THE infant feeding team at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust are celebrating World Breastfeeding Awareness Week with information stands and advice for new mums and mothers-to-be.
The maternity units at North Manchester General Hospital and The Royal Oldham Hospital will host information stalls in the Café Royal at The Royal Oldham Hospital and the antenatal clinic at North Manchester General Hospital during the week of 1 to 7 August.
Staff from the infant feeding team will host the stalls between 9.30am and 12.30pm at North Manchester General Hospital on Monday 1 and Wednesday 3 August and at The Royal Oldham Hospital on Wednesday 3 and Friday 5 August from 10.30am and 2.30pm.
The theme for this year’s awareness week is Breastfeeding: A key to sustainable development. This links to world leaders coming together in September 2015 and committing to 17 sustainable development goals. Breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.
Jennifer Sager, the Trust’s lead midwife and infant feeding co-ordinator, said: “As a team we want to promote that breastfeeding is something done worldwide and can improve the health and wellbeing of all mothers and babies. Our aim this year is to encourage all mums to offer their new baby, breast milk for its first feed. Ideally we would want all babies to have their first milk feed from mum whilst in skin to skin contact with each other as the benefits of just this one feed are second to none.
“The baby will be calm during this feed and studies have shown that the closeness which the baby will feel with its mother increases brain development and promotes bonding between mum and baby. It can also help to protect baby from gut bacteria as immunities built up by mum are passed through to her baby via her breast milk.
“World Breastfeeding Awareness Week is all about highlighting the various means of support that can help a mother to start and then continue breastfeeding for longer. After the first feed, mothers will be supported by their midwife and maternity team regarding how to successfully continue breastfeeding. This support will continue whilst they are in hospital, during their home birth and then in the community setting by midwives, health visitors and support groups.
“Mothers may choose that after the first feed that they no longer want to continue feeding in this way, and at Pennine Acute Trust we provide informed choice and will support all mothers regarding their chosen feeding method.”
The Trust which runs The Royal Oldham Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, Rochdale Infirmary and community services, has had UNICEF accredited status for 17 years at Oldham and 10 years at North Manchester General Hospital. This means that the hospitals have been externally assessed and demonstrated exceptional care for mothers and babies with regards to feeding, whether that be by breast or bottle.
The infant feeding team train staff, support mothers and provide services across the maternity, paediatric, neonatal and general ward areas where breastfeeding women may be being treated.
Within this team there are five infant feeding support workers who provide information and support to mothers on both breast and bottle feeding during their maternity stay. All Pennine Acute Trust staff that have direct contact with mothers and babies are also trained in breastfeeding.
Jennifer continued: “We want mothers to make an informed choice about the milk they give to their babies and have the support to breastfeed should they wish to do so.”
Breast fed babies are:
Mothers who breastfeed:
Pictured: New mum Maria Banel with baby Piotr from Middleton, and infant feeding advisor midwife Michele Ogden.