The posters that celebrate cool, multi-tasking breasts

Art students' work aims to challenge Britain's 'bottle-feeding culture'

Breastfeeding is cool as well as healthy, according to the message behind an exhibition that opens in London this week.

"Get Britain Breastfeeding" – a collection of adverts designed by students at Central St Martins School of Art and Design – is the result of a competition run by the charity Best Beginnings, which aims to improve the country's dismal breastfeeding record.

The winning poster, designed by Sophie Barker and Kayleigh Brooks, shows four pictures of a topless woman and carries slogans including "Tailor-made for him and tailor-made for you" and "Bond with your baby and bond with your man". Visitors to hospitals and health centres across Britain will see the arresting image shown on this page as it is rolled out this summer.

"The key thing about these pictures is that they acknowledge that although breasts are sexual, they have another purpose besides," said Alison Baum, founder of Best Beginnings. "What these images are saying is, breastfeeding can be good for your relationship with your partner as well as your relationship with your child."

Ms Baum said she set up her charity to tackle inequalities around maternal and child health, and quickly realised that improving breastfeeding rates was the way forward. "It's the single most important thing that can make a difference," she said.

The government and World Health Organisation recommend breastfeeding exclusively to six months, but only 35 per cent of UK babies are fully breastfed at one week, and 21 per cent at six weeks. Less than 2 per cent of babies are exclusively breastfed at six months.

The younger the mums were, the less likely they were to breastfeed, said Baum. "We wanted to reach young people with this competition – boys as well as girls, because they're the dads of tomorrow and their support matters hugely. The students who took part represented our target group."

More than 100 images are being shown in the exhibition, which runs from this Friday to 11 May at the Dray Walk Gallery in east London.

Best Beginnings is also working with the Department of Health to distribute a DVD about breastfeeding that will be given to all mothers-to-be at their mid-pregnancy scan (it can be seen on YouTube).

"What we're interested in doing is changing the bottle-feeding culture we live in," said Ms Baum, "and that means challenging it across a number of fronts. I really believe things are going to change in breastfeeding."

Below, one of the films the students saw before they created their artwork

Further browsing: for more details on the campaign go to getbritainbreastfeeding.org.uk

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Author / Multimedia Writer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...

    Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

    £40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

    £35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

    Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent