebook Messenger. Start for Life's Breastfeeding Friend Chatbot has lots of useful information and advice and is available at Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend.