New mums in north Doncaster are turning their backs on bottled milk to give their babies the best start in life.
Breastfeeding is on the up in Askern, Bentley, Carcroft, Highfields, Scawsby and Woodlands following a pilot scheme to encourage mums to think ‘breast is best’.
In April 2013, nine of the 71 new babies in the area were still being breastfed eight weeks after being born. By the end of March 2014 the figure had more than doubled to 20 of the then 77 new-borns in the area.
Mum Anne Hansford, 44, from Woodlands, has breastfed all eight of her children, including the latest arrivals, identical twins Charlie and Archie.
She said: “They are more relaxed and soon drop off back to sleep after they have had a feed during the night. It’s definitely the best start any mum can give their baby”.
Anne’s partner, Mick Ross ,48, agrees. He said: “Winding them is so easy and I reckon we have saved hundreds of pounds by not buying formula milk.”
Dr Niki Seddon, a GP at Carcroft Health Centre and member of NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group’s governing body, has worked with health colleagues to spearhead the breastfeeding campaign across neighbouring family doctor surgeries, with the support of the NHS’s local health promotion team.
Dr Seddon, who breastfed all her three children, including a twin boy and girl, said: “Some communities in north west Doncaster have had poor breastfeeding rates so any increase is a major step forward.
“We have worked together as health professionals to really make mums aware of the key benefits of using the milk they produce naturally. It naturally uses up an extra 500 calories a day, so mums often find it easier to lose their pregnancy weight.
“It also protects babies from infection and other diseases and reduces the mum’s chances of getting illnesses later in life.”