I went along to Sandall Park on Friday 3rd August, along with over a hundred other Doncaster mums and babies, to help celebrate World Breast Feeding Week (1 – 7 August).
The Doncaster Big Latch On, organised by local mum Natalie Davies (mumworthy), was supported by the Public Health team at Doncaster Council, Doncaster Health Visitors, the Family Hubs, breastfeeding specialists and nursery nurses from RDaSH NHS (Rotherham Doncaster and South Humber NHS Foundation Trust) as well as local businesses Puddle Ducks Doncaster, Stylish Mum & Baby Dinosaurs Kids Market, Doncaster Wellbeing, Noah’s Arc Sling Library and the NCT Doncaster.
The event took place from 10am until noon and there was a countdown, with mums feeding their babies at 10.30am, linking with other mums worldwide feeding their little ones at the same time as part of a Global Big Latch On event.
Breastfeeding has a number of benefits for both mum and baby:
It protects children from a range of illnesses including infection, diabetes, asthma, heart disease and obesity, as well as cot death (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
It protects mothers from breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease.
It supports the mother-baby relationship and the mental health of both baby and mother.
The benefits of breastfeeding are recognised worldwide and research published in 2016 found that increasing breastfeeding rates around the world to near universal levels could prevent 823,000 annual deaths in children younger than five years and 20,000 annual maternal deaths from breast cancer.
Councillor Nigel Ball, Doncaster Council Cabinet Member for Public Health said “Breastfeeding is vitally important and brings benefits to both the mother and their baby so it’s great to see events like this taking place in Doncaster. I would recommend that anyone looking breastfeeding advice come along to the event if they can or get in touch with their local Health Visitor.”
Claire Wyatt, RDaSH Breastfeeding Specialist, said: “There are so many benefits to mum and baby when you breastfeed. This event is to support any breastfeeding mum. We ask them to come along and feed in public. There are sometimes barriers to breastfeeding and publicly feeding is one of those. This event shows there is support in Doncaster and we want to support as many mums as possible to breastfeed”.
Mums who would like breastfeeding advice have a number of support options in Doncaster: