Health professionals from Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust are to mark World Breastfeeding Week in the county by encouraging local nurseries and day care centres to support breastfeeding mothers returning to work.
World Breastfeeding Week is an annual global event that is held from 1-7 August to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. The theme for this year is “Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development.”
Nurseries are also being asked to become breastfeeding friendly and to provide support to mothers returning to work. This can be done by introducing breastfeeding guidelines that allow employees and mothers to continue breastfeeding or giving breast milk once they return to work and for as long as they need.
Lee Andersen-Whalley, Infant Feeding Specialist at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Everyone can and are able to support breastfeeding, which can have a huge impact on the health of babies and their mothers. Nurseries can play an important role in doing this; they could very easily accommodate the needs of their breastfeeding staff by providing time and suitable facilities. Having a breastfeeding policy is also something they could introduce. This would increase staff morale and loyalty and also encourage staff to return to work earlier. Aside from that, there is also the option for nurseries to sign up to the Breastfeeding Friendly Places Scheme. Nurseries will be able to support mothers by joining this scheme which will enable mothers to have the choice to give breast milk for as long as they wish.
“Exclusively breastfeeding babies is recommended for around the first six months of a baby’s life and to continue along with solid foods for 2 years and longer. There are immense benefits of breastfeeding to mums, babies and society, and mothers need to be supported to do this. This can happen if breastfeeding in public continues to be welcomed—something that employers can very easily do.”
The Department of Health recommends that babies are breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their life with continuation of breastfeeding as part of the infant’s diet throughout the first one to two years and beyond.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1-7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other organisations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The theme of this year's World Breastfeeding Week is: a key to Sustainable Development.