The North West BAPS (Breastfeeding and Perinatal Support) Project evolved from conversations between parents about why breastfeeding rates in Derry City and Strabane District Council (and surrounding areas) are the lowest in the world.

Many people are aware that breastfeeding is good for babies and mothers, including supporting optimal health. However not many people know that breastfeeding is also really good for the planet, as it has a very low carbon and water footprint, and is the ultimate zero waste food for babies.

Research indicates that 8 out of 10 mothers will stop breastfeeding before they want to. The North West BAPS are keen to raise visibility and support for breastfeeding locally, so that anyone who wants to breastfeed can obtain support if they need it.

To date the North West BAPS have established a signposting service on social media which provides a weekly update of local, online and telephone support for breastfeeding and perinatal support. They have also set up the North West BAPS Walking Group which meets every Monday at 10am, and this group was officially launched by the Mayor on 3 July 2023. The North West BAPS also host a social drop in for parents and practitioners on Friday mornings at the Zero Waste North West HUB.

The project has recently established the North West BAPS Network which consists of local groups including the statutory, community and voluntary organisations who provide breastfeeding and perinatal support as well as parents and advocates of breastfeeding. This Network is supported by the Council and will meet up to 3 times a year to progress ideas and encourage collaborations.

A number of events have been organised by the North West BAPS including World Breastfeeding in Public Day (22 Feb 2023) and the Big Latch On which took place in the Guildhall (15 April 2023). The North West BAPS are currently getting ready for World Breastfeeding Week by hosting a family friendly event in St. Columb’s Park Walled Garden on Sat 5 August 2023.


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