5th August 2011
Last year as part of the Sheffield-Let’s Change4Life programme, Sheffield City Council and NHS Sheffield launched a huge campaign to encourage Sheffield people to be more supportive of breastfeeding women in the city.
The campaign and further work to support breastfeeding are already proving successful, with Sheffield being the northern city with the highest rates of breastfeeding in women with babies aged six to eight weeks.
The campaign included: work to encourage venues in the city to sign-up to breastfeeding friendly principles – with over 200 now signed up; a competition to find the most breastfeeding friendly venue in the city – with nominations made by breastfeeding women; a breast feeding picnic in the Winter Garden where new mothers were encouraged to openly feed their babies in a bid to make it more socially acceptable; and materials distributed across the city showing women breastfeeding and thanking other people for being supportive of them.
Last week Leeds’ launched their bid to become the most breastfeeding friendly city.
Cllr Jackie Drayton, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Families, said:
“Anything that can be done to support mums to breastfeed can only be a good thing.
“I breastfed my children and I would encourage all women to do the same. It is simple, easy and can be a pleasure. Not only is it good for the baby but it is also good for you – reducing health risks. Even better it helps you to lose weight, which is I know a high priority for most new mothers!”
Caroline Burrows, Health Improvement Principal for Maternal and Infant Health for NHS Sheffield added:
“We’re delighted to have the support of Cllr Drayton and are keen to encourage more people to get involved to help change public perception about breastfeeding and make it a first choice for all new mothers.
“Often women tell us they don’t leave the house because they don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public, and in some cases this can end up preventing women breastfeeding for as long as they might like.”
Cllr Sylvia Dunkley, The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, added:
"Breastfeeding is such a positive experience for both mothers and their babies. I would urge every new mother to have a go even if it is only for a while."
Breastfeeding gives babies all the nutrients they need for the first six months of life and also protects them from infection, forms a strong physical and emotional bond and often reduces the mother’s chances of developing some illnesses in later life.
For more information about breastfeeding and to find out how to make Sheffield Breastfeeding Friendly city, visit: http://www.sheffieldc4l.org.uk/about/breastfeeding/