AN enterprising group of North-East mothers is following in the footsteps of the Women’s Institute’s Calendar Girls.
Mums from Newcastle have produced a 2008 calendar featuring photographs of themselves breast-feeding in unusual places.
The calendar shows mothers nursing their children in various places and situations from reading the latest Harry Potter novel to holidaying in Scandinavia.
Calendar coordinator Andrea Shemilt, of Benwell, said: “The Calendar Girls did a photo shoot and made it humorous.
“We want this to be fun but we took our own pictures. I wanted to show the freedoms that breast-feeding affords.”
She said the aim was to raise money for newly formed group The Breast-feeding Advocacy and Peer support (BAPS) made up of Newcastle mums and support workers.
“Some of the pictures show mothers feeding in tents, at the hairdresser’s and in church yards, so we’re showing that breast-feeding is not only easy but can be done anywhere.
“You can breast-feed and still have a life.”
Andrea, mum to nine-month-old daughter Ottilie, helped to come up with the idea and called for mums to send in digital pictures of themselves breast-feeding. Local mums whittled down the 30 entries to 12 and Andrea, originally from Toronto, Canada, a medical physicist, made the calendar herself last month and sent it off to be printed.
The 29-year-old, of Canning Street who is married to Jasper, 31, a private tutor, has a personal reason for wanting to encourage mums to persevere with breast-feeding after she encountered difficulties herself with Ottilie.
Thanks to help from peer supporters who have now set up BAPS she was able to persevere and now breast-feeds Ottilie with no problems.
“Making the decision to breast-feed gives babies the best possible start in life,” she said. “It is the ultimate portable baby food.”
The calendars will sell for £5 each with all proceeds raised given to the Breast-feeding Advocacy and Peer Support group.
BAPS is a new volunteer organisation that provides support and advice to both men and women who have questions or require support in connection to breast-feeding.
“Not only does this calendar raise the profile of breast-feeding but it also helps to support local groups,” said Michelle Corkhill, who is Midwife for West Riverside Children’s Centres.
To view images from the calendar visit http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/shemilt/ breastfeeding_Newcastle.html
For more information about BAPS and the calendar contact the West Riverside Sure Start Information Point on (0191) 273-9549.
Rylstone and District WI in Yorkshire started the trend for daring calendars when they stripped off for a charity calendar.
Their story inspired the British film Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters.