But the benefits of breastfeeding could hardly be greater: it protects babies against infection and disease, breastmilk is almost constantly available, and breastfeeding helps create a deep emotional bond.
To help mothers in Lancashire, a new free lactation consultation clinic is run by the Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service every Tuesday at the Ribbleton Neighborhood Center in Preston.
Implemented to make face-to-face support for mothers more readily available, the service is run by HCRG Care Group on behalf of Lancashire County Council, with all staff holding the highest level of support accreditation at breastfeeding award from the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).
“Breastfeeding can be difficult, but with the right support, we strive to help mothers breastfeed for as long as they want,” says Laura Whisker, coordinator of the ward’s infant feeding project. “We want families to know that they can access free lactation consultants within their medical visit service.
“The launch of our lactation counseling clinic specializing in breastfeeding coincided with National Breastfeeding Week,” she adds. “[That] gave us the perfect opportunity to provide more advice and information to help mothers on their breastfeeding journey.
According to the NHS, breastfeeding can offer a litany of benefits to both mother and baby, including the fact that breast milk is perfectly designed for baby’s growth and that breastfeeding offers benefits for health of the mother herself, reducing the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and obesity.
County Councilor Michael Green, a member of Lancashire County Council’s cabinet for health and wellbeing, said the service offers mums in Lancashire a “great opportunity”. “Research has shown that breastfeeding is best for mothers and babies because it has significant health benefits for both,” he says.
“Breast milk is perfectly suited to your child and can protect him from infection and disease,” he adds. “It has also been proven to benefit the health of the mother and can help strengthen the bond between mother and child. So we want to do everything we can to support mums who want to breastfeed their child. .
“This clinic is a key part of our plans to help families give children a healthy start in life. It’s a great opportunity for moms to get free expert breastfeeding support from qualified consultants.”
Run by the HCRG Care Group, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of health and community care services, helping to transform the delivery of healthcare in local communities by focusing on experience, l effectiveness and outcomes, the service also has an infant feeding team that has partnered with Family and Baby Breastfeeding Peer Support (FAB).
Together, the two organizations run a free group alongside the clinic on Tuesdays from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Ribbleton Neighborhood Center to provide those seeking additional support and guidance with a friendly and welcoming environment in which to reap the myriad benefits of feeding with milk.
For more information or to register your interest, please call 0300 247 0040.