Increasing Children’s Life Chances

I’m Rebecca, the Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinator, part of the Community Advancement Team.   One of our Children’s Centres priorities is to Increase life chances for new born babies by increasing the percentage of women who continue to breastfeed at 6-8 weeks.  When looking at Increasing Children’s Life Chances’, babies who are breastfed for longer periods have higher intelligence, fewer infections, fewer dental problems, reduced mortality and are less likely to be overweight or diabetic in later life.  For mothers, breastfeeding protects against breast and ovarian cancer and diabetes.  This is powerful information that mothers will want to know when making a decision about how to feed their child and enabling mothers to make a good informed choice.  With 8 out of 10 mothers being reported to stop breastfeeding before they had wanted to, support has never been needed more.

Thanks to Locala and their Breastfeeding Peer Support Service, where they train mothers who have breastfed for at least 4 months, for 11 weeks on a wonderful course, we can offer peer support within our Children’s Centres.  A Breastfeeding Peer Supporter is able to offer mother-to-mother support, encouragement, information, and to promote a better understanding of breastfeeding.

We now offer 3 support groups within our centres at Todmorden, Jubilee and Boothtown.  The groups are open to any mother breastfeeding, pregnant ladies, relatives etc.  The groups are friendly and every mum makes the next feel welcome and friendships are soon made.  Sometimes it is just lovely to be with other mothers, feeling the same emotions you are, experiencing the same fears and needing to be told everything is okay and if it is not okay, we will make sure we help you on the path to make things okay.  Peer support has the potential power to give hidden strength and to help every mother be as capable as they possibly can be.  We are now lucky enough to have a peer supporter available at one of our centres every day of the week.

Get in touch with Rebecca, email rebecca.harrison@regen.org.uk