Breastfeeding mothers from Rotherham are invited to join millions of other mums from around the world at a family-friendly event called the Big Latch On.
Mums with children of all ages can attend the Global Big Latch On at Clifton Park on Friday 5 August, from 9.45am to 1pm. The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust and Rotherham Borough Metropolitan Council have joined forces to host the event during World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 to 7 August, on behalf of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.
Mums are expected to bring along their babies, toddlers and wider families to the event, which last year was celebrated in 28 countries and attracted 15,336 women. It aims to strengthen support for breastfeeding and to improve the health of children and women.
Audra Muxlow, Head of Midwifery at Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We know that breastfeeding provides the best possible start in life for babies and gives them the greatest foundation for living long and healthy lives.
“We are very fortunate in Rotherham to have a strong support network of expert breastfeeding midwives and health visitors, along with our Breast Buddies team and local businesses who offer a welcoming place for mums to breastfeed in Rotherham.
“This will be a fantastic event because it encourages mums to come together and encourage and support other women in choosing to breastfeed. It will be our third event in Rotherham and we’re hoping more mums bring along their children, partners and wider family than ever before.”
Breastfeeding contributes to the normal growth and development of babies, protecting them against illnesses such as cot death, breathing disorders, infections, gastroenteritis, cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes. It can also reduce the mum’s risk of osteoporosis and some cancers.
The Trust’s Breastfeeding Peer Trainers, Breast Buddies and other mums will be available to offer support and advice at the event which will begin at 10.30am to coincide with similar events across the world. Organisers will be taking a head count in anticipation of local women helping to beat the previous year’s record for the number of women breastfeeding.
Breast Buddy Libby Holden, 36, from Maltby, will be attending the event for the third year with her two-and-a-half year old daughter Mia.
She said: “I became a Breast Buddy because after I had Mia I wanted to help other mums who felt as passionately about breastfeeding as I did.
“If you are breastfeeding, or would like to, then this is a great event to come and meet other mums and get any support you need from Breast Buddies like me, especially if you are struggling to breastfeed or don’t feel confident. I’m sure that like previous years, it will be a really lovely atmosphere where mums are there to support each other. It shows breastfeeding is normal and helps give women confidence.”
During World Breastfeeding Week, new and expectant mums are also invited to Rotherham Hospital’s Community Corner (in the hospital’s foyer) between 10am and 4pm on 1 August to talk to the Trust’s Breastfeeding Peer Trainers. Mums can find out more about the benefits of breastfeeding and what support is on offer in the community.
A cohort of six Breast Buddies will also be completing their training on 3 August. The women have dedicated two hours a week for nine weeks to the course, in which they learn more about anatomy and physiology, responsive breastfeeding, challenges, births and babies. Once they have graduated, they will be volunteering in children’s centres across Rotherham. ENDS
For more information contact Suzanne Rutter, Communications Officer, on Suzanne.Rutter@rothgen.nhs.uk
or call 01709 426084. Out of hours or at weekends, contact the main switchboard on 01709 820000 and ask for the on-call duty manager.