Everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed – that’s the theme for this year’s National Breastfeeding Celebration Week (June 27 to July 3). 

Andrea and bernice.jpgNCIC is putting on sessions across the county next week to make sure mums have access to practical support and help including a special antenatal breastfeeding open day at Penrith Hospital on Tuesday 28th June.

The week celebrates the benefits of breastfeeding and aims to raise awareness of the help and advice available to promote, protect and support breastfeeding for all. The main message of the week is how amazing breastfeeding is and to raise the profile of all the wonderful support available in our area. 

Andrea Harriman, Infant Feeding Lead, and Specialist Midwife at NCIC, said: “Breastfeeding provides infants with all the nutrients they need but it also provides comfort, love and protection. 

“Breastfeeding is the biological norm, provides the best start in life and has a positive impact on a baby’s development, from strengthening immunity and reducing the risk of infections to emotional bonding and building long term mental and physical resilience.”

Bernice Radcliffe, Infant Feeding Lead for Maternity at NCIC, said: “It also has a positive impact for mums and improves their health too by lowering the incidence of certain cancers, disease, depression and diabetes.”

The infant feeding team at NCIC has produced a video to raise awareness.

Andrea said: “Bernice and I commenced our role of infant feeding lead specialist midwives last year and since then we have been supporting mothers and their partners to breastfeed, as well as raising awareness of breastfeeding to ultimately improve the health of those in our area.  The videos we have produced reiterate that everyone has a part to play in supporting breastfeeding mums from partners and wider family members to those in the communities of Cumbria too. 

“We’d like to thank the people in the videos, who range from shop keepers, hotels to health professionals, this shows everyone’s commitment and sometimes how a little bit really can go a long way.”

Bernice has some advice for women struggling with breastfeeding: “Don’t give up on a bad day!  Breastfeeding takes practice, you and your baby have to learn together and it takes time to learn this new skill. We’d encourage you to access some support to get to the bottom of up the difficulty, sometimes a small tweak really can make a big difference…you can do this!”

A special antenatal breastfeeding open day will take place at Penrith Hospital on Tuesday, June 28 from 1pm to 4pm. The event will give out information to help expectant and new mums preparing to feed their babies. It will cover position and attachment, dispel some breastfeeding myths and advice on harvesting colostrum. All welcome!

Also on Tuesday, June 28 there will be sessions from:

  • Penrith Children’s Centre - Ring to book on 01768 899901 - 10:30am to 11:30am
  • Morton Manor Children’s Centre in Carlisle - 11am to 12pm  
  • Seaton Library - 1pm to 2pm
  • Appleby Children’s Centre - 1.30pm to 2.30pm. Ring to book on 01768 899901.

On Wednesday, June 29, they will be in:

  • Wigton Library from 10.30am to 11.30am

On Thursday, June 30 sessions will take place in:

  • Kendal (Ghyllside Neighbourhood Centre) from 9.30am to 11.30am;
  • Maryport Library from 10am to 11am; and
  • Egremont Children’s Centre from 12pm to 1pm.

On Friday, July 1 drop in support sessions will take place in:

  • Windermere’s Phoenix Centre from 9.30am to 11.30am,
  • Workington’s Minto Centre from 10am to 12pm; and
  • Millom Children’s Centre from 11am to 12pm.

There will also be week-long displays with information and advice at the Cumberland Infirmary and the West Cumberland Hospital.

And don’t forget to follow #NationalBreastfeedingWeek on social media.