Somerset County Council is supporting Black Breastfeeding Week, a health promotion campaign which is held annually from August 25 – 31.
This year’s theme is ‘The Big Pause: Collective Rest for Collective Power’ – it’s a week to recognise the benefits of taking a pause, thinking about your journey and the other people around you sharing the same experiences, after the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Following on from the National Breastfeeding Awareness campaign at the beginning of August the Council have continued to promote the benefits of breastfeeding throughout the entire Month.
Councillor Clare Paul, Somerset County Council member for health and wellbeing, said: “For those who have had a baby during these difficult times, this is an opportunity to rest, reflect, slow down and talk about your experiences.
“There is lots of support available in Somerset for people who are breastfeeding, including many new and innovative digital and online channels which you can access anywhere there is an internet connection.”
All mothers are encouraged to breastfeed as the natural way to feed your baby, it is important that all mothers are supported and enabled to reach their breastfeeding goals, particularly black mothers who may experience some specific issues and challenges.
Founded in the USA in 2012 by three nationally recognised breastfeeding advocates, Black Breastfeeding Week was brought over to the UK by maternal health educator Ruth Dennison in 2017.
According to the 2020 MBRRACE report, black women in the UK are over four times more likely to die as a result of pregnancy complications than white women.
Infant mortality rates, collected by the UK Office for National Statistics in 2013, show that babies of Black African origin in the UK had the highest infant mortality rate at 54.1 deaths per 1,000 live births.
It is strongly believed that breastfeeding, with its health benefits for both mother and child could help reduce these numbers and save babies’ lives.
Breastfeeding can help prevent many illnesses, infections, diseases and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
To find out more about Black Breastfeeding Week visit https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org.
Help is available locally at https://cypsomersethealth.org/maternity_toolkit