Moth­ers say why breast is best

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - OPINION - by Clare Mul­grew

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

Pic­ture:Chris Davey pd1204523

Leigh Lit­tle, who is pro­mot­ing Breast­feed­ing Aware­ness Week, with her daugh­ter at Sure Start, Ash­ford

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