Council chiefs in St Helens have launched a campaign to promote breastfeeding and its benefits for mum and baby.
The borough has historically had breastfeeding rates lower than the national average, with health chiefs citing a variety of factors for low take up.
Now the council’s healthy living team has launched a campaign called ‘Your Story Your Milk’.
The scheme was developed following insight work, which gathered local people’s views on breastfeeding and discovered what information mums, mums-to-be and families would like about breastfeeding.
The campaign highlights key benefits such as protecting babies from tummy bugs, reducing the risk of breast cancer and helping mums to bond with their baby.
Stories from local mums and dads about their experiences of breastfeeding are also being shared in the hope that they will reach out to others and encourage them to continue or take up breastfeeding.
Coun Jeanie Bell, portfolio holder for children, families, young people and education, said: “This is a fantastic campaign providing mums with an informed choice for infant feeding.
“Being a mum myself, I only wish that I had the same information and support when I had my children.
“Breastfeeding provides babies with the best start in life, with a whole range of health benefits including the reduced risk of respiratory infections - and, it’s completely free and readily available.
“I hope the campaign encourages more mums to breastfeed.”
The campaign also promotes the Healthy Living Infant Feeding Team, who provide breastfeeding support for mums and mums-to-be, breastfeeding support groups and accredit premises with the ‘Baby Welcome’ status, which shows that the venue welcomes mums to breastfeed.
One local mum said: “I would like to thank the team for all the support they’ve given me, they’ve been amazing. With my first two children I did try to breastfeed but I struggled and wasn’t able to continue.
“With my third I was determined to breastfeed and eight weeks later, we’re still breastfeeding and it’s all thanks to the support from the team.”
If you would like more information about the breastfeeding support on offer, call the Healthy Living Team on 0300 300 0103 or visit: www.healthysthelens.co.uk/our-services/infant-feeding/