Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Mums help to promote Breastfeeding in South East Hampshire

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Mums in Havant are helping to encourage other mums to breastfeed. Sarah Dauncey and Chloe Paige are the stars of a campaign to help parents access breastfeeding support when they need it. The campaign material signposts parents to the Southern Health website.

Here, women and their families will find useful information about breastfeeding and details of the support groups available. We're focusing on Havant and Gosport, as fewer women breast feed their babies here than elsewhere locally.

Chloe Paige, said, "Breastfeeding my son is one of the best decisions I have ever made. It helped me really bond with my baby and I found it so much easier and convenient than bottle feeding. I was helped to start to breastfeed by my midwife, shortly after giving birth to Jensen. No-one else in my family breastfed but when I realised the benefits, I was determined. Now I am really keen to help other mums."

Sarah Dauncey has a six-month old daughter and is also particularly keen to ensure that mums know where to turn for breastfeeding support in the Havant area. "Sometimes mums just need a bit of extra reassurance to help them breastfeed for longer. Sometimes they might be concerned their baby isn't feeding enough, or feeding too much and it's great having that opportunity for a chat."

As a trained breastfeeding counsellor, Sarah, together with Chloe and some other mums, has also set up a breastfeeding support group in Havant. This support group, known as 'Mums Know Breast', meets every Monday 1-3pm in Havant Library, Learning Zone 1 (directly opposite Havant bus station). They also have a facebook page known as MumsKnowBreast Breastfeeding Support.

Hampshire County Council, local health organisations, Action for Children and other voluntary organisations support this campaign and would like to see the breastfeeding rates increase here. Over half of mums in Havant and Gosport choose to breastfeed immediately after birth but for many reasons the numbers dwindle to about a third at six to eight weeks. "We know that more people would like to breastfeed for longer and this campaign will be useful in ensuring all parents know how to access help," says Councillor Liz Fairhurst, Executive Member for Health and Wellbeing (Public Health), at Hampshire County Council.

Breastfeeding benefits both mothers and babies. Babies who have been breastfed are less likely to be admitted to hospital with respiratory and gastrointestinal difficulties compared to those who have been formula-fed. They are also less likely to be obese when they grow older. There are also health benefits for mums as breastfeeding helps to protect against some forms of cancer. "There are enormous benefits to breastfeeding; not only is it free and protects against some illnesses, it also provides a wonderful opportunity to bond with your baby," says Lynn Timms (Baby Friendly Lead, Southern Health Foundation Trust), pioneer of the website. "It's good seeing all the information about breastfeeding support in one central place. The website provides lots of information for anyone who wants to breastfeed."

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