A series of events are being held across north Cumbria as part of UNICEF’s National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, which runs from 18-27 June 2016.
Breastfeeding support groups, run by volunteer peer supporters with the backing of North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust (NCUH), operate throughout the year across the region. Many of these groups have organised special events next week as part of the national celebration.
On Friday 24 June, there is a Morton breastfeeding picnic from 1.00-2.30pm at Morton Manor, Wigton Road, Carlisle providing cakes and refreshments – all parents and parents-to-be are welcome.
Another picnic, run by NCUH volunteers in Penrith, is also taking place on Sunday 26 June at Castle Park, Penrith from 11.00am – 1.00pm. The breastfeeding support group runs every Tuesday at Penrith Leisure Centre from 1.00pm – 2.30pm.
The annual celebration week aims to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their infants, as well as showcasing the great work happening in communities to support and promote breastfeeding.
The Trust is also expected to recruit 18 new peer supporters across north Cumbria. Peer supporters are volunteers with breastfeeding experience that help new mums establish good breastfeeding relationships with their babies. The peer supporter role is vital in ensuring successful breastfeeding rates for the county.
Helen Ferris, infant feeding coordinator for the hospitals trust, said: “Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life, but it can be difficult without proper support. Volunteer peer supporters are women who have breastfed their own babies and know how hard it can be, but also how rewarding it is therefore they can offer invaluable help to breastfeeding mums.
“I look forward to the week’s celebrations, it’s an opportunity to highlight not only the great support available, but the benefits of breastfeeding for both the mother and baby.”
If you are interested in becoming a breastfeeding peer supporter, attending maternity wards and breastfeeding support groups, please contact Helen Ferris [email protected] for more information.