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May 19, 2006 12:01 AM

breastfeeding awareness initiative has been developed in partnership with West Dunbartonshire Community Health Partnership (CHP) and West Dunbartonshire Healthy Living Initiative.Healthy HaldaneNational Breastfeeding Awareness Week is being marked in Balloch today (Friday) by a pioneering book launch at the local library. The

is a community-based breastfeeding initiative aimed at changing attitudes and encouraging new mums to breastfeed. Its main aim is to increase the uptake of breastfeeding within Haldane and the surrounding community.Healthy HaldaneFunded by the West Dunbartonshire Partnership,

for parents, as well as a whole range of books for children that show breastfeeding's a normal feeding choice.When Your Baby Criesand Breastfeeding for Beginners , we're really keen to encourage more mums locally to breastfeed. That doesn't just mean it's only mums who need information and advice, though. Dads, employers, friends and the rest of the family can all help. We've bought books like Healthy Haldane has bought a number of books on breastfeeding, covering a range of topics, to provide support and resources for parents. Health Promotion Officer Audrey Reid believes providing information is an important step forward: "Here at Healthy Haldane


"We offer the chance to meet other parents in a relaxed, friendly environment. We also have Baby Massage classes, and we're developing a new programme right now to cover all sorts of other health activities. Audrey says they also offer a range of other services:

"One of the main factors of our project is the number of local mums who've become trained volunteers.They've completed a twelve-week peer support training programme to give them the necessary knowledge and skills to become breastfeeding helpers."

Medical research has shown that breastfeeding has important health benefits for both mother and baby. It protects the newborn infant from respiratory, ear and digestive infections and can also help protect against allergies. These benefits persist into childhood, with breastfed children having a significantly reduced risk of obesity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Women who breastfeed reduce the risks of pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis in later life. Breastfeeding can also represent a substantial financial saving for families.

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Last Updated: 11 November 2021