Barnardo’s has held celebratory events at its breastfeeding support groups for mums in Cumbria, as part of World Breastfeeding Week.
The events, which have taken place at several Barnardo’s-run children’s centres across Carlisle between 2 and 7 August 2018, have been attended by tens of breastfeeding mums and mums-to be.
Special sensory activities were put on for babies to enjoy, as well as rhyme time and singing, while mums took a minute to enjoy cakes, scones, tea and coffee. Professionals from Barnardo’s were also on hand, as they are at every group, to give advice about breastfeeding and the benefits this can provide for both mum and baby, as well as give assistance with feeding techniques and tips.
Barnardo’s is commissioned by Cumbria County Council to run Children’s Centres within Cumbria. Weekly breast feeding support groups are held at Carlisle West Children’s Centres (Newtown and Shadygrove Road) and Carlisle North Children’s Centre at Belah, with other support groups also available in Penrith.
Rebecca Nemeth, Breastfeeding Support Worker for Barnardo’s in Carlisle said: “Whilst breastfeeding is the natural way for families to feed their babies it is not always without challenge, especially in the early days. Often women make the positive choice to breastfeed but may not have close family or friends who have breastfed.
“A new mum may feel she needs support to know she is doing it right and attending a breastfeeding group can provide reassurance and give a mum the confidence she needs to keep going. Breastfeeding groups are also good ways to meet other mums, who can provide a great support network and friendship group.
“It is a public health priority to increase breastfeeding rates in Cumbria and there is much work ongoing to encourage this. We have seen the benefits that mums and their babies get from attending a breastfeeding group and it is hoped that more support groups for new parents will continue to be set up across the county.”
Marilyn Farrugia and her daughter Rey (4 months) are regular attendees at the Barnardo’s breastfeeding group at Shadygrove Road Children’s Centre in Carlisle. Marilyn was one of around 25 mums that attended the event at the centre on Tuesday 7 August.
Marilyn said: “By coming to groups like this, not only do you get support for you as a mother, but also for your baby, so we both get something out of it. You can read books and google videos about breastfeeding, but nothing compares to being able to get professional advice, motivation and tips from staff, plus to hear the experiences of other mums who are breastfeeding. It’s invaluable and I know I wouldn’t have carried on breastfeeding as long as I have without the support of this group.”
Work is ongoing by local authorities, agencies and charities across Cumbria to increase breastfeeding rates in the region, particularly as the UK has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world.
For further details about breastfeeding support available at Barnardo’s Children’s Centres, please contact Rebecca Nemeth on 01228 223417.