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The CCG is backing Public Health England’s BreastFeeding Friend campaign, which focuses on a 24-hour Facebook messenger service providing personal support to new mums. 

The BFF campaign aims to dispel any breastfeeding myths and help alleviate any concerns mums might have. Almost three-quarters of women start breastfeeding when their child is born, but this drops to 40 percent after two months. However, evidence shows the right support helps mums to breastfeed for longer. Public Health England recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months.

Lorraine Webber, the CCG’s new deputy director of quality assurance and improvement (lead nurse), said: “Breastfeeding will give your child the best start in life. Every day that a mum continues to breastfeed makes a difference to her baby’s health now and in the future. 

“Every mum’s milk is unique and alters to meet her baby’s changing needs, and this is optimised if sustained for the first six months. Breastfeeding is also associated with better health outcomes for the mother, and promotes bonding between mother and baby.

“As well as being aimed at new mums, this campaign will be useful for the partner of a breastfeeding mum who would value some support. By providing information, support and guidance, it will help parents make an informed decision about how to feed their baby.”

Public Health England’s news release goes on to say:

A new survey of 500 mothers of young children commissioned by Public Health England showed that more than half were concerned that breastfeeding could mean they wouldn't be able to tell if their baby was getting too much or not enough milk. 

A similar proportion of mums surveyed thought that people might assume they need a special diet to breastfeed. Nearly 3 in 10 were worried that breastfeeding could mean their baby might not get the right nutrients, which suggests why mothers may stop breastfeeding at this early point.  

Breastfeeding boosts a baby’s ability to fight illness and infection. Babies who are not breastfed are more likely to get diarrhoea and respiratory infections. It also lowers a mother’s risk of ovarian and breast cancer, and also burns around 500 calories a day. 

Viv Bennett, chief nurse at Public Health England, said: “Breastfeeding, while natural, is something that all mums and their babies learn by doing. Mums tell us that after the first few weeks breast feeding becomes easier, so proper support is crucial at this time, which is where our BFF is designed to help. 

“We can all help women feel comfortable breastfeeding their baby wherever they are. Creating a wider culture of encouragement and support will help make a mother’s experience all the more positive.”

The BFF messenger is here.