Date: 03 August 2015
World Breastfeeding Week 2015 (1-7 August) supports and empowers women to breastfeed to improve infant health. In the UK the number of babies’ breastfed at birth has risen to 81 per cent, knocking the myth that breastfeeding isn’t popular anymore. Many women breastfeed because it has endless health benefits and is good for babies and mothers. Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed babies and protects a baby from infections, diseases and is free and available whenever and wherever a baby needs a feed.
Dr Sally Carson, a Bromley GP, said: “Breastfed babies have less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting, fewer chest and ear infections, less chance of being constipated and becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life.
“Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit babies but benefits mothers too. Breastfeeding lowers risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer; naturally uses up 500 calories a day and can help build a strong bond between mother and baby. Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect. The longer a mum breastfeeds, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.”
Breastfeeding can also save money - infant formula, the sterilising equipment and feeding equipment can be costly. Even if a woman has been formula-feeding for a few days she could change her mind and breastfeed. She should speak to her midwife or health visitor as soon as possible for support and advice or call the National Breastfeeding Helpline, telephone 0300 100 0212.
You can also come along to one of the breastfeeding drop in groups in Bromley, run by Bromley Healthcare. For more details please visit the website or call the Health Visitor Duty Line on 020 8315 8766.
Not all women can breastfeed for good reasons. Woman with HIV or in rare cases woman taking certain types of medication – under these circumstances it is recommended to bottle-feed with infant formula.
Visit NHS Choices for advice and information around breastfeeding. Anyone organising an event to promote breastfeeding can have their event uploaded to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action website. Visit: www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
World Breastfeeding Week 2015 (1-7 August) supports and empowers women to breastfeed to improve infant health.