Improving the number of babies being breastfed

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Ayrshire has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Scotland and during Scottish Breastfeeding Awareness Week health professionals were out and about talking to local mums.

Ruth Campbell, consultant dietitian in public health nutrition, explains: “Only 24.8 per cent of mothers in Ayrshire breastfed at 6-8 weeks in 2016/2017, meaning we have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in Scotland.

“Breast milk helps protect babies from things like ear and chest infections, as well as tummy upsets like diarrhoea and vomiting.

“Long term, it means children have a lower risk of diabetes, eczema and obesity later in life.

“Infant feeding is an individual choice and the experience of breastfeeding can vary greatly for women.

“We are having honest conversations about what the barriers to breastfeeding are and taking action to remove them – whether that means providing more advice and support, listening to women’s experiences, or helping to change attitudes about breastfeeding in public.”

If you are a mother looking for breastfeeding advice and support, speak to your midwife or health visitor. You can also visit https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk or call National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212. The Breastfeeding Network also runs free groups every day across Ayrshire where you can receive support and information.