Library supports breastfeeding mums

IT'S not just books on offer at Felixstowe Library - but a safe place for mums needing to breastfeed their babies.The library has become the first in the UK to launch a new venture called a Baby Café, a new drop-in service to support pregnant women who are interested in breastfeeding and mums currently breastfeeding.

IT'S not just books on offer at Felixstowe Library - but a safe place for mums needing to breastfeed their babies.

The library has become the first in the UK to launch a new venture called a Baby Café, a new drop-in service to support pregnant women who are interested in breastfeeding and mums currently breastfeeding.

It follows a campaign by mums with young babies in Felixstowe who complained there were few places in the town where they could breastfeed their youngsters.

Parents said they relied on the kindness of shopkeepers lending their storerooms or had to sit in public and face the scowls and comments of disapproving shoppers.


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Now though up to 20 women a time are attending the Baby Café - organised by Suffolk Primary Care Trust children's services health visiting cluster team and Suffolk Libraries - every Friday from 10.30am to 12.30pm in the library in Crescent Road.

Terri Wright, clinical co-ordinator for the PCT's health visiting and school nursing team, said: “Breastfeeding is very important for mothers and babies and we want to be able to encourage and support all mothers and expectant mothers who wish to breastfeed in an open, friendly, relaxed environment.

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“Breastfeeding encourages better health in mothers and babies, for example it provides antibodies from the mother giving the baby protection from infection and reduces the likelihood of conditions such as gastroenteritis, chest and ear infections, some of which can lead to unnecessary hospital admissions.

“It can also help mothers regain their shape more quickly, as breastfeeding burns an extra 500 calories a day. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of breast cancer, osteoporosis and uterine cancer, especially if breastfeeding for six months or longer.”

The café follows the library's successful children's Bookstart Babybounce sessions, encouraging parents to sing rhymes at home and to share books with their babies. It means not only can mothers socialise together and get health advice but also access use the library's children's resources.

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