Health chiefs in Kirklees support World Breastfeeding week

NHS North Kirklees and NHS Greater Huddersfield Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) in conjunction with Kirklees Infant Feeding Group are pleased to support World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August 2015).

The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is ‘Working women and breastfeeding’ and calls for global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work.

If you are worried about returning to work and you intending to breastfeed for six months (in line with the Department of Health’s recommendations) please speak to your Health Visitor about developing a return to work plan which you can then discuss with your employer. This will support you to achieve your individual goals making your return to work an easier transition for the whole family.

Breastfeeding exclusively (giving your baby no other food or drink) is recommended for the first six months. After this time, breastfeeding is recommended alongside solid foods for up to two years or beyond. Therefore, it’s likely that you’ll be breastfeeding when you return to work, training or education.

Dr David Kelly, local GP and Chair of NHS North Kirklees CCG said: “It’s important to remember breastfeeding gives babies the best start in life by protecting them from a wide range of illnesses and supports their brain development. It also improves the health of the mother as well as being convenient and free”.

The following advice may help you if you are still breastfeeding when you return to work:

  • Childcare arrangements can create many challenges for parents and some women prefer to arrange their childcare closer to work.  Arrange for childcare close to work or college, so that you can breastfeed during breaks, or before and after work. The evening feed can be a wonderful way for you to relax and reconnect with your baby after work or college.
  • Express breast milk (taking milk from the breast by hand or using a pump) so that baby can still have breastmilk while mum is at work.
  • Ask your employer or college for flexible working hours that are arranged around your breastfeeding needs.
  • Develop a return to work plan with your Health Visitor to enable breastfeeding to fit around your working hours.

Further information about breastfeeding and returning to work can be found at http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/breastfeeding-back-to-work.aspx

Cllr Viv Kendrick of Kirklees Council said: “The experience of breastfeeding is special for so many reasons: the joyful closeness and bonding for mum and baby, the cost savings, and the health benefits. For these reasons, it is important we support women to initiate and continue to breastfeed their child for as long as possible even when returning to work or study”.

Dr Steve Ollerton, local GP and Clinical Chair of NHS Greater Huddersfield CCG said: “In Kirklees, pregnant women or new mothers can find out more about the value of breastfeeding and the support available locally by talking to their Health Visitor or Community Midwife.

Breastfeeding support from Midwives and Health Visitors is available at The Baby Cafes and mother to mother support is also available at the large network of Baby Bistros across Kirklees.”

You can find out more about The Baby Cafes and Baby Bistro’s in Kirklees on the Locala Infant Feeding website www.locala.org.uk/your-healthcare/infant-feeding/  or just search the internet for ‘Locala Infant Feeding’.

General help and advice about breastfeeding is available on the NHS website: www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/breastfeeding-help-support.aspx

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