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Leeds backs being breastfeeding friendly

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World Breastfeeding Week
Breastfeeding brings a wide range of health benefits to both babies and mums and supports brain development and secure emotional attachment.

Breastfeeding in Leeds is being given a thumbs up as council leaders endorse World Breastfeeding Week.

Following on from Leeds being declared a breastfeeding friendly city, people and organisations are being urged to back the ‘Sustaining Breastfeeding Together’ campaign for the week and celebrate the work being done in Leeds to make it a place all women feel comfortable breastfeeding.

Councillor Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council executive member for health, wellbeing and adults, said:

“Women should be comfortable to breastfeed anywhere in Leeds, so I am pleased more than 120 venues and businesses in the city have already signed up to be breastfeeding friendly.

“It is crucial both mother and baby have the support they need when breastfeeding. Creating an environment where they are comfortable to do so can make such a difference in those important months.

“I am also pleased close working between Leeds City Council public health staff and Leeds health visiting service has secured an ‘outstanding’ level of achievement on a recent UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation. This means the health visiting service is recognised as providing a high standard of care for pregnant women and mothers.

“With health partners in the city such as Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust’s maternity service also accredited, it is important we continue to work together to build on the progress already made in the city.”

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council executive member for children and families, said:

“We are wholehearted in our support for all staff, customers and visitors in council venues who wish to breastfeed. We know breastfeeding is a great way to improve the health of both mother and baby, so we want to do everything we can to make it as easy as possible and I’m delighted so many organisations in Leeds are supporting this.

“Our children’s centres in Leeds are working towards achieving the highly acclaimed UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to the quality of care for babies and mothers. I hope even more take up the challenge to be breastfeeding friendly, helping mums and babies have the best future.”

Breastfeeding brings a wide range of health benefits to both babies and mums and supports brain development and secure emotional attachment. It is also associated with fewer infections and hospital admissions and lower risk of conditions such as obesity and diabetes in later life.

Leeds Early Start and Midwifery service recommend and promote the Best Beginnings Baby Buddy app and Baby Express magazines for all parents and families in Leeds. There’s lots of help and support available and you can ask your midwife or health visitor for resources too.

Leeds was one of the first cities to declare it is breastfeeding friendly and the council is backing Leeds Baby Week from September 11th to 17th 2017. This is a week of baby and child friendly activities, with a range of workshops for families and professionals which will provide great opportunities for new and not-so-new parents to find out helpful information and enjoy a range of events.

More details of Leeds breastfeeding friendly work can be found here: http://familyinformation.leeds.gov.uk/professionals/Pages/Breastfeeding-Friendly-.aspx

Best beginnings Baby Buddy information is here: https://www.bestbeginnings.org.uk/baby-buddy

Baby Week Leeds information is here: http://babyweekleeds.weebly.com/about.html