Health chiefs at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are supporting World Breastfeeding Week 2015 this week (August 1-7).
The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2015 is working women and breastfeeding.
The CCG provides paid maternity leave which can support staff to establish breastfeeding with their baby along with private areas, if a mother chooses to use them, to breastfeed or pump milk for their baby.
Breastfeeding, according to the CCG, has huge health benefits for both mother and baby. Babies have less chance of gastroenteritis, respiratory infections, sudden infant death syndrome, obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes and allergies.
Mothers are also said to be at less risk of breast and ovarian cancer, along with osteoporosis later in life.
Jill Houghton, director of quality, safety and patient experience, said, “As an organisation we want to support and encourage any mother to breastfeed.
“While breastfeeding is natural, it is also something that mother and baby need to learn and we do our best to ensure that the mothers in our organisation are always given the opportunity to establish and continue breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding has huge health benefits for mother and baby that do not just end when breastfeeding ends but can last a lifetime. Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect.
“The longer a baby is breastfed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.”
Mother to a one-year-old baby, Helen McPherson works for the CCG. She said, “I have been fortunate enough to take advantage of a full year of maternity leave offered by the CCG.
“During this time I have been given support by so many local breastfeeding support groups and I am really happy I am still breastfeeding.”
Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for babies for the first six months of their life, but the World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of a baby’s life or longer.
There are breastfeeding clinics located across the county in towns and cities including Peterborough, Cambridge, St Ives, Huntingdon, St Neots, Littleport, Soham, Ely, Ramsey and Wisbech. Check with health visitors or midwives for details.