Support on breast feeding praised

Louise Wallace, director of public health in Hartlepool.
Louise Wallace, director of public health in Hartlepool.

A HEALTH chief has praised the Mail for helping to raise awareness about the benefits of breast feeding.

Louise Wallace, the director of public health in Hartlepool, was speaking at a recent meeting of the shadow health and wellbeing board, which brings together council and health officials.

Latest figures revealed by the Mail show four out of five Hartlepool women stop breastfeeding their children after just six weeks, despite the health benefits.

In recent weeks we have featured several stories with breastfeeding mums urging other mums to have a go.

Mrs Wallace said: “While there is still a long way to go in terms of improving the rates, we at least have the support of the Hartlepool Mail which is very beneficial and key to raising awareness of this issue.”

Figures show just 46 per cent of women start to breastfeed their newborns but that figure is slashed to 21 per cent after six weeks with the majority giving up within three days.

Research shows breastfed children are less likely to become obese and develop type 2 diabetes while it lowers the risk of women getting breast and ovarian cancer and helps them lose weight.

For advice and support the first point of contact should be the midwife or health visitor or by calling the national breastfeeding helpline on 0300 1000212, which operates seven days a week from 9.30am to 9.30pm.