Public urged to show support for breastfeeding mothers
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2009
Partners, families and friends are being encouraged to consider what they can do to become a 'Breast Friend' to mothers.
Suffolk County Council's (SCC) vision is for the county to become breastfeeding friendly, so that mothers can feed their babies in public without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome.
Within Suffolk, 38% of mothers stop breastfeeding between birth and their six to eight-week check. While not all mothers are able to breastfeed, it is thought the number could be reduced by providing stronger support.
Businesses are now being urged to support mums by placing 'Breastfeeding Welcome' signs in windows and doors.
Celine Bailey, a first-time mum from Lowestoft, explained how family support helped her to persist with breastfeeding.
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'My little boy was born jaundiced and had an infection, so we ended up in hospital for a few days,' she said. 'By the time he was okay to breastfeed, he had difficulty latching on and was crying for eight weeks.
'Then he got thrush, which he passed on to me, and we got into a vicious cycle of infecting each other. There were a few evenings when it was so painful and stressful I questioned whether to carry on, but I'm so glad I did.
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'I had really good support from my mum and husband, and I managed to carry on feeding until my little boy was 22-months-old. I've given him a really good start health-wise and it's done me a lot of good too.'
Health advice dictates that uncertain mothers should consult their midwife, health visitor or GP as a first point of contact.
Further support is available via the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 or from Public Health England's online chatbot.
Tony Goldson, cabinet member for health, said: 'If you can support a breastfeeding mum, you are doing something amazing. Becoming a parent can bring all sorts of challenges and some mums feel lonely and isolated.
'There are hundreds of ways to help and we should do our bit to make their lives easier.'
To find out more visit the Healthy Suffolk website, which features tips for family and friends, support information and real-life accounts of breastfeeding experiences.
You can also sign up on the site to become a 'Breast Friend' and share your virtual badge on social media.