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21 February 2018

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Promoting benefits of breastfeeding PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 02 August 2017
Image World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1-7, and the council is encouraging support for mothers choosing to breastfeed through initiatives like the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme, so far supported by 144 Southampton venues.

This from the council in their own words:

In Southampton in 2016/17, 76% of mothers started breastfeeding following their baby’s birth. However, a number of factors in the community lead to a fall-off in breastfeeding rates to 50% by 6 to 8 weeks* following birth.

This is significant and unfortunate, as breastfeeding is linked to many health benefits for both the mother and baby. For baby, it reduces the risk of a number of health conditions including infections, certain allergic conditions, type 1 and 2 diabetes, infant mortality and sudden infant death syndrome (cot death). For mothers it also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and breast and ovarian cancer. 

Promoting breastfeeding and increasing rates can also play a part in improving health and wellbeing among some of our poorest communities, and reducing health inequalities between them and people in the rest of the city. Figures show that two thirds of mothers breastfed at birth in the 20% most deprived areas of Southampton compared to four in five mothers in the rest of the city.

Southampton’s Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme aims to change attitudes towards breastfeeding in public by facilitating greater acceptance and promotion of breastfeeding in the community. An impressive 144 local businesses are signed up as Breastfeeding Welcome venues across the city with more joining every month. 

World Breastfeeding Week will provide an opportunity for those businesses that are already signed up to be vocal in their support of breastfeeding mums and celebrate their participation in the scheme. 

Right to breastfeed in public spaces

Debbie Chase, Service Lead for Public Health at Southampton City Council, said: “World Breastfeeding Week is our chance to come together as a community to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding for mum and baby. It’s also an opportunity to speak out in support of a mother’s right to breastfeed in public spaces. It’s great that so many businesses in Southampton have already signed up for the Breastfeeding welcome scheme and we want to encourage even more to do so. We want to make breastfeeding as easy as possible within our city.”

wbw2017-logo 460Cllr Sarah Bogle of Southampton City Council said: “It is great to see so many venues have signed up to the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme and I encourage those not already involved to get in touch. We want to show mums who choose to breastfeed that we are a city that will defend their right to do so and support them in every way possible.”

To find out more about the Breastfeeding Welcome scheme and locate venues in Southampton visit http://www.breastfeedingwelcomescheme.org.uk/

To watch a short film outlining World Breastfeeding Week in Southampton visit: 

*Rate is based on mothers who had a feeding status recorded. This was 91.2% of mothers citywide. Although the indicator is reported as breastfeeding at 6-8 weeks, it is actually recorded at the 6-8 week check – the earlier it is recorded the higher the rate will be – there will also be quite a few mothers whose visit will be later than 8 weeks.

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