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Today (17 June) marks the start of national Breastfeeding Celebration Week, and Public Health England is using a set of eye-catching posters designed in partnership with young local mothers last year.
The posters – which couple positive images with slogans parents can relate to – have been shared and downloaded thousands of times and picked up by organisations around the world, including UNICEF.
And now they helping to promote the benefits of skin-to-skin contact during the early months of a child’s life, encouraging more parents on the breastfeeding journey.
Jane Scattergood, Maternity Advisor for Public Health England, said:
“Dorset Healthcare has shared fabulous posters showing breastfeeding in all walks of life, and we are pleased to share these as part of the celebration.”
England has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world – while 80% of babies are breastfed at birth, just 1% are exclusively breastfed by six months.
The campaign aims to encourage more parents to stick with breastfeeding, and skin-to-skin contact is the main theme of the week. Close contact transfers the mother’s ‘friendly bacteria’ to the baby, providing protection against infection. It also releases hormones which calm and relax both mother and baby.
The Dorset HealthCare posters emphasise the benefits of this intimate contact – for both mums and dads.
Liz Stacey, the Trust’s Breastfeeding Advisory Lead, said it was a “privilege” that the posters were forming part of a national campaign.
“We are delighted they have again been recognised for their originality and diversity, and are being used to help empower women to achieve their breastfeeding goals,” she said.
“The posters take an honest, realistic approach to breastfeeding which mums can relate to, and help health professionals to openly discuss breastfeeding with mothers and their partners.”
Look out for the posters on display in clinics, GP surgeries, children’s centres and maternity units across Dorset. You can find lots of practical information about breastfeeding, and download the posters for free, at www.dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/breastfeeding
Follow the Breastfeeding Celebration Week on Twitter using #celebratebreastfeeding.