Partners, families and friends are being urged to support breastfeeding mothers in Suffolk.
A new initiative has been launched by the Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board, which says that 38 per cent of mothers within the county stop breastfeeding between birth and their six and eight-week check.
Suffolk’s vision is to become a breastfeeding-friendly county, where mothers can feed their babies in public without feeling uncomfortable or unwelcome.
Tony Goldson, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health, said: “If you can support a breastfeeding mum, you are doing something amazing.
“Becoming a parent can bring all sorts of new challenges. Some mums feel a bit lonely and isolated sometimes, so we should all do our bit to make their lives easier.
“This can be anything from making drinks to popping out to do the shopping; there are hundreds of ways that you can help.
“Show your support by signing up to become a Breast Friend.”
The Suffolk Health and Wellbeing Board was set up in accordance with the Social Care Act 2012, and has 21 members, including the county council, local clinical commissioning groups, NHS England, HealthWatch, the police, the voluntary sector and district and borough councils.
Local businesses are being urged to support mums by placing ‘breastfeeding welcome’ signs in windows and doors.
Alternatively, people can download a virtual badge and share it on social media.
The Wellbeing Board says the first point of contact for mothers should always be a midwife, health visitor or GP
Further support is available by contacting the National Breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0212, or via Public Health England’s breastfeeding friend chatbot at www.nhs.uk/start4life.
For more information and badges, go online to www.healthysuffolk.org.uk.