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Saint Mary’s Get Involved in National Breastfeeding Awareness Week

As part of Breastfeeding Awareness Week, 11th - 17th May, Saint Mary’s will launch their first group of Peer Supporters. The Peer Supporters are breastfeeding mums who have volunteered to offer help and advice to other breastfeeding woman on all aspects of breastfeeding. They have been successfully trained by the midwives at Saint Mary’s Hospital in accordance with the La Lache League of Great Britain who are an internationally recognised breastfeeding organisation. All six Peer Supporters will be presented with their training certificates by Karen Connolly, Head of Midwifery at Saint Mary’s, and Anne Scott, Head of Antenatal Services. The ceremony will be held at The Children’s Centre in Moss Side on Thursday 15th May as part of Saint Mary’s week long event. Gally Haralambous, Parent Information Midwife at Saint Mary’s said: “Saint Mary’s Hospital positively supports women who choose to breastfeed. All mothers are encouraged and given the opportunity to have skin to skin contact with their babies from birth. Breastfeeding is a healthy choice for both mother and baby. Breast milk is a health food for babies. It helps to prevent ear infections, chest infections, tummy upsets, asthma, eczema, diabetes, and heart disease. “Over 70% of women at Saint Mary’s initiate breastfeeding. However, we know that far fewer than these will be breastfeeding at six months. That is why we are training local women in our communities to help provide continuing support for new mothers to improve the health of newborn babies. We provide support and training to all levels of staff to continue supporting women and their families during the early weeks and beyond.” Also taking place on Thursday will be a party held at The Baby Café. Based at The Children’s Centre, The Baby Café is a registered charity offering a safe and comfortable environment. It allows pregnant and breastfeeding women to access support and advice in a relaxed female-only setting. The morning event will start at 9.30 am and will include speakers, Real Nappy and Baby Sling demonstrations and a specialist in maternity bras will also be available to provide advice and fittings for her made-to-measure service. Both events are available to any pregnant or breastfeeding women, not just those under the care of Saint Mary’s Antenatal Services. There will also be a breastfeeding information stand located in Saint Mary’s main entrance and antenatal clinic throughout the week and the Community Midwives will be available for information at Asda in Longsight from 9.00 am – 4.30 pm on Friday 16th May. The Peer Support Group will be available at The Children’s Centre from 2.00 pm on Thursday 15th May. Once Breastfeeding Awareness Week is over, the Peer Supporters will be located in Saint Mary’s Antenatal Clinic every morning for informal chats and advice. For further information about how you can get involved during the week, please contact The Health Education Team on 0161 276 6914.