As part of a commitment to support new mothers with infant feeding in the local area, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust is partnering with Hull City Council to promote the Milk Trail.

The Milk Trail will start at St Stephen’s Shopping Centre on Friday 24 May and those joining can use the helpful map to visit more venues on the trail. The Milk Trail was designed to promote over 120 breastfeeding-friendly premises that are available in and around Hull. For some new mothers, breastfeeding in public places can feel intimidating and the Milk Trail aims to encourage and provide support to those that need it.

In Hull, breastfeeding rates are lower than the national average. Latest figures show that at for babies aged 10 days the rate is around 53% of mothers who are breastfeeding, and this reduces further to 43% for babies at age 6 weeks old.

Breastfeeding is proven to be the healthiest form of nutrition for babies in their early weeks, months and beyond. Breastfeeding helps with brain development and supports babies’ immune systems. It can also provide a range of health benefits for the mother too.

The Hull 0-19 Service, provided by Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, work with new mothers to support and encourage breastfeeding. Ellie Talbot-Imber, Infant Feeding Lead at the Trust, said, “Hull Milk trail is a fun and free activity for all families, to come and see some iconic venues in Hull City Centre, whilst finding out some amazing facts about breastfeeding.  This trail is for all, you do not need to have breastfed or be breastfeeding to do the trail.  We want to raise the profile of breastfeeding and show everyone that not only is breastfeeding increasing in Hull, it is both encouraged and very much supported”.

Michele Moran, Chief Executive at Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust said, "As the Trust’s Breastfeeding Guardian and a qualified Health Visitor, I am thrilled to see Hull demonstrating how inclusive and supportive local businesses can be for breastfeeding mothers. Our Health Visitors play a crucial role in supporting new parents and their families from the early days up to age five, with infant feeding being one of the most central aspects of their care".

In preparation for this launch of the Milk Trail, teams have been visiting local schools to educate young people on the benefits of breastfeeding. To support their learning, pupils were asked to draw pictures to represent breastfeeding, and these are featured within the map of the trail.

The Milk Trail is fun to do, free and can be done at anyone’s pace. Those getting involved do not need to have breastfed or be currently breastfeeding to take part – everyone is invited. The map can be picked up from any of the Family Hubs, the Tourist Information stand in Paragon Interchange Station and any of the venues on the Milk Trail.