[S]pecialist NHS Infant Feeding Coordinators are helping mums give their babies the very best possible start in life as they celebrate National Breastfeeding Week which is taking place between 25th – 29th June.
Fiona Sim and Diane Clark, two of Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust’s Infant Feeding Coordinators and Lactation Consultants, are supporting the celebration week and will be going along to a number of events to raise awareness of breastfeeding and advice. In partnership with the local children’s centres and voluntary peer support groups Fiona and Diane will be attending the following events to promote breastfeeding:
- “The Big Latch On” event in partnership with Barnardo’s is taking place on Monday 25th June between 10-11:30am at The Lanes Shopping Centre, Carlisle.
- A breastfeeding awareness event is taking place at Penrith Library on Tuesday 26th June, 1-3pm. The library is also holding two Baby Bounce and Rhyme sessions on the same day at 10am and 11am. The session involves children and their parents singing with actions to familiar songs and nursery rhymes.
- On Saturday 7th July between 10am – 2pm Unison and the NHS in Cumbria are holding an event to celebrate the 70th birthday of the NHS. Both Fiona and Diane are also coming along to the event to raise awareness of breastfeeding and offer any support or advice that parents need.
Fiona Sim, Infant Feeding Coordinator at Cumbria Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, said: “National Breastfeeding Week is a great opportunity to raise the awareness of breastfeeding. It is an opportunity for parents, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals to come together to share what works well to support breastfeeding in our local communities.
“We are working really hard to increase the breastfeeding rates in Cumbria, particularly as the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Breastfeeding has a wealth of benefits for both the mother and her baby, such as reducing the risk of serious illnesses including, chest infections, gastroenteritis, allergies, diabetes, sudden infant death syndrome, childhood cancers as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and hip fractures in mothers.
“Breastfeeding is not only the responsibility of the mother, but also her partner, family and the community, as well as those who support her, such as ourselves. Whatever feeding choice a mother makes we are on hand to offer any support needed and welcome anyone to come along to one of the events to have a chat with us.”
Additionally, North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will have staff from the Midwifery Team attending the NHS celebration event in Carlisle City on Saturday 7th July. The team will have a “feeding time” stall with focus on infant feeding practices in 1948 when the first baby was born in the NHS, compared with babies that are born now. It will look at how feeding practices and baby care have changed and the work the Trust is doing as part of UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Initiative including providing advice on; breastfeeding and relationship building, responsive feeding, and also advice for mothers who make an informed decision to formula feed.
North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust will also be hosting a display in the main atrium of The Cumberland Infirmary during the week, with staff on hand to talk about breastfeeding.
Helen Ferris, Infant Feeding Coordinator at North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust added: “Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life, but it can be difficult without proper support. Our midwives are there to help and support new mothers with breastfeeding and ensure mother and baby are happy and healthy.
“I look forward to the week’s celebrations; it’s an opportunity to highlight not only the great support available, but the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and baby.”