Health commissioners are encouraging new mothers in Derby and Southern Derbyshire to breastfeed their babies. The advice from NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is part of World Breastfeeding Week run by The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action which runs until 7 August.
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. The World Health organisation says that if every child was breastfed within an hour of birth, given only breast milk for their first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years, about 800,000 child lives would be saved every year.
Globally, less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Adequate breastfeeding counselling and support are essential for mothers and families to initiate and maintain optimal breastfeeding practices.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG, added:
“Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. Giving your baby breast milk only is recommended for around the first six months of your baby's life. After that, giving your baby breast milk alongside other food will help them continue to grow and develop.”
“Breast milk is the only natural food designed for your baby and offers protection from infections and diseases. Breastfed babies are much less likely to suffer from health problems such as eczema, tummy upsets, cough and colds. It is also free and always available at the correct temperature!”
“Breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit your baby. It benefits a mother’s health too as it lowers your risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer, naturally uses up to 500 calories a day, saves money and can help to build a strong bond between you and your baby.”
Support and guidance is available from GPs, midwives, health visitors, trained volunteer mums and children’s centres. For more information call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212.