Campaign celebrates benefits of breastfeeding

North Yorkshire County Council is joining with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to support new mums who are breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week.

North Yorkshire County Council logo

The week runs from Wednesday 1 August to Tuesday 7 August.

Research shows that breastfeeding gives babies a great start and has a positive impact on their health. Breast milk provides babies with key nutrients that are not available in infant formula and reduces the chance of developing infections and eczema. There are benefits for mothers too - breastfeeding can lower the risk of developing post-natal depression, type 2 diabetes, and breast and ovarian cancers.

“Breastfeeding helps strengthen the bond between a mother and her baby,” said County Councillor Caroline Dickinson, Executive Member for Public Health, Prevention and Supported Housing. “But challenges and setbacks in the early days and weeks can mean that some mothers choose not to breastfeed or stop before they want to.

“When mums are breastfeeding their partners have told us they want to help but don’t know what to do. We know that support and encouragement while breastfeeding can make a great difference to Mums. This is why health professionals are highlighting things that partners can do.

The top tips for partners, in the early days and weeks of breastfeeding, include:

  • Offering reassurance and praise to boost a mum’s confidence, this is something that is needed learning to breastfeed;
  • Listening to how your partner is feeling and give encouragement, especially if she is finding things overwhelming or challenging;
  • Being involved in caring for the baby, such as bathing, winding and nappy changing;
  • Taking a greater share of the household chores;
  • Making sure that your partner has everything she needs, especially food and drinks;
  • Looking after yourself and get support from family, friends or your health professional if you and your partner need extra help.

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week is part of the work the County Council and its partners are doing to support breastfeeding in North Yorkshire. Events and displays are taking place across the county and social media will be used to share positive messages about breastfeeding and the local support that is available to families.

NYCC Children’s Centres and Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust’s Growing Healthy North Yorkshire Service have recently achieved Stage 2 UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation, the recognised standard for the promotion and support of breastfeeding, which is achieved when a service demonstrates that all staff have been trained to care for mothers and families effectively. The Trust delivers the County Council’s 0-5 Healthy Child Service ‘Growing Healthy North Yorkshire’, which aims to help every child in the county have the best possible start in life.

New parents or parents-to-be can find out more about breastfeeding by talking to their midwife or health visitor or by accessing the Start4Life website at www.nhs.uk/start4life

This story was published 24 July 2018