As part of National Breastfeeding Awareness Week (NBAW), the Public Health Agency’s (PHA) Southern Office, hosted a breastfeeding coffee morning at Craigavon Area Hospital, on Tuesday 26 June to celebrate ‘Breastfeeding Peer Support’.
Janet Calvert, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manager and Lead for Breastfeeding with the PHA, said: “Breastfeeding gives a child the best possible start in life and babies have better protection against certain illnesses the longer breastfeeding continues.
“Babies who are breastfed are often less likely to suffer from ear and kidney infections or be admitted to hospital with gastric or chest infections. Children who have been breastfed are also less likely on average to become obese or to develop childhood diabetes. But the benefits don’t stop there as mothers who breastfeed are also statistically at less risk of developing serious illnesses such as breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis.”
Angela McComb, Health and Social Wellbeing Improvement Manger, PHA, Southern Office said: “All mothers need information and support to be able to make informed choices about how they feed their babies; this information should be available during pregnancy and after the baby is born to help them make a decision that suits their individual needs.
“The ‘Breastfeeding Peer Support’ scheme was set up in recognition of the need to provide community-based support after a mother has left hospital with her newborn, as for most women it can take some time before they feel confident with breastfeeding. Mothers and babies need time to practice while they learn about breastfeeding and it can be very helpful to have the support and encouragement of someone who knows about breastfeeding and babies and is trained to answer questions. For new mothers, this support can make a real difference.”
Angela continued: “The event today is an opportunity to recognize the importance of breastfeeding peer support. We believe that this role is invaluable to expectant and new mothers – the peer supporters offer friendly advice and support to breastfeeding mums when they need it most.”
Local Peer Supporter, Royanne Richardson said: “We all have our part to play in helping mothers give their children the best start and it can be very helpful to have the support and encouragement of someone who knows about breastfeeding and babies and is trained to answer questions. For new mothers, this support can make a real difference. ”
Contact the Public Health Agency on 028 90553663