New mums in North Kirklees are getting extra support with breastfeeding thanks to a partnership between hospital staff and volunteers.
Midwives and trained volunteers from the Auntie Pam’s service are working together to teach mums in Dewsbury and District Hospital’s maternity ward how to breastfeed.
The team offers women advice and support to help them establish feeding and ask questions before they leave the hospital.
Auntie Pam’s project manager Lisa Akester said: “This is a unique way to provide additional support for women on the post-natal ward around infant feeding. It is a crucial time for women and from the first feed women should be offered skilled breastfeeding support.
“If we can encourage women to breastfeed by listening and supporting them, more mothers will be likely to be breastfeeding for longer which provides the best start in life for the baby.”
Figures for 2012/13 show that 58 per cent of women start breastfeeding in North Kirklees, but the number drops to 23 per cent by six to eight weeks after birth.
In comparison, latest figures for England show 74 per cent of women start breastfeeding and 47 per cent breastfeed at 6-8 weeks after birth.
Volunteer Jenny Heeley said: ”Sometimes being able to talk to one of us could make the difference and help a mum could get the hang of breastfeeding. I know how important it was for my baby and want to be able to encourage others if I can.”