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Hospital Baby Café campaign to help new mums proves a winner

Global award for the Baby Cafes

Jenny Oldroyd, with new mum Laura McCarthy and daughter Ada

Oh baby, they’re on to a winner in Huddersfield!

A project by the Calderdale and Huddersfield Foundation Trust to help new mums has been recognised with an international award.

The Trust has been re-accredited by UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative.

Designed to support breastfeeding and parent infant relationships by working with public services to improve standards of care, the Trust became the first accredited Baby Friendly hospital in the region in 2002.

Trust officials have set up two free of charge drop-in Baby Cafés each week run by skilled facilitators with the help of volunteers and peer supporters. They are designed to provide both social support and expert help to mothers with breastfeeding questions or concerns.

Always attended by a qualified midwife/lactation consultant from the Trust, the cafés are held in an informal environment, with refreshments, comfortable seating and play areas for accompanying children.

New mum Rachel Howarth from Stainland. attends the Baby Café on Thursdays at Baby Ballet in Halifax. She said: “I have had so much support since Verity was born and I struggled to feed her.

“The team have given me loads of advice and encouragement when I have been close to tears and wanted to give up”.

Jenny Oldroyd, Volunteer Peer Supporter, juggles two part-time jobs as well as giving her spare time to support new mums is clear about what the Baby Cafés mean to her:

“For me it’s about making a difference one mum at a time. I have been there myself, breastfeeding my own child, so wanted to share my own experience using the training I’ve had for the role of Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.

Rachel Howarth, with daughter Verity

“I can’t help everyone, but I really hope I make a big difference to the new mums that I support at the Baby Café. And if that helps them breastfeed their babies for longer, which is important to them, then I feel like I am helping them feel better about themselves”.

Meanwhile, new mums in Calderdale are being asked to get together for a world record attempt to raise awareness of breastfeeding.

As part of World Breastfeeding Week, a challenge has been thrown down to get as many babies as possible breastfeeding in the same place at the same time.

Calderdale Breastfeeding Peer Support Group Network and Elland Children’s Centre are hosting a Big Latch On event at the centre on Friday July 31 from 10am to 11am.

The current record was set in 2013 when 14,536 children were breast fed simultaneously.

Clr Megan Swift, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet member for Children and Young People’s Services, said: “Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby.

“In Calderdale about 80% of women breastfeed their newborns in the first 48 hours after birth but this drops off to about 40% by the time the baby is six to eight weeks old.

“The longer you do it, the greater the benefits – including healthy growth and less chance of diarrhoea, vomiting, ear infections and obesity for children, plus reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancer for mums.”

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