The beginning of August marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week and Swindon Clinical Commissioning Group is spreading the word of just how important it can be, for both mother and baby. 

Although breastfeeding has long been credited as one of the best ways to support newborns during the first few weeks of life, experts now say it can be just as beneficial for mums too. 

Women who choose to breastfeed their baby are not only providing their infant with the key nutrients needed for growth and development, but are also lowering their own risk of developing future health problems, such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and even some types of cancer. 

Despite the benefits, around a quarter of mothers in Swindon do not attempt to breastfeed and, at eight weeks after birth, more than half of babies in Swindon are fed solely by bottle. 

World Breastfeeding Week, which runs from 1 to 7 August 2018, aims to educate mums, as well as mums-to-be, on the numerous health benefits of breastfeeding and to encourage women to choose it as their preferred method of feeding their baby. 

Mums in Swindon are well-placed to take up breastfeeding, as the Great Western Hospital - which has two birthing units - has been given Baby Friendly status by global charity UNICEF, meaning its maternity staff are experts in providing support, information and advice to new mothers. 

Additionally, mums can get top tips on breastfeeding, as well as the chance to chat with other parents, by attending the Swindon Breastmates support group, which meets on a weekly basis in a number of locations across the town. 

Dates, times and venues of Breastmates can be seen below:

  • Every Monday at Highworth Methodist Church between 9.30am and 11.30am
  • Every Monday at Croft Playgroup between 12pm and 1.30pm
  • Every Tuesday at Robert Le Kyng Children's Centre between 9.30am and 11am
  • Every Tuesday at Lower Shaw Farm between 12.30pm and 2.30pm
  • Every Thursday at The Underground, Orbital Shopping Park between 12.30pm 2.30pm

Click here to find out more about Breastmates or visit www.nhs.uk and search breastfeeding for further information.