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National Breastfeeding Week highlights support available to County Durham mums

Published June 19, 2019 3.52pm

New and expectant mothers can find out about support to help them breastfeed as part of a national awareness raising campaign.

Breastfeeding peer supporter Leah Johnson

Breastfeeding peer supporter Leah Johnson (middle) with Fiona Malyan Jacques and Jessica Young from Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust

National Breastfeeding Celebration Week runs until Sunday 23 June and aims to explain the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as answering mothers' questions and making them aware of the help and support available to them.

We are working closely with partners, including the Growing Healthy County Durham Infant Feeding Team, to promote breastfeeding provision across the county, celebrate breastfeeding mums, and raise awareness of the county's breastfeeding peer supporters.

Cllr Olwyn Gunn, Cabinet member for Children and Young People's Services said: "It's never too early to start thinking about how you're going to feed your baby. 

"Breastfeeding has a number of health benefits for both mother and baby, including building strong emotional bonds, protecting babies from infections and diseases and lowering mothers' risk of some cancers and health conditions.

"County Durham's fantastic volunteer peer supporters and our brilliant breastfeeding cafés are a great way to help mothers to breastfeed successfully, supporting them to overcome any potential barriers, build their confidence and make friends."

Breastfeeding peer supporters are local mums who have been trained to support other mums and babies to enjoy breastfeeding, offering advice and reassurance. 

Making people feel supported and cared for

Twenty-eight-year-old mum of three, Leah Johnson became a breastfeeding peer supporter after attending a local breastfeeding café with her own child. 

Leah said: "I went to the café for social reasons as well as breastfeeding support. I made some wonderful friends who were all in the same boat and I really appreciated that.

"I remember the lady who sat with me for an hour when my first was born and how she made me feel. She was compassionate and she gave her time to help me. I was overwhelmed by her kindness. I wanted to be that person for someone else and make them feel as supported and cared for as I was.

"Normalising breastfeeding is so important and what better way to get the message out than by getting people who are actually breastfeeding or have breastfed, to come alongside these women and say 'you can do this'. I've learnt so much since becoming a peer supporter and I feel like it's been good for me."

Where to find support

Peer supporters volunteer in a variety of settings, such as antenatal sessions, on postnatal wards, at clinics and in breastfeeding cafés across County Durham.

Breastfeeding cafés offer information, moral support and company from like-minded mums in a relaxed, informal atmosphere.

A list of breastfeeding cafes and more information about the benefits of breastfeeding can be found on our Breastfeeding web page.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a breastfeeding peer supporter can contact Jessica Young on 03000 269 585 for more information.


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