Percentage of new mums breastfeeding at GWH ahead of national average

Posted: June 22, 2015

Nearly 80 per cent of GWH mothers will try breastfeeding

Nearly 80 per cent of new mothers at the Great Western Hospital will breastfeed their new born baby in the first few weeks after giving birth.  

Between April 2014 and March 2015, 79 per cent of mothers at the Swindon hospital opted to breastfeed their child at some point during the baby's first six weeks, which is higher than the national average of 74 per cent. 

The news coincides with National Breastfeeding Celebration Week, which runs from 20 to 28 June and aims to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and their infants. 

"Giving babies the best possible start"

Cathy Gale, Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife, said: "Everyone in the Maternity Unit at GWH has worked incredibly hard over the last year to promote breastfeeding as a way of giving babies the best possible start in life. 

"This fantastic news proves that the hard work shown by all our staff is paying off. Breastfeeding has so many benefits, not just for the child but for the mother as well. 

"All our midwives and health workers are committed to providing every new mum with all the information, guidance and support they need to make an informed decision of how they want to feed their child." 

The national week also looks at the good work being done to support breastfeeding mothers in the local community. 

Breastmates, a network of support groups for mums across Swindon, has raised nearly £1,500 in recent months through various charity events such as cake sales, raffles and the selling of their own cook book. 

"A big thank you"

All the money raised by the group will go towards funding a new breast pump at the hospital. 

Cathy said: "GWH has a fantastic relationship with the Breastmates community groups and we often signpost women who have recently given birth to their services. 

"This is yet another example of the invaluable work they do locally and we would like to say a big thank you to everyone that has worked hard to raise this money." 

Last summer the Maternity Unit at GWH was recognised by international charity UNICEF for its efforts in helping mums take up and continue breastfeeding. 

The unit has since been awarded the prestigious Stage 3 accreditation from UNICEF's Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI), which rewards hospitals that encourage and support mothers to breastfeed their newborn babies. 

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