Breastfeeding Peer Support Celebration Event
Our Maternity Services and Health Improvement, Equality and Involvement Department hosted a celebration and update event for volunteer Breastfeeding Peer Support Mums recently. The event, held at Mahon’s Hotel, Irvinestown focused on recognising and supporting challenges women may encounter whilst breastfeeding and promoting good maternal and infant physical and mental health.
Breastfeeding can make a real difference to the health of both mothers and babies. Breast milk contains all the nourishment a baby needs for healthy development and reduces their risk of asthma, ear, chest, kidney and stomach infections, as well as childhood diabetes and obesity. Breastfeeding also helps to build a strong bond and close mother-baby relationship.
Although a number of national and regional initiatives promoting these benefits have contributed to a significant improvement in breastfeeding rates in Northern Ireland, we continue to have one of the lowest rates across Europe.
Claire Hamilton, Health Improvement Nutritionist, Community Food & Nutrition Team explains: “It’s vitally important that we continue promoting the benefits of breastfeeding and also strive to normalize it as the most normal and natural way of feeding a baby.
Our peer support volunteers are such valuable assets in helping us support new mums through sharing their wealth of experience and being on hand to offer practical guidance to breastfeeding mums throughout the Western Trust area. We were delighted to host this event to provide recognition and thanks for the remarkable work they undertake in their own time.”
If you would like further information on Breastfeeding Peer Support, please contact Ann McCrea on firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more about breastfeeding and activities in your local area, speak with your midwife, health visitor or breastfeeding support group or visit www.westerntrust.hscni.net
See also www.breastfedbabies.org for additional information on breastfeeding and the Public Health Agency ‘Breastfeeding Welcome Here’ Scheme which encourages businesses and public facilities to support and welcome breastfeeding families.