'More mums will benefit from specialist support'

Mums protested about the changes last week
Mums protested about the changes last week
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More mothers will get personal support to help them with feeding their new born baby under a new Blackpool Council scheme.

The authority is rolling out an enhanced Health Visitor service, targeting mums from all communities.

Blackpool Council revealed its full proposals after mums took to the streets in protest at the end of the current Star Buddies breastfeeding support service.

While roughly 1,700 Blackpool mums give birth every year, breast-feeding rates in the town are low, with only one in four babies – half the national average - being breast-fed after six weeks.

Dr Arif Rajpura, Director of Public Health, said: “The Star Buddies scheme is popular with the people who have used it.

“However it isn’t engaging enough with those hard to reach mums who aren’t yet convinced by the benefits.

“For our approach to be successful and for breast-feeding rates in the town to improve we need a much more comprehensive universal method.

“By working with Better Start, the amount of trips that health visitors make to new mums has almost doubled, and they are well trained and equipped to provide support around breast-feeding to all mums.

“The new service will help hundreds more Blackpool mums every year with feeding their baby at a much more direct level than before.

“Our commitment to helping all mums to breast-feed remains as strong as it always has been.”