Public Health news: Breastfeeding Support
Breastfeeding can be a challenge but there's lots of help and support available to help you succeed.
World Breastfeeding Awareness week took place at the beginning of August and focused on promoting and supporting breastfeeding for all new mams.
There are lots of benefits of breastfeeding - for mam and baby.
- Breast milk is tailor made for babies to give them exactly the nutrition they need
- Breast milk protects babies from infections and diseases such as ear infections, tummy upsets and even obesity
- Breastfeeding provides health benefits for mams, including reducing the risks of some cancers, reducing the likelihood of osteoporosis and reducing the risk of obesity
- Breast milk is available for babies whenever they need it - and it's free!
- Breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between mam and baby
Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for baby, lasting right into adulthood. Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect but the longer a baby is breastfed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
In South Tyneside all women are offered breastfeeding advice and support from their Midwife while pregnant, and then from their Health Visitor and/or Children Centre staff when the baby is born.
There are breastfeeding support groups at:
- Hebburn Early Excellence Centre every Wednesday,
- Bede Children's Centre every Thursday &
- All Saints Children's Centre every Friday
These groups provide valuable help and support for breastfeeding mums. One mam said "Thank you for believing in me when I didn't believe in myself and giving me back my confidence. I wouldn't have made it to my six month goal without the support of this group. Thank you for putting up with all my worries and reassuring me time after time".
Another mam added "After 6 months of breastfeeding never in a million years did I think I would get this far, it has been hard but I couldn't have done it without the support of the group"
During Breastfeeding Awareness Week, breastfeeding mams were invited to celebrate their breastfeeding journey with a 'Breastival' to mark World breast feeding week. 24 mams along with their babies participated in sensory messy play, a wellbeing workshop with gentle stretching and exercises and an interactive music session led by Hartbeeps. A fun time was had by all and the sun was shining. The event ended with fruit kebabs, cake and a goody bag for the mams and a book for the baby/children.
On Friday 5th August we celebrated with a breastfeeding brunch at All Saints Children's Centre that 12 mum's and babies came along and enjoyed a light brunch with quiz and activities.
For more information about breastfeeding support and other services offered by our children's centres visit South Tyneside Children's Centres