Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
Amy Hardcastle, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, UK
The Breastfeeding Festival, now in its seventh year will be taking place at the Mayo Building, Salford Royal Hospital, Greater Manchester, UK on June 25 and 26, 2016.
The Breastfeeding Festival is all about celebrating and promoting breastfeeding. It aims to increase breastfeeding rates and duration and to inform and empower mothers.
The annual event began in Ulverston, Cumbria, and was started by just three mothers.
The event operates within the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes (the WHO Code) and is completely funded through ticket sales and local support.
Speakers and topics this year include:
- Professor Helen Ball, Parent-Infant Sleep Lab, Department of Anthropology, Durham University, UK, on Sleep Development. (Read Infant Sleep and a new feature coming shortly, “Bedsharing Babies”.)
- Dr. Wendy Jones, BSc, MSc, PhD, MRPharmS, on Drugs in Breast Milk.
- Pamela Morrison, IBCLC, on Breastfeeding and HIV and also on Faltering Growth in Breastfed Infants. (Read Breastfeeding for HIV-Positive Mothers and How Often Does Breastfeeding Really Fail?)
- Mark Harris RM on Dads and Breastfeeding.
- Chrissy Chittenden on Lactation as a Feminist Issue.
- Dr. Felicity Savage from WABA on Global Breastfeeding Action.
- Dr. Amy Brown on Who Decides How We Feed Our Children.
- Maureen Minchin, author of Milk Matters.
The festival is a family friendly experience, with a range of stalls and activities to entertain all ages alongside the talks in the main lecture theater. Soft play anyone?
My day at the Breastfeeding Festival last year
Upon my arrival at the venue, after being greeted by the enthusiastic volunteer mums who organized and ran the event, I had a wander round. I snuck past the rock and rest room, where children were napping, and peaked into the lecture space where the talks would soon be taking place.
I wanted to go to the festival primarily to hear guest speaker Dr. Wendy Jones, as I desperately wanted some information regarding medication and breastfeeding my three-month-old before my scheduled surgery.
I had a wonderful time and the festival far exceeded my expectations. Well organized, with fascinating talks that rolled nicely into one another, but which allowed for breaks to stroll about to visit the many stalls that sold a variety of goods, including children’s clothing, nursing necklaces, and handmade toiletries. There was a lovely activity room with soft play for anyone who had brought their little ones with them.
I left feeling wonderfully informed and empowered to continue on my breastfeeding journey. It was really good to be surrounded by like-minded mothers with their babies.
I’d highly recommend you attend this year if you are in the UK.
You could also follow the Twitter feed via @BFFestManc.