Living Well: Breastfeeding campaign

Breastfeeding campaign banner

Over 500 local community pharmacies across Northern Ireland are supporting a campaign that aims to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding for health and encourage support to help normalise breastfeeding. The campaign is part of the ‘Living Well’ service and will run throughout July and August.

Living Well is a community-based pharmacy service delivered by the Public Health Agency, Department of Health and Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland. The service supports you in improving your health and wellbeing by:

  • raising awareness of various public health messages and campaigns;
  • sharing of health and wellbeing information;
  • signposting to a relevant health professional, service or support in the community;
  • and using behavioural interventions, if appropriate.

Through the Living well service, pharmacies help you to address risk factors that contribute to disease in Northern Ireland.

Breastfeeding is a fundamental public health issue because it promotes health, prevents disease and helps contribute to reducing health inequalities. It provides the foundation for a healthy start in life and helps prevent disease in the short and long term for both babies and their mothers.

Breastfeeding helps protect children from a range of illnesses, including ear and chest infections, gastroenteritis, diabetes, asthma and childhood obesity, as well as reducing the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (cot death). Breastfeeding supports healthy brain development, and is associated with higher performance in intelligence tests among children and adolescents across all income levels.

Breastfeeding is not just good for babies – it is good for mothers as well. Breastfeeding has been shown to protect against ovarian and breast cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

Breastfeeding mothers need a lot of support and everyone has a part to play in supporting new mothers to breastfeed. A partner’s support is vital, and it’s important to have support from family members and friends. Community support is also important; it helps mothers feel comfortable feeding their babies outside the home environment.

For more information on the benefits of breastfeeding and to find out how you can support breastfeeding mothers, pick up a leaflet in your local Living Well community pharmacy or download it here:

Breastfeeding mothers need support leaflet

For further information and advice, call into your local community pharmacy and speak to a member of the pharmacy team or visit www.breastfedbabies.org