Benefits of breast milk
NHS Lanarkshire summit is held
NHS Lanarkshire hosted a summit to demonstrate their commitment to improving breastfeeding rates.
At the event, over 100 health professionals and volunteers made a personal pledge to support breastfeeding.
Anne Armstrong, NHS Lanarkshire interim director of nursing said: “The aim of the day was to evaluate current practice and strengths to devise an action plan to promote, protect and support breastfeeding in Lanarkshire.
“The breastfeeding summit was an opportunity to bring people together to really understand the challenges faced by families and the barriers that prevent breastfeeding in Lanarkshire.
“It was also a chance to consider UNICEF’S call to action to ‘change the conversation’; to stop laying the blame for a major public health issue in the laps of individual women and acknowledge the collective responsibility of us all.”
Everyone who attended the event was asked to make their own personal pledge to take whatever steps they can to promote, protect and support breastfeeding.
The aim is to make Lanarkshire a place where breastfeeding is the norm and build a supportive community around families to support breastfeeding.
Susan Short, NHS Lanarkshire public health nutritionist, said: “How babies are fed is one of the most important decisions parents can make, as it has life-long implications for both mother and baby.
“Children who are breastfed for longer periods have higher intelligence, fewer infections, fewer dental problems and are less likely to be overweight or diabetic in later life. For women, breastfeeding protects against breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes.
“Breastfeeding protection is important in rich and poor countries alike and helps to narrow the health inequalities gap. The cost to the NHS every year of treating just five illnesses resulting from formula feeding is £48 million.
“This is why we are working hard to ensure mothers know that when it comes to breastfeeding; help is at hand. We have the information and support that families need to start and continue breastfeeding.”
More than 50 premises in Hamilton, and another 500 across Lanarkshire, have gained the Breastfeeding Welcome Award from NHS Lanarkshire.
The ‘breastfeeding welcome’ sign in venues such as a libraries, cafes, shopping and leisure centres can help mums feel so much more confident and comfortable about feeding when out and about.
And the premises that participate all hope they cab help remove barriers and create a supportive, enabling environment for women who choose to breastfeed.
The Hamilton Breastfeeding Group is held weekly at Fairhill Lifestyle Centre, Neilsland Road, on Tuesdays from 1.30pm to 2.30pm.
All breastfeeding mums are welcome to the group which offers a sociable, friendly place to get advice and support. To find a list of breastfeeding welcome premises, visit www.facebook.com/Lanarkshirebreastfeedinginitiative
Summitthe health chiefs from NHS Lanarkshire