Breastfeeding in North East Lincolnshire
Welcome to the breastfeeding webpages for North East Lincolnshire. Below you will find some important information about breastfeeding, and links to further information can be found at the bottom of the page.
Breastfeeding gives your baby/babies the best start in life. The Department of Health recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. Breast milk is very different to formula milk, it is highly recommended because the milk that a baby receives when breastfeeding is more than just a food; it contains nutrients, enzymes, antibodies and other properties that help protect babies from infection and diseases.
The milk that a baby receives when breastfeeding is especially made to meet the needs of each individual baby. It is easily absorbed, naturally designed and adapts to promote growth and development. Breastfeeding helps protect your baby against a wide range of infections, allergies and diseases, including:
- Ear infections
- Gastro-intestinal infections, stomach upsets, diarrhoea
- Chest infections
- Urine infections
- Childhood diabetes
- Childhood cancer, coronary heart disease
- Necrotising Enterocolitis
- Sudden Infant Death (SIDS)
Links have also been made with:Increased development of the neurological and central nervous system
- Reduced risk of behavioural problems
Breastfeeding also benefits mothers:
- It helps protect mothers against ovarian and breast cancer
- Can help protect against weak bones (osteoporosis) in later life
- Can help women return to their pre-pregnancy figure faster
- Can help build a strong relationship and attachment with your baby in the early days
There is an increasing amount of evidence around the benefits of breastfeeding. It is safe, convenient, environmentally friendly, and it is free!If you would like to find out more about the information and support available to you, please read through the rest of our webpages and visit the webpages listed under Useful Websites to the right of this page.
In order to ensure good practice, North East Lincolnshire hospital and community services have a breastfeeding policy. Please find this policy attached on the right hand side of this page.
Where Can I Find Out More About Breastfeeding or Get Local Support?
If you want to find out more about breastfeeding and what local support is available please contact your midwife, health visitor, children's centre or voluntary peer support service. Your GP may also be able to offer you support and information.
If you have any concerns about feeding your child or your child's health, growth or development in general please contact your midwife, health visitor or GP.
Breastfeeding Drop In Groups
There are a number of local informal friendly groups where you can meet other mothers who are or who have breastfed. There will often be a peer supporter around to help and other people who can either provide support or signpost you for further support if you need it. Further information about drop in groups can be viewed on the Family Information Service webpages. You can find a link to this under Related Content. Group dates and times do sometimes change so please ring the venue to check before attending.
Return to Work
If you need to return to work after having your baby, you don't necessarily have to stop breastfeeding. Speak to your midwife or health visitor about expressing and storing milk. Your employer will also need to be informed in advance.
What is Healthy Start?
Healthy Start is a government scheme where families can get free vouchers towards milk, plain, fresh and frozen vegetables and can also get free vitamins. You could qualify if you receive benefits, or are pregnant and under 18 years old. To find out more or to find out if you are eligible please speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor, or visit the Healthy Start website.
Vitamins for pregnant women, breast feeding women and children up to 5 years
Even though most people can get all the vitamins they need by eating a healthy, balanced diet, there are certain times in your life when you may not be able to get everything you need from food alone – like when you are planning a pregnancy, when you are pregnant, when you are a new mum or if you are a small child.
More information about the types of vitamins and why they are important on the Healthy Start website (http://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/food-and-health-tips/vitamins/)
Healthy Start vitamins for women
These are specifically made for pregnant and breastfeeding women and contain folic acid and vitamins C and D
*The Department of Health now recommends that, all pregnant and breastfeeding women should take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms Vitamin D. This is to meet mother's vitamin requirement and also to help build stores for your growing baby.
Healthy Start vitamins drops for babies and children
UK Health Departments recommend that all babies aged from six months onwards should be given a supplement that contains vitamins A, C and D, such as Healthy Start vitamin drops, unless they are drinking 500ml (a pint) of infant formula a day (infant formula has vitamins added to it). You can continue to give young children a supplement containing vitamins A, C and D until they are five years old, as this will help to make sure that they are getting enough of these vitamins. This is especially important when they are learning to eat a variety of foods and if they are fussy eaters.
*The Department of Health specifically recommends that all infants and young children aged 6 months to 5 years should be given a Vitamin D supplement (drops). Breastfed babies may need to take them from one month old if the mother has not taken adequate Vitamin D in pregnancy. The recommended dose is included in Healthy Start vitamin drops.
Where to buy Healthy Start vitamins
Healthy Start vitamins are therefore suitable for pregnant women, breast feeding women and children up to 5 years. They can be purchased at low cost from Grimsby Maternity Service, Antenatal clinics (Diana Princess of Hospital, Women and Children's Group) and all children's centres across North East Lincolnshire. Some women will also be eligible for free vitamins (To find out more or to find out if you are eligible please speak to your Midwife or Health Visitor, or visit the Healthy Start website.
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