Breastfeeding bonanza!

A recent graduation of breastfeeding peer supporters at Ribblesdale Children's Centre with some local mums and centre staff.

A recent graduation of breastfeeding peer supporters at Ribblesdale Children's Centre with some local mums and centre staff.

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THIS week (June 19th to 26th) is National Breastfeeding Awareness Week 2011, which sees local branches of the National Childbirth Trust (NCT) spreading the word about support available in their communities. NCT’s network of branches has be holding events to welcome breastfeeding mums and their families, provide information and raise awareness about support offered by the charity, from drop-ins to a national helpline.

Locally the East Lancs NCT Branch will celebrate National Breastfeeding Awareness Week with a “Breastfeeding Bonanza” in the creative play area at Clitheroe Castle this Sunday, June 26, from 2 p.m. The event is being held in association with Ribblesdale Children’s Centre, in Clithereo, and Lancashire Sling Library.

Louise Dunn, co-ordinator of East Lancs NCT Branch said: “We are proud to support National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. Research shows that nine out of ten women stop breastfeeding before they want to and NCT would like to see more support for families so they are able to feel they can continue to breastfeed.

“One of the ways support has been increased is through NCT’s Breastfeeding Peer Support Scheme. NCT have been working closely with local children’s centres to train mums to become volunteer breastfeeding peer supporters. Once trained, they can offer practical and emotional support through drop-in groups, visiting postnatal wards and talking to Parentcraft classes.”

The Breastfeeding Bonanza has been organised by Bryony Midgley, who is a trained peer supporter. Bryony explained: “We’re hoping lots of mums will join us at the castle for the event. Dads, other family members and friends are more than welcome too.

“If you’re a mum or mum-to-be who perhaps doesn’t feel confident breastfeeding in public then come along and join us. There will be lots of support available from the local breastfeeding peer supporters and other mums.”

Throughout the event, East Lancs NCT will be providing breastfeeding support and information. Lancashire Sling Library will be attending to give advice on using a sling with your baby and to allow people to try out slings for free. At 3 p.m. there will be a pram push and sling stroll around the park, which will end at The Atrium Café in the Castle’s grounds.

Bryony continued: “The event gives mums and mums-to-be the chance to chat, make friends, enjoy some gentle exercise and receive breastfeeding support and advice. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun; there is no charge for taking part.”

Breastfeeding support can also be accessed at the NCT Bumps and Babies group held every Thursday morning at The Grand, in York Street, Clitheroe, from 10-30 until noon and at the many groups run by Ribblesdale Children’s Centre. For further details call the children’s centre on 01200 423672.

A trained breastfeeding counsellor can also be contacted by calling the NCT breastfeeding line on 0300 330 0771, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days-a-week. For further information on breastfeeding support or if you are interested in becoming a peer supporter, contact Louise Dunn on 07849 663 365 or e-mail: l_dunn@nct.org.uk