A group of mums from Fleetwood have set up a new support group to promote the benefits of breastfeeding – and help change attitudes to the practice of nursing their babies in public.
Back in 2012, a sign was unveiled on the town’s border which read: “Fleetwood – Where Breastfeeding Is Always Welcome”.
But seven years on, the subject still causes debate and so the mums decided to do something about it.
With the support of local agencies, they began meeting before Christmas and from a modest start have now established the Breastfeeding Peer Support Group.
The group now meets every Wednesday from 11.30am to 1.30pm at the Milton Street Neighbourhood Centre, in Blakiston Street, Fleetwood.
Providing support and advice, there are staff from the Children and Family Wellbeing Service, health visitors, and staff from Families and Babies Lancashire, and Healthier Fleetwood.
Rachael Dutton, who attends the sessions with her new-born daughter Emerson, said: “I wanted to hear first hand from other nursing mums what it was like to breastfeed. I asked for help with setting up the group and now it is going from strength to strength.”
“Meeting once a week means that we can all talk about our experiences and we can also chat on our Facebook page “Breast Friends”.
For further information telephone (01253) 741117.
According to the international children’s charity UNICEF, there are numerous benefits to breastfeeding.
UNICEF said it protects children from a vast range of illnesses including infection, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity, as well as cot death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
Breastfeeding also protects mothers from breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease.
It boosts mother-baby relationships and the mental health of baby and mother and it is said that increasing breastfeeding globally could prevent 843,000 annual youngster and mother deaths.