New initiative to promote breastfeeding has been launched in Lincolnshire

A mother sat breastfeeding her baby in a cafe. Breastfeeding campaign. Credit - Phil Crow Photography

Photo credit – Phil Crow Photography.

Parents in Lincolnshire are showing their support for breastfeeding, by becoming the new faces of our breastfeeding drive, #LatchOnLincolnshire.

Despite the proven benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby, many mothers in Lincolnshire still choose not to breastfeed.  #LatchonLincolnshire seeks to encourage more women to breastfeed and provides a new online resource to support them in overcoming any challenges they face.

Statistics shows that the number of women breastfeeding in Lincolnshire is below the national average, with only 66% of newborns receiving breastmilk as their first feed compared to the regional average of 70%. 

The breastfeeding journey is not always easy for some mums, with only 43% of Lincolnshire women continuing to breastfeed after 6-8 weeks, lower than the national average of 49%. Which is why improving breastfeeding rates in Lincolnshire is a high priority.

“I was thrilled to be a part of the breastfeeding drive as I have breastfed all four of my boys and have had many struggles and failures along the way, so I understand first -hand how difficult it is but also how rewarding it can be at the same time,” explains Lucy Simmons (34), from Skegness, one of mums who has taken part in the new initiative.  “I believe breastfeeding is so valuable for our children and with the right support and information, can be achieved by so many more mothers. Breastfeeding creates a connection with your baby that secures such a special bond.”

Lynn Wilkinson, lead nurse in Lincolnshire County Council’s children’s health team, said: “We want to ensure families can breastfeed successfully and are working closely with our partners to strengthen the support on offer. Help is available in a variety of ways, including from health professionals, online and in groups across the county. In addition, we’ve recently introduced new peer supporters, who are mothers who have not only breastfed their own children, but who have also gained additional knowledge and training to support others. This will help even more families make the most of the benefits of breastfeeding.”

As part of NHS Lincolnshire ICB’s joint forward plan, the Lincolnshire Maternity and Neonatal system is committed to supporting more mothers to breastfeed and increase breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks.

Nationally, ‘Equity and equality – Guidance for local maternity systems’ recognises the greater benefits of breastfeeding but also the need for practical support to help mothers breastfeed, rather than pressure.

Faces of parents who have taken part in the campaign will feature on bus advertisements, on social media, posters, leaflets, radio and television commercials, using the slogans – ‘Did you know’ and ‘It’s Okay’ – aiming to inform and acknowledge the challenges breastfeeding mothers face.