By Kimberly Bond
You may have read about Be Open on Breastfeeding Salford through our About us page. We are in very exciting times at the moment, as we go into our third year as a group, and I expand my social enterprise business. I thought I would write a quick post about what we have been up to since B.O.O.B.S started!
In 2014-15, Visit from the Stork CIC was commissioned by Salford CCG to write a research report into why mums across Greater Manchester, and particularly Salford, were not breastfeeding past the 6-8 week mark after having their baby. We wanted everyone to talk about their story, whether they had breastfed for one day or 6 months, in order to find out what was happening and what the problems were.
This research saw us talk to over 80 mums across Salford and gather together a group of passionate women wanting to help others, and to also share their experiences. After we presented our report to Salford CCG (which you can download here), we recognised that breastfeeding is becoming more and more of a social issue for mums, as in some places breastfeeding is going against the ‘cultural’ norm. For many mums there is a fine line between a health professional being ‘pushy’ about breastfeeding and mums feeling pressured, to someone not caring at all or seemingly giving them a choice.
We created Be Open on Breastfeeding Salford so parents can talk about their experiences, and access important information at their fingertips, when they need it most.
In 2015, we worked with the mums in our group to create a positive awareness campaign through a 2016 Breastfeeding charity calendar. This calendar saw 16 mums have their pictures taken breastfeeding in prominent places in the city of Salford. We were lucky enough to have the help of some wonderful photographers. You can see the full set of pictures in our Gallery.
In 2016, following consultation with mums in Salford, we worked in partnership with the Baby Friendly Initiative team and were supported by the Health Improvement team at Salford City Council to start developing ‘BOOBS Approved’ , in a bid to relaunch their ‘breastfeeding welcome’ scheme.
We currently support breastfeeding women through the BOOBS Facebook page and private members group and by attending events and groups around Salford, whilst raising awareness of our BOOBS Approved campaign.
Our guiding principles are:
- Giving people a voice
- Communicating how it really is
- Initiating social change
- Challenging the status quo
- Ensuring Quality and value
- Be content and story driven
We are currently working on long term (3 year +) plans to keep Be Open on Breastfeeding Salford going and secure us funding to expand our projects and support more local mums in their breastfeeding journey. This website is just one of the ways we aim to expand, and we intend to make this the ‘go to’ place about all things Breastfeeding in Salford.
Our goals for the next three years:
- Creating, promoting and implementing a quality standard across family friendly venues in Greater Manchester to ensure mums are comfortable to engage with each other and are able to breastfeed their baby. Supporting established groups, and holding our own engaging and informative activity groups in independent family friendly venues.
- Bring families together to access wider support services through social events.
- Creating and implementing a Peer support volunteer programme to bring together parents of different generations.
These goals will become clearer (I hope) to mums across Salford through practical solutions and ways to help you enjoy your breastfeeding journey and breastfeed for as long as you can. We’ll be updating you all via social media, this website and blogs from the team as soon as we have any news.
In the meantime, if there is any way we can help at all, or if you have any suggestions of venues to sign up to our current BOOBS Approved campaign, please let us know via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media.