Campaign aims to boost breastfeeding rates

St Helens Council’s Healthy Living team is supporting a new national
campaign aimed at improving breastfeeding rates.

Start4Life – organised by Public Health England – launches on Monday 2nd November and will encourage more new mothers to breastfeed – and for longer. The campaign will be highlighted through digital display
advertising, PR and social media. www.nhs.uk/start4life

A mother’s milk gives babies all the nutrients they need for around the
first six months of life – but is important beyond six months too. It also
helps to protect babies from infections and other diseases, and helps mums avoid some illnesses later in life.

St Helens Council’s Director of Public Health Liz Gaulton said: “More and
more women in St Helens are choosing to breastfeed their babies. Mothers tell us that that encouragement and support from partners and grandparents is really important as both mum and baby learn the art of breastfeeding, particularly in the exhausting first few weeks after the baby is born.

“Breastfeeding really is best for both mother and baby. Mother’s milk
contains natural antibodies that help protect babies from illnesses, such
as diarrhoea and chest and ear infections. It also contributes to a
lifetime of good health – making children less likely to be overweight or
obese or have type-2 diabetes. But best of all – it’s readily available and
completely free!”

Healthy Living have an Infant feeding Support Service – a friendly,
knowledgeable team who will support you either over the telephone or come to your home.

For most mums the decision to breastfeed was an easy one. Rebecca Wong from St Helens said: “Breastfeeding my baby has always been hugely important to me, not just because of all the fantastic benefits to us both but also to know that as a mum I’m doing the best that I can for my baby.

“The infant feeding team have been a constant source of support, help and
advice but most importantly they are women who ‘get it’. They get what it
takes for a mum to be successful at breastfeeding, whether it’s much needed advice or just an ear to talk to when you need to be listened to.”

Rebecca joined the Breastfeeding Volunteer Support Team when she had her second baby. She added: “Knowing what a wonderful experience breastfeeding is, I wanted to help other mums have that same experience and provide their babies with the many benefits that come with it.”

Please see details of groups below if you would like to attend or if you are interested in volunteering, please contact Mel Pilling from the Healthy Living Team on 0300 300 0103.

St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing
Councillor Jeanie Bell said: “The case for breastfeeding is so powerful. As
well as the health benefits, it helps you and your baby to get closer –
physically and emotionally – so while you’re feeding your baby, the bond
continues to grow.”

Healthy Living also award Baby Friendly Premises in St Helens with the ‘
Baby Friendly Award’ Please contact us on 0300 300 0103 or visit our
website www.healthysthelens.co.uk for a full list of venues that welcome
young families.

We also welcome venues to contact us and find out how to become a Baby Friendly venue. Call us for more details.

For breastfeeding support in St Helens call 0300 300 0103 or visit
www.healthysthelens.co.uk

St Helens Breastfeeding Support groups

Newton Clinic
Tel: 01925 221341
Monday 13.00 to 14.00

Sutton Children’s Centre
Tel: 01744 822160
Tuesday 13.00 to 14.00

Moss Bank Children’s Centre
Tel: 01744 672020
Wednesday 11.00 to 12.00

Central Link Children’s Centre
Tel: 01744 673444
Thursday 11.30 to 12.30