News

Give your baby the best start in life

Date: 02 August 2017

It is never too early to start thinking about how you are going to feed your new baby. During Breastfeeding Awareness Week (1 to 7 August), Bromley doctors are encouraging women to give breast feeding a go.   Breastfeeding has long-term benefits for your baby, lasting right into adulthood. The good news is that any amount of breast milk has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits. Giving nothing but breast milk for the first six months is recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. It lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhoea.

In Bromley, the percentage of new mums who start breast feeding is 78% which is higher than the national average of 73%.

Dr Sally Carson, Bromley GP and clinical lead for maternity care said, “There are many good reasons to give breast feeding a try. We know that some mothers have real difficulties and I would urge them to speak to their midwife and health visitor to get the support they need.   Mothers in Bromley have told us they need more help with breast feeding so more early years support is now available through the health visiting service and breast feeding support workers have been trained to support mums giving birth at the Princess Royal University Hospital. You can also call the national breast feeding help line on 0300 100 0212”.

Hannah Lynes, Chair of Bromley Maternity Voices said, “Most mothers are physiologically able to breastfeed, but it’s normal to need support to get breastfeeding established in the early days. Family and friends can help by recognising that breastfeeding mothers need to feed their babies frequently and responsively, and by offering practical support with housework rather than asking to give the baby a bottle. Bromley Maternity Voices would love to hear from anyone who would like to feed back on their experience of feeding their baby in Bromley, who has ideas about improving local breastfeeding support or who would like to help us further improve local services."

Benefits of breast feeding include:

  • Breast milk is perfectly designed for a baby and protects them from a range of infections and diseases including childhood leukaemia and type 2 diabetes
  • It reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome and cardiovascular disease in adulthood
  • Breast milk provides health benefits for both mum and baby
  • It is convenient and free

Further information

Breast feeding awareness week is a global event and this year’s theme is sustaining breast feeding together. For more information please visit World Alliance Breastfeeding Action (WABA) at: http://waba.org.my/

Bromley Maternity Voices brings together parents and professionals to oversee and plan local maternity services. For more information see https://www.facebook.com/bromleymslc/, follow @bromleymslc on Twitter, or contact Hannah Lynes, Chair, on bromleymslc@outlook.com or 07790 032620.

Breast feeding drop-in groups

Bromley Healthcare’s drop-in groups are run by health visitors with a special interest in infant feeding. The groups are open for parents resident in Bromley. Visit https://www.bromleyhealthcare.org.uk/explore-our-services/breast-feeding-drop-in-groups/ for more details.

Baby cafes in Bromley

These are all places mothers can go for support with breastfeeding:

  • Summary:

    It is never too early to start thinking about how you are going to feed your new baby

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