Breastfeeding Awareness week (12th-17th May) is off to a great start with the news that Glasgow mothers have given the city the second largest breastfeeding increase in Scotland!
The latest data released by ISD has recorded that 36.5% of women in Glasgow were breastfeeding their baby at 6 weeks or more during 2002, an increase of almost 3% from the previous year. Whilst there is still a long way to go, Glasgow's new mums have laid the groundwork to ensure that they and their baby have a healthier future.
Breastfeeding brings benefits to all babies and mothers, but for the sick and premature baby, breastfeeding can make a world of difference. For the launch of Breastfeeding Awareness Week on Monday 12th May, three Glasgow mothers of premature babies are joining together to raise awareness of the challenges and benefits of breastfeeding their own children, who were either pre-term or required specialist support at birth.
Linda Wolfson from the Breastfeeding Support Unit at Yorkhill NHS Trust, explains: "Approximately 10% of babies require some form of specialist support at birth. For the sick and premature baby, breastfeeding can bring particular health benefits such as reducing the incidence of necrotising enterocolitis (a serious bowel complication), promote improved eye and brain development, reduce the chance of infection, as well as improve the baby's ability to ‘catch-up' in terms of growth."
When a newborn baby is ill, being able to provide milk to her baby is an important link for the mother, especially at a time when her child's care is being predominantly provided by hospital staff. For Breastfeeding Awareness week, three mothers of pre-term babies are joining together to tell their story and help raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding in their situation.