Asked why breastfeeding is important, most people would be able to say that it is best for babies. It is also best for mums, though not everyone realises this. Sometimes, people would also say that breastfeeding is not good for mums. I’ve said before on this page that breastfeeding in the culture of the UK is not easy, and the latest available figures show that across the UK 81% of mums started to breastfeed, dropping to 69% at 2 weeks and then a further drop off rate at 6 weeks to 55%.
Breastfeeding is great for mums as long as they get the help they need to sustain it. Most mums say that they stopped because of sore nipples and breasts, and they felt they didn’t have enough milk for their hungry babies. With the right help, these things can be made so much better and even overcome quickly. Any mum who begins to breastfeed does so because she really wants to rather than pleasing anyone else. It can be a horrible time and emotionally upsetting for that mum if she feels she has no alternative but to stop.
Where was I? Oh yes – breastfeeding is good for mums too! Can you really believe that? Research shows that mums who breastfeed have some protection from breast and ovarian cancers. They also have less bone thinning / osteoporosis in later life so are less likely to suffer a hip fracture when elderly. Yes – elderly happens eventually. More research is needed but the indications show links with protection from rheumatoid arthritis, type 2 diabetes and obesity and post-natal depression.
If you want to find out more about this then go to the news and research pages at: www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly
The Thursday morning free drop-in breastfeeding support sessions at West Pottergate, Norwich, NR2 4BX (10.00-12.00) are open to all. If you want to come, then it would be great, though not essential if you could make it by 11.00-11.15 as we get very busy. Although we see everyone who attends its really good if we can estimate how many mums and babies we will need to see over the session, so mums feel that they’ve been given enough time for some progress to be made.
Private consultations are also available.
More information available at www.breastfeedingnorfolk.co.uk
Thanks amazing mums all.