Mothers say why breast is best
THE virtues of breastfeeding are being promoted in Ashford thanks to a team effort by the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), SureStart and the William Harvey hospital.
Research carried out for Breastfeeding Awareness Week which ends on Saturday, showed almost one in three mothers in east Kent do not breastfeed after giving birth.
NHS cuts have led to a fall in the number of infant feeding advisors at east Kent hospitals, but a new initiative has been introduced to buck the trend in Ashford.
SureStart Ashford already operates a Breastmates scheme, whereby mothers experienced in breastfeeding are trained to support new mothers.
Now the NCT is training breastfeeding counsellors alongside the Breastmates scheme.
Dr Vinit Shah, consultant neonatologist at the William Harvey hospital, said: “Breastfeeding isn’t just free and convenient – it actually reduces the risk of babies and mothers developing many illnesses further down the line.
Research show breastfed babies are less likely to suffer from asthma, or obesity, and are likely to have a higher IQ than bottlefed peers. Mothers who have breastfed are less likely to develop breast cancer, diabetes or osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding counselling is free to all mothers. Call free on 0870 444 8709 or visit www.nct.org.uk
Leigh Little, who is promoting Breastfeeding Awareness Week, with her daughter at Sure Start, Ashford