Show your support and become a ‘Breast Friend’
Suffolk County Council is encouraging partners, families and friends to consider what they can do to support breastfeeding mothers.
Within Suffolk 38% of mothers stop breastfeeding between birth and their 6-8-week check. Whilst not all mothers are able to breastfeed for different reasons this loss could be reduced by providing stronger support for those of need.
The benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother are well documented, but many women can feel isolated or uncertain if problems arise.
The first point of contact should always be their midwife, health visitor or even GP to discuss any concerns and further support is available by contacting the National Breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212, or via Public Health England’s online interactive “breastfeeding friend chatbot” on https://www.nhs.uk/start4life.
Suffolk’s vision is to become a breastfeeding friendly county where mothers can feed their babies in public without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome, and local businesses are being urged to support mums by placing ‘Breastfeeding Welcome’ signs in windows and doors. For more information, visit www.healthysuffolk.org.uk
Councillor Tony Goldson, Cabinet Member for Health, said:
“If you can support a breastfeeding mum, you are doing something amazing. Becoming a parent can bring all sorts of new challenges; some mums feel a bit lonely and isolated sometimes, so we should all do our bit to make her life easier. From making drinks to popping out to do the shopping, there are hundreds of ways that you can help.
“Show your support by signing up to become a ‘Breast Friend’. Visit www.healthysuffolk.org.uk to download your virtual badge and share it with pride with all your friends and contacts on social media. Let’s do all we can to support mums to breastfeed.”
Celine Bailey, a first time mum from Lowestoft, explains how support from family helped her to continue breastfeeding:
“My little boy was born jaundiced and had an infection, so we ended up in hospital for a few days.
“By the time we got home and he was OK to breastfeed, he had difficulty latching on and we had eight weeks of crying. Then he got thrush, which he passed on to me, and we got into a vicious cycle of infecting each other. I’ll be honest, there were a few evenings when it was so painful and stressful I questioned whether to carry on, but I’m so glad I did.
“I had really good support from my mum and my husband, and I managed to carry on feeding until my little boy was 22 months old.
“I know I’ve given him a really good start health-wise, and it’s done me a lot of good too.”
Residents can read Celine’s full story and more, by downloading the ‘Bloomin’ honest guide to breastfeeding’ from www.healthysuffolk.org.uk. The website also features top tips for partners, family and friends, interviews with mums giving honest accounts of their breastfeeding experiences and a range of information about the support available.