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Breastfeeding poster to blitz cafes

PUBLISHED: 15:49 08 May 2008 | UPDATED: 11:02 03 July 2010

WHAT is Great Yarmouth's attitude to breastfeeding and do women feel comfortable enough to do it?

That is the question local parents and specialist midwives will be asking when they sweep the town's restaurants and cafés on Tuesday with the aim of clearing away any possible embarrassment or difficulty for women.

WHAT is Great Yarmouth's attitude to breastfeeding and do women feel comfortable enough to do it?

That is the question local parents and specialist midwives will be asking when they sweep the town's restaurants and cafés on Tuesday with the aim of clearing away any possible embarrassment or difficulty for women.

As part of Breastfeeding Awareness Week which starts on Monday, they will be encouraging premises to display a poster or sticker to let breastfeeding mums know they are welcome.

A list of participating eateries will be handed to

all new mums leaving Gorleston's James Paget hospital with their hungry offspring.

Nicola Lovett, health promotion midwife, said the blitz was part of a range

of events nationally aimed

at raising the breastfeeding statistics which were particularly low in Great Yarmouth and to inform mothers of the benefits of breast rather than bottle feeding.

“We are going round to as many restaurants like Palmers and McDonalds

that we can get to and asking if they are willing to

put a sticker in their

window.

“It's not about them offering anything like a feeding room, it's just that women will

know they can sit quietly and discreetly and not be bothered.

“The more normal it becomes the more women will do it.”

She said feeling uncomfortable while feeding in public was an issue regularly raised at the Baby Café at the Priory Centre with women worried they

would be gawped at or frowned upon.

She added that while baby rooms were great, women mostly wanted to sit with their husbands or friends not apart from them.

Health professionals say that babies who receive breast milk are at a lower risk of developing a range of illnesses from ear infections, chest infections, urine infections, allergies, gastro enteritis, virus infections, dental problems, asthma, eczema, obesity and heart disease in adult life.

For mothers who breastfeed they have a reduced risk of developing pre-menopausal breast cancer, ovarian cancer and it generally helps them regain their pre-pregnancy figure.

On the whole, any woman can do it although it comes much easier to some and others need a lot of help and guidance to get it right. It is also cheaper and easier than mixing up feeds in sterilised bottles.

But with every incentive needed to drive up Yarmouth's breast feeding rates the prospect of perching on public toilet seats in tiny cubicles does nothing to persuade women of its virtues.

Mrs Lovett said a peer support scheme some years ago saw 85pc of teenage

mums opting to breastfeed. She estimated that that figure had probably fallen back to around 30pc, although funding for a new training programme starting on May 20 had been secured.

To find out more about

this event or breastfeeding support in general call

Nicola Lovett on 01493

743068.

The Baby Café is held at

the Priory Centre, next to

St Nicholas' Church on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm.


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