Around 30 mums and babies from across Herefordshire got together at the Courtyard Theatre, to take part in ‘The Big Global Latch On’ to promote breastfeeding, as part of world-wide celebrations.
To mark the occasion, on Friday last week and over the weekend, thousands of mums and their babies across the world gathered in their own communities to take part in the Global Big Latch On – a synchronised breastfeeding event in multiple locations.
Many mums start out breastfeeding their new born babies, but for a number of reasons, including lack of support and possibly feeling awkward breastfeeding in public, decide to stop by the time the baby reaches six to eight weeks old.
Breastmilk helps to boost a baby’s ability to fight illness and infection, lowers a baby’s risk of having asthma or allergies and the mother’s risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Arwen Nixon, infant feeding lead midwife from Wye Valley NHS Trust, said: “This event was a great opportunity to promote the benefits of breastmilk and the increased support available in Herefordshire to help mums make informed decisions about how they feed their baby. We want mum’s to feel confident and comfortable breastfeeding or giving expressed breast milk to their baby at home and when they are out about.
“In addition to the help available from our midwives, we have a team of breastfeeding maternity support workers and health visitors who can visit mums at home.
“This year, we’ve trained a new group of 12 peer support mothers, who have breastfed themselves so can understand how new mothers may be feeling, who run parent and baby sessions every day across Herefordshire, with support from health professionals or other voluntary groups – see details below, and tips and information are available on our Facebook page and breastfeeding app.
“Last year, we launched the Baby Friendly scheme and now 18 local businesses have signed up to show their support by displaying an easily recognisable window sticker to welcome families breastfeeding their baby.
“Not everyone chooses to, or is able, to breastfeed and our midwives and health visitors are available to support all parents with feeding options for their baby. We also encourage all parents to have skin to skin contact with their baby to help the baby, which is highly important to develop a close and loving relationship, and regulate the baby’s heart rate and breathing”.
For tips on breastfeeding follow @HerefordshireBreastfeedinginformation Facebook page or download the Start4Life Alex breastfeeding app by visiting www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding/
Premises interested in joining the scheme should contact Kate Harding, breastfeeding support worker by emailing Kate.firstname.lastname@example.org
Wye Valley NHS Trust is proud to be working towards level 3 of the Unicef UK Baby Friendly Initiative standards, which sets high National standards of care for all mothers and their babies and supports informed feeding choice.
Breastfeeding support groups:
Fred Bulmer Centre, Hereford, 0am to 12pm. 07792 396 407
Widemarsh Children’s Centre, Hereford City, 1pm to 2.30pm. 01432 83430
Ross on Wye Children’s Centre, 10am to 11.30am. 01432 260700
HOPE Centre, Bromyard, 10.30am –12.00pm. 01885 488495