The WWL Way
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Breast is Best

Newsdate: 4 March 2011

As part of the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative, WWL has changed its policy for the use of formula milk. This change, implemented from today, will help to support and encourage more mums to breastfeed their babies.

How mums feed their baby is a very personal decision and midwives will support women and families in their choices. If the decision is not to breast feed, from March 2011, a supply of milk will need to be brought into the hospital for the duration of their stay. This should be the ready prepared variety in cartons, and not powdered formula which needs to be prepared. Bottles and teats will still be available and demonstrations by the midwife will show how to make-up bottles correctly using powdered milk.

Breast milk is tailor made for babies and contains all the nutrients they need. It also contains other important factors that are absent from formula milk, these help to protect babies from infection and diseases, and reduces the rate of asthma and obesity. The make-up of a mother’s milk changes from feed to feed, adapting to the needs of her baby as they grow and providing just the right amount for them.

Mum’s can benefit from breast feeding too! It reduces the chances of getting certain diseases, such as ovarian, uterine and breast cancer. And it also protects against developing weaker bones (osteoporosis) in later life. Another added benefit is many new mums find they get their shape back quicker as breast feeding burns up to 500 calories a day.

The changes are in line with standards set out by the Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), which is a World Health Organisation programme promoting excellence in care of pregnant women and breastfeeding mums and babies. The Trust is now working towards the full UNICEF Baby Friendly award.

Mums-to-be and new mums can find out more about breastfeeding by speaking to their local midwife. Alternatively they can visit NHS Ashton, Leigh and Wigan’s new website www.mymummydoes.co.uk. This great website is packed full of information, resources and support. NHS Choices also has a breastfeeding guide on its website www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk