National initiative returned for its 4th year, as new survey confirms the best breastfeeding support comes from fellow breastfeeders
Thousands of mums took part in The Big Breastfeeding Café this week. The nationwide campaign, led by breastfeeding brand Medela, connected families via a network of mini events on 1st May.
Now in its 4th year, the 2019 celebration followed a recent survey that revealed 75% of mums believe that guidance from breastfeeding mothers positively impacted their feeding experience. One breastfeeding mum commented that she was “still breastfeeding thanks to inspiration from a friend made at a breastfeeding support group.”
The same survey, which was conducted by Medela and questioned more than 500 mums, also uncovered that nearly two thirds of mums felt that having access to a breastfeeding-friendly café or support group gave them the confidence to breastfeed in public. With funding cuts causing a decline in local support groups, The Big Breastfeeding Café has never been so important to support and celebrate breastfeeding mums.
Over 200 mini events took place on the 1st May, connecting thousands of mums. From the peaceful Shetland Islands to London, across to Wales and down to Devon, The Big Breastfeeding Café made it to cities, towns and villages across the country.
The event successfully created a community of breastfeeding families on 1st May and certainly engaged with mums virtually across social media. Hundreds of Instagram stories and posts, using the hashtag #thebigbreastfeedingcafe, came in from café hosts, mums attending events and others simply showing their support.
Speaking about the initiative, Sioned Hilton, Medela UK’s in-house Lactation Consultant and Education Manager said:
“I am always on hand to support mums with their specific breastfeeding questions, but for one mum to share her breastfeeding experience with another is invaluable support. I am truly passionate about encouraging a community of mums to support each other and it makes me so happy to see this happening as a result of this initiative.”
She added “If we can inspire just one mum to keep this sort of activity going on a regular basis, we have done a good job. Ensuring that all breastfeeding mums have a reassuring and supportive network is vital.”
As well as mum’s hosting in their own homes and independent coffee shops across the UK getting involved, all 91 Coffee#1 cafes took part. Speaking about the day a spokesperson from the chain said:
“We’re so pleased to have hosted today’s event and we’d like to thank the team at Medela and all the mums who took part. With the support of the local community we hope that local mums can see that there is always a safe, comfortable place to come to and feed their baby, and that they aren’t alone if they have questions or are struggling. We hope today has created some friendships and support networks, which will help both mums and babies to feel happy and confident.”
“What a fantastic way to bring breastfeeding mums together all over the country. Making new friends and sharing our individual breastfeeding journeys was brilliant,” commented Sherie Appleton, a mum host.
About The Big Breastfeeding Café:
The concept was born four years ago when Medela decided to take its popular social media Breastfeeding Cafe on the road. Inspired by a survey completed by 1,4000 parents, it was found that 50% of mums believed the most helpful breastfeeding advice and support they received came from local breastfeeding support groups. Along with and family and friends, these ranked significantly higher than all other channels including midwives and GPs, parenting books and websites.
About Medela Medela have been supporting breastfeeding mothers for over 50 years, and thanks to their extensive research into the science of breastfeeding their breast pumps are trusted and loved by parents, celebrities and healthcare professionals across the globe. Their breast pumps have won countless awards, including a Which? Best Buy, and are found in 94% of UK hospitals.
Medela are dedicated to providing the best possible support to mothers, and their In-House Lactation Consultant Sioned Hilton is always on hand to offer advice and support. The brand run a weekly drop in clinic, and a monthly breastfeeding café via their social media pages to ensure mums can access expert advice wherever they are.