The festival will host a series of events offering support and information to breastfeeding parents and their families across the North. The week-long festival coincides with World Breastfeeding Week and includes talks, workshops and fun activities that families can get involved in, in person and online.
Breastival Coordinator Catherine Muldoon said, “Families who participated said that Breastival was the first place where they felt fully recognized, welcomed and able to interact with other breastfeeding families in a truly positive space. Often families meet other breastfeeding families because they are facing issues and are looking for help, but at Breastival you can be in a positive space with the support that should be in place. We see many people from rural areas breastfeeding for the first time who have never been to a place where breastfeeding has been so well represented.
“Research suggests that eight out of ten mothers stop breastfeeding before they want to and that’s a huge number. It often comes down to a lack of support. It’s not that the support isn’t there, it’s the lack of awareness of where that support is and how to direct people to it. We want to highlight the support available and provide the opportunity for people to learn more about the value of breastfeeding, whether environmental, nutritional, survival or economic. We are open to everyone, not just nursing mothers.
“We are really excited to be able to hold in-person events again at St Columb’s Enclosed Park on August 6. We have exhibitors from the amazing supporting organizations available throughout the region. We are excited to have baby massage, baby yoga and The Singing Mamas come and entertain everyone. We also have the amazing Big Latch On, which is our opportunity to bring everyone together, not just breastfeeding families, but the people who support them to join us and be counted in showing that breastfeeding is really important. We’re doing it across Derry and Belfast and the Mayor of Derry and Strabane Borough, Sandra Duffy, will be at the launch in St Columb’s Park. We are really looking forward to it. We hope to get as many people as we have ever had to normalize breastfeeding and recognize its importance here in the North.
Breastival will take place from August 1-7. More information about the festival can be found at www.breastival.co.uk.