A GROUP of women have been commended for completing a unique training course in how to help other mothers with breastfeeding.
The pilot scheme has been set up by health bosses as part of a drive to get parents to help each other with difficulties and problems with feeding, and to emphasise that “breast is best” for young babies’ diets.
According to NHS statistics, 43 per cent of mothers in west Essex breastfeed at six to eight weeks of their child’s birth, which is below the national average of 48 per cent.
The volunteers all took part in a 12-week course at the Abbeywood and Hazelwood Children’s Centres in Waltham Abbey, spending three hours a week learning how to become a “breastfeeding buddy” and how best to promote the practice in the local area.
Graduates of the course celebrated with a party earlier this week, featuring a cake in the shape of a pair of breasts supplied by Andersons bakery in Epping High Street.
Teresa Morgan, of NHS West Essex, which organised the course along with the children’s centres and the Breastfeeding Network group, congratulated the women for their hard work.
She added: “We hope this new initiative can go from strength to strength.”
Course trainer Jane Neesam said: “I hope more Waltham Abbey mothers will breastfeed with the support they need to maintain it for longer.
“It provides long lasting benefits for babies and mums themselves.”
For more information on breastfeeding support in west Essex call Jo Eley on 01279 698625 or Philippa Hyams on 0208 522 3217.
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