Commuters at Glasgow’s Central Station will be put on the right track this week about the advantages of breastfeeding.
Monday, May 14, is the beginning of Breastfeeding Awareness Week, and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde staff, together with mothers and babies, will be fronting information display stands on the station’s concourse on Wednesday.
They will be handing out leaflets and answering questions to highlight awareness of breastfeeding.
A similar information event is also taking place on the same day in Govanhill Health Centre, and on Thursday in Clydebank Health Centre.
Linda Wolfson, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, said:
“There is work to be done to inform parents, not just about the benefits of breastfeeding, but also how to make it a successful, positive experience.
“A trial was carried out in Glasgow and Clyde. Health professionals encouraged breastfeeding and taught new mothers the skills they need.
"This led to a reduction in problems such as sore nipples as mothers are shown how to attach the baby correctly at the breast, and a corresponding increase in breastfeeding rates.
“I’m working on a co-ordinated strategy to encourage more women to breastfeed to ensure that all mothers feel that they are receiving good quality information and support to make informed choices about feeding their babies including when to introduce their child to solid food.
One of Glasgow’s areas of traditionally very low breastfeeding rates has shown a dramatic rise last year.
East Glasgow Community Health Partnership Area (CHP) has been working very hard to implement the UNICEF UK Best Practice Standards for Communities –“the Seven Point Plan”.”
This has led to breastfeeding rates increasing from 23.6 per cent in 2005 to 29 per cent last year.
Mothers who breastfeed can also enjoy a lower risk of ovarian cancer, breast cancer and osteoporosis.
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 childhood diabetes and allergies.
These benefits persist into childhood, with breastfed children having a significantly reduced risk of obesity, lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Breastfeeding also promotes brain development, mouth and jaw formation and straighter teeth.