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Are breastfeeding mums supported? We call on Suffolk parents to take part in our survey

PUBLISHED: 11:27 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 11:48 22 February 2017

The sessions will be held at Suffolk Babies' centre in Kesgrave, pictured at its launch last year. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown

The sessions will be held at Suffolk Babies' centre in Kesgrave, pictured at its launch last year. Picture Sarah Lucy Brown

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Today we are asking new parents to share their experiences of breastfeeding - was there too much pressure from healthcare professionals, did you get enough support and what factors played a part in the decision you made?

A breastfeeding picnic last summer. Picture: Sarah Lucy BrownA breastfeeding picnic last summer. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Our survey on breastfeeding comes as a new support group launches to help new mums make informed decisions about how they choose to feed their babies.

The group, which is being led by the Breastfeeding Network (BfN) charity, will hold free-to-attend weekly sessions at the recently launched Suffolk Babies centre in Grange Farm, Kesgrave.

BfN’s vision is for a “society where mums and families are able to make informed decisions about breastfeeding, to access help when they need it and to become confident in their choices”.

The issue of breastfeeding has, at times, been a divisive one. While many medical studies advocate its benefits, some mums say there can be too much pressure to breastfeed.

BfN said: “We know that some mums need more support. This can be because of their age, social barriers, disability or where they are in their breastfeeding journey.

“Any of these factors can make breastfeeding more challenging and support more difficult to access.”

Nationally, breastfeeding rates tend to be lower in areas of greater deprivation, which is where BfN holds most of its groups.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the BFN and it says “opening a new group is a great way to celebrate an organisation that has grown in strength as a source of independent help, support and information for breastfeeding families and those involved in their care.”

• See below for details of breastfeeding support sessions

The group is free to access and mums can find the venue at Suffolk Babies, Unit 7, Grange Business Centre, Tommy Flowers Drive, Kesgrave, IP6 2BY.

Other BfN Support is available in and around Ipswich at the following venues:

• Willows Children’s Centre, Magdalene Close, Ipswich, IP2 9UX. Every Wednesday morning 10.30am-noon

• Wellington Children’s Centre, Chevallier Street, Ipswich, IP1 2PB. Every Tuesday morning 10am-noon

• Hawthorn Children’s Centre, Chantry Library, Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich, IP2 0QY. Every Friday afternoon 1-3pm

• Acorns and Sunshine Children’s Centre, Violet Hill Road, Stowmarket, IP14 1NL. Every Tuesday morning 10am-noon

If mums are unable to attend a drop in group, help and support is available seven days a week on the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212. The helpline is open 9.30am-9.30pm every day including bank holidays.

Share your experience by completing our form or email our reporter by following this link.

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