BREAST is best - that was the message as dozens of mums gathered for a breastfeeding picnic in Sheffield’s Winter Gardens.
Babies who are breastfed - even if only for the first few weeks of their lives - are often healthier, research has shown.
And to mark Breastfeeding Awareness Week doctors and councillors in Sheffield are trying to encourage mothers to openly breastfeed to help make it more socially acceptable.
Sheffield’s Director of Public Health Dr Jeremy Wight said: “Breastfeeding brings a lot of benefits to infants, including reduced risk of infant death, childhood obesity and immediate protection from infections and diseases. It also protects against certain cancers in both mother and child.
“Often women tell us they don’t leave the house because they don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public.
“Unfortunately this may shorten the length of time that women breastfeed.
“We want to change this by encouraging venues in Sheffield to be breastfeeding friendly.
“This would mean not only would they go out of their way to welcome new mothers, but also create a culture change where breastfeeding is seen as the normal way to feed a baby.
“I am very pleased to say we have 300 venues signed up already.”
Coun Jackie Drayton, the council’s cabinet member for children, young people and families, added: “I breastfed all my children and I would encourage all women to do the same, if they can.
“It’s simple and easy. And not only is it good for the baby but it is also good for you - and even better it helps you to lose weight!”