Best breast competition

A cheeky competition running in Wigan is aiming to keep mums abreast of the best way to feed their babies.

Trading Standards is holding a boob-knitting competition, called A Tit-Bit for Knitters, which encourages new mums to create a woolly mammary.

The fun project is all part of Trading Standards' efforts to get the message across that "Breast is Best".

Julie Middlehurst, of Wigan Trading Standards, said: "It's a bit of a joke but there's a serious message behind it. There isn't a huge up-take of breastfeeding nationally and it's the same in Wigan.

"Around 15% of mothers in Wigan who start breastfeeding stop after a few weeks.

"We're hoping to get people talking about the issue. We've had quite a few entries already, which are all different shape, sizes and colours."

The competition is part of the initiative to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding to society and to encourage local businesses to become more breastfeeding friendly.

Businesses deemed breastfeeding friendly will be able to display stickers in their windows to show that breastfeeding mums will be comfortable in their establishments.

Knitted breasts will be used in the community by health visitors to show new mums eager to breastfeed their babies the best technique.

Research has shown breastfed babies are less likely to grow into obese toddlers and are less prone to some childhood infections.

A Wigan Trading Standards newsletter gives knitters patterns to follow so they can knit their own breasts.

Judges will be looking for the most eye-catching, the most realistic and the largest number knitted.

There will be 10, 15 and 25 gift vouchers donated by local businesses and Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust as prizes.

Some of the entries will be on display in the Grand Arcade on Friday, March 20 and on Mothers' Day the following Sunday.

Entries should be submitted to Wigan Council, Community Protection Section, Unity House, Westwood Park Drive, Wigan, WN3 4HE or Wigan Council, Town Hall Reception, Library Street,Wigan, WN1 1YN between 9 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Alternatively, there will also be a stand in the Grand Arcade, near customer services, on Friday March 20 between 11 am and 2 pm. Entries will be accepted up to the closing date of Friday, April 3.