Local health commissioners recently supported the national Breastfeeding Celebration Week to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact between mother and baby.
Breastfeeding is a skill that can take time to get the hang of and some women can experience breastfeeding difficulties. In York there are support groups available for new mums who may be worrying about breastfeeding or lacking in confidence:
- Nurture Breastfeeding Group
Offers antenatal and postnatal women the opportunity to meet in an informal, social setting to discuss breastfeeding, ask questions and receive advice. There are two weekly sessions on Tuesdays 10am – 12pm and Thursdays 1pm-2:30pm. For more information contact 01904 555475 or 551760.
- Treasure Chest Breastfeeding Peer Support
Operating weekly drop in’s, antenatal workshops, hire pumps and support online, Treasure Chest operates with volunteers who give up their free time to support breastfeeding mums. Visit the website for more details http://www.treasurechest.org.uk/
Emily Pickard, Chair of the York and District Maternity Voices Partnership said: “Feeding can be really hard at first – people don’t always tell you that before you have a baby – so it can come as a shock and leave you feeling like a failure if it doesn’t come ‘naturally’. I’ve found that many parents struggle with this initially which is why support groups are so brilliant.
“We’re very fortunate in York to have so many supportive services available where parents can receive a friendly welcome, reassurance and the advice they need. I went along to Treasure Chest with my first daughter and they were brilliant.”
Midwives, heath visitors or a local breastfeeding support group can answer any questions people may have about breastfeeding.
Fiona Phillips, Assistant Director of Public Health for City of York, said: ‘It is not uncommon for mums to experience challenges with breastfeeding. These problems can often be unanticipated, meaning that when they occur mums can tend to give up and instead switch to formula feeding. We would encourage all mums to seek support when these challenges arise, as solutions are often found.’
For more information about breastfeeding visit the Start 4 Life website: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby/breastfeeding/extra-help-and-support/