Mums are being encouraged to access breastfeeding groups for support across the city as part of Breastfeeding Celebration Week (17 to 23 June)
According to the World Health Organisation breastfeeding reduces child mortality and has health benefits that extend into adulthood. In the UK more than 73% of mothers start breastfeeding[i], however there are some that struggle to breastfeed and they’re being encouraged to access breastfeeding support groups across the city.
Partners are also being urged to help support breastfeeding and they can do this by doing a number of things, this could be creating a safe space, taking the baby back to the cot after feeds, or providing a glass of water when the mum begins her feed.
Dr Jane Mischenko, Lead Commissioner for Children and Maternity at NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “In Leeds we’re lucky we have a number of breastfeeding support groups across the city for mums to attend. Breastfeeding can take a little bit of time to establish as mum and baby develop their confidence.
“The breastfeeding support groups are great for mums to ask questions and develop their confidence. The leaders of the groups have undertaken training, so that they can offer support and signpost if you need specific help. We also have breastfeeding peer support groups, where the supporters are mothers who have breastfed and undertaken a training course. Mums can also choose to see breastfeeding counsellors who offer support, information and practical help, they offer phone support and home visits.
“The partners have a really key role too, in supporting the mum whilst she’s breastfeeding. There are a number of things that they can do, such as making sure the mum has regular drinks and food and by encouraging her as she builds her confidence in the early days and weeks.”
James from Leeds said: “It’s really important that the mum gets all the support they need from their partners. We know that there are a number of benefits to breastfeeding, not only to the baby but to the mum as well. For the baby it provides all the energy and nutrients that they need and for the mum it reduces the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer.”
“I was very supportive when my partner had our first child as the smallest things make a huge difference. Thing like foot massage, holding off visitors for the first couple of weeks so that the mum and baby could have skin to skin, as well as for her to get to know her baby’s cues. My partner didn’t always find breastfeeding easy, so it was really important to give lots of encouragement and reassure her that she was doing a great job.”
Find a local breastfeeding group by visiting the Leeds Bosom Buddies Facebook page; this page promotes all breastfeeding support groups in Leeds https://en-gb.facebook.com/CityandHunsletBosomBuddies/
Notes to editors
In the UK more than 73% of mothers start breastfeeding – this figure has been taken from the NHS website and can be found on the following link https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/benefits-breastfeeding/
Benefits to breastfeeding
Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of:
- Infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- Diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- Sudden infant deaths syndrome (SIDS)
- Childhood leukaemia
- Cardiovascular disease in adulthood
For further information, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/benefits-breastfeeding/