Find out more about breastfeeding at FAB

Mums urged to make 'informed choices' around breastfeeding

Mums are being urged to breastfeed their babies for the first six months and supported with informed choices by a families and babies charity.

At Lancashire County Council's latest Full Council meeting on October 12, County Councillor Michael Green, cabinet member for Health and Wellbeing, was posed the question, 'How are families being supported to make informed choices around breastfeeding and getting the best start for their babies?'

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Green said: "The government recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months, and then alongside complementary foods for at least a year. The World Health Organisation and UNICEF recommends this, but on-going for two years and beyond.

"Breastmilk provides the foundation for a healthy start in life and the emotional, physical, and social benefits of breastfeeding for baby and mother are well-evidenced in both the short and the long term.

"The benefits for babies include a reduced risk of infections and for mothers there is a lowered risk of breast cancer in those who breastfeed. Most importantly, there is a reduced risk of sudden unexpected deaths in infants, and it can have a positive effect on early attachment through promoting bonding between mother and baby.

"Our Public Health Team commissions a Lancashire-wide breastfeeding support service. The current provider is Families and Babies (FAB), a charity who provide breastfeeding peer support to mothers. The service regularly receives positive feedback from mothers, families and other health care professionals who praise the service for the support provided.

"For some mums, breastfeeding is not an option and we completely understand that different options work for different people. Our health visitors, midwives and general practitioners do provide wider infant feeding advice for those who need it.

"The recent establishment of Lancashire's Family Hubs network has provided us with a further opportunity to embed infant feeding provision and support, in settings which are local and convenient for families.

"UNICEF has recently awarded their Baby Friendly Gold Standard for the third year in succession to our county, commending the Lancashire services for the high calibre of work and innovation taking place.

"We can be proud that we are making a real difference to the lives of parents and babies."

Find out more at Lancashire - Families and Babies (FAB)

To find out more, go to Council - Browse meetings - Full Council (