New mums in Calderdale are being asked to give their views on what makes a welcoming place to breastfeed your baby as part of National Breastfeeding Celebration Week.
Calderdale is hosting various activities to mark National Breastfeeding Celebration Week (which runs from June 17 to 23) and part of that involves asking mums for their experiences of breastfeeding in public buildings and local businesses.
The feedback on what makes a good place to breastfeed will be used to help create the criteria for a Calderdale Breastfeeding Award which will be awarded to business and organisations which create a welcoming experience for breastfeeding mums.
Calderdale Council’s Public Health Team, Locala Community Partnerships’ Health Visitors and volunteer Breastfeeding Peer Supporters, along with Calderdale’s Children’s Centres have joined forces for the survey and activities to mark National Breastfeeding Celebration Week.
This year’s theme for the national week is promoting the benefits of skin to skin contact, both immediately after birth and throughout the early weeks of life.
Cllr Faisal Shoukat, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Cohesion, said: “It’s so important that babies get the best start in life and research shows that England has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. Around 80% of babies are breastfed at birth and we know that falls to around 40% after six to eight weeks.
“In Calderdale we know that those mums who want to breastfeed do welcome the support and guidance on offer from Health Visitors, volunteer Breastfeeding Peer Supporters and children’s centres, so they can meet the challenges that breastfeeding can sometimes pose.”
Alison Walklate, Locala Health Visitor and Lead on Infant Feeding, added that it was important that everyone supported breastfeeding mums and that was the reason behind the survey: “We know that mums feeling comfortable to breastfeed when they are out and about with their babies is vital – and that’s where our public buildings and local businesses can really help by offering those welcoming environments.”
Mothers can take part in the survey at the events to mark National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, when they visit a well-child clinic over the next few weeks, or by posting on the Locala Calderdale Health Visitors and the Calderdale Breastfeeding Peer Support Service pages on Facebook.
In addition to the survey other events are taking place too across Calderdale.
• Wellholme Park Children’s Centre hosting a session for mums on Monday 17th June at the Breastfeeding Friends Group which runs from 10am to 11.30am.
• Todmorden Children’s Centre has a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter led group on Thursday 20th June between 10 and 11.30am with back massage and pelvic health information for mums from physiotherapists from “Physio and Therapies” based in Todmorden.
• Illingworth Children’s Centre is hosting an event on Thursday 20th June between noon and 3pm. The event Includes, hand and arm massage, nails, baby massage information, refreshments and free raffle.
To find out more about the activities on offer during National Breastfeeding Celebration Week visit the Locala Calderdale Health Visitors and the Calderdale Breastfeeding Peer Support Service pages on Facebook.
The latest training for new volunteer Breastfeeding Peer Supporters will take place in September for anyone who would like to help mums with breastfeeding help and advice. Further details on vacancies and the application form can be found at https://www.locala.org.uk/about-us/volunteering/vacancies-application/
The Breastfeeding Peer Supporter Service can also be contacted on 07920 466660.