‘Public support is key during World Breastfeeding Week’ – PHA

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
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Next week is World Breastfeeding Week 2016 (1st – 7th August) and the Public Health Agency (PHA) is encouraging everyone to show support for mums who breastfeed in public. janetThe theme for the week, which is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, is “A Key to Sustainable Development” – highlighting how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about valuing wellbeing from the very start of life, respecting each other, caring for the world we share and making best use of our resources. Janet Calvert, Regional Breastfeeding Lead for the PHA, said, “From the moment a mother starts to breastfeed, both baby and mum will begin to feel the benefits to their health and wellbeing. “Research shows that breastfed babies statistically tend to be healthier than bottle-fed babies and have a generally lower risk of ear, chest, stomach, kidney and urinary infections. They also have a lower risk overall of allergies, type 2 diabetes, obesity, childhood cancers and sudden infant death (cot death). “Mums who breastfeed are at a statistically lower risk of developing breast and ovarian cancers and osteoporosis,” she added. Despite having made real progress over the years and an increased awareness of the importance of breastfeeding, Northern Ireland still has the lowest breastfeeding rates in UK and one of the lowest in Europe. Approximately 64% of mothers here start breastfeeding, compared with 83% in England, 74% in Scotland and 71% in Wales. That figure falls to 33% of mothers breastfeeding at six weeks and 16% at six months.
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Annie newry times box adJanet continued, “For many mums we know getting started isn’t easy and that’s why support is crucial. Support is essential both at the beginning and in sustaining breastfeeding. Creating that supportive environment is something that we all play an active part in building, including making mums feel more comfortable about feeding in public as we know this is something that many mums are apprehensive about. She added, “A mum breastfeeding is normal, no matter where it happens, and this is something that World Breastfeeding Week is highlighting through its focus on respect for each other.” To help show community support for breastfeeding mums, the PHA created the Breastfeeding Welcome Here scheme. Over 400 businesses, council facilities and popular tourist attractions have signed up to the initiative to show their support for breastfeeding mums.

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