Meals on wheels takes on a new meaning this week with mums promoting the right to breastfeed wherever they and baby are, including on a bus!
This week is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde invited mums and babies to make exactly that point on a First Bus vehicle parked on Glasgow’s George Square!
They are demonstrating that breastfeeding is not only healthy for mum and baby, but a hungry tot can be breastfed discreetly almost anywhere.
Breast milk is one of nature’s best convenience foods and NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are launching their new Infant Feeding Strategy later this month to encourage more mums to breastfeed.
The three key strands of the strategy look at providing more staff training to provide support for mums and babies, closer monitoring of standards of care and raising public awareness and acceptability of breastfeeding.
Linda Wolfson, NHS GGC’s Infant Feeding Co-ordinator, said: “This strategy will aim to improve nutrition for all of Glasgow and Clyde’s children in the 0-2 year range, and as part of this encouraging more mums to breastfeed is a key priority for us.
“Not every mother has an initial positive experience of breastfeeding, so we aim to develop professional skills further to provide more support.
“We have also further developed the provision of breastfeeding clinics where mothers can be referred when persistent or complex breastfeeding difficulties occur and primary interventions have been unsuccessful.”
The new strategy will improve professional communication including a new handover of care document which will be available over the next few months at all six maternity units throughout NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde. These documents will provide health visitors with information on a child’s feeding from birth.
Recent research shows that starting and continuing to breastfeed is related to maternal confidence and self esteem, social support and the support of partners.
Helen Ryall, Health Improvement Programme Manager for Early Years at NHS Health Scotland, said:
“It’s widely known that breastfeeding is best for the health of mum and baby, but not everyone knows how important it is to increase women’s confidence.
“That’s what this Breastfeeding Awareness Week is all about. We have evidence to prove that the greater a woman’s level of self-esteem and confidence about breastfeeding, the greater the chances are for her to start and continue to breastfeed her baby. Breastfeeding is a hugely rewarding experience for many women, but we know that it also brings challenges. That’s why the support of partners, friends and family members is crucial.”
Paisley mum Linda Judge, said: " I breastfed my two younger children but bottle fed my older two. The younger two have rarely been ill compared to my older two. Breastfeeding also helped me to really bond with my babies".
Anyone looking for information about breastfeeding can visit the NHS 24 website: www.nhs24.com
or call NHS 24 on08454 24 24 24.
For more information contact:
Susan Carden, Communications Officer NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde on 0141 305 0305 or:
Communications Manager, NHS Health Scotland
Tel: 0131 536 5550
Mobile: 07711 795 497
Notes for Editors
1. National Breastfeeding Awareness week runs from 11-17 May 2008.
2. Scotland’s NHS boards have been set a target by the Scottish Government to increase the proportion of newborn children exclusively breastfed at 6-8 weeks from 26.6% to 33.3% by 2011.
3. Evidence shows that the health benefits for babies who are breastfed include a higher IQ for the baby, plus a reduced risk of: gastro-enteritis; ear infections; asthma; and obesity. Women benefit from quicker weight loss and reduced risk of some cancers.
4. The World Health Organisation recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed until the age of six months, and that breastfeeding continues until the age of two.
5. Women are three times more likely to stop breastfeeding in the first two weeks if none of their friends breastfeed.
6. Almost 90% of women with friends who breastfeed their children also plan to breastfeed their own babies. Where women don’t have friends who breastfeed, the percentage drops to 51%.