Date published: 28/09/2010
Mums and dads across the borough of Rochdale are being asked to sign up to a new volunteer scheme to encourage mums to breastfeed and give their baby the best start in life.
Breastfeeding helps protect babies from numerous infections and diseases, as well as reducing a mother’s chances of ovarian and breast cancer and osteoporosis later in life. The national average for mums who continue to breastfeed their babies at 6-8 weeks is 42.3%, however in some areas of the borough only 11% of mums are still breastfeeding their babies at 6-8 weeks.
To ensure more women and babies benefit from reduced health risks in the future, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale (HMR) and HMR Community Healthcare have set up a volunteer scheme to help encourage and support more women to breastfeed, both in the hospital and in the community.
Rochdale mum, Andrea Clough, 31, has just signed up to the scheme, she said: “I breastfed my son for 20 months and I hope that I can share my experiences with other mums and encourage them to breastfeed. It was a really emotional time for me as there were a lot of things going on in my life, like moving house and my husband falling poorly, but I hope I can show that with sheer determination and support from midwives and others, it can be done. Breastfeeding gave me that skin to skin contact with my son, and I really don’t think we’d have such a close bond if I’d bottle fed.”
NHS HMR and HMR Community Healthcare work closely with local hospitals and children’s centres across the borough to promote breastfeeding and work towards achieving full UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation.
Rachel Beckett, the breastfeeding volunteer scheme’s co-ordinator from HMR Community Healthcare said: “If you have experience of breastfeeding you would like to share with other mums and families then peer support might be for you. We are training volunteers to provide information, support and encouragement to mums to help them to breastfeed.
“We aim to offer additional support to mums in targeted areas, to help them to give their babies the best possible start in life and continue exclusively breastfeeding until the recommended six months. Our volunteers will be able to share their knowledge and skills with mums in the Langley, Derby Street, Woodland and Sandbrook Children’s Centres from November.”
If you would like more information on Breastfeeding Support or are interested in becoming a volunteer please call Rachel on 07974 676 452 or e-mail email@example.com