Sevenoaks District Council enhances breastfeeding support across the district

Published: Tuesday, 20th March 2018

Sevenoaks District Council has awarded over £18,000 to new mums who need extra support with breastfeeding from the council's Better Care Fund.

The funding from Sevenoaks District Council to PS Breastfeeding will complement the Health Visiting service provided by Kent County Council by providing home visits to families across the District for the next year, host breastfeeding groups in local Children’s Centres and provide equipment such as baby slings, carriers and pumps without charge.

The home visits from PS Breastfeeding will help support new mums who want to breastfeed their new arrivals and to overcome any early problems. It will also allow other issues such as home safety and housing concerns to be identified and resolved by connecting into the Councils many health and housing initiatives already in place - as part of the council's wellbeing strategy. This will also help to reduce infant visits to A&E after falling and other accidents in the home.

Mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies often see health benefits to their child such as fewer illnesses including eczema, asthma, gastroenteritis and chest infections, and with specialist equipment such as slings crying can be reduced helping to prevent stress. This all helps to take the pressure off GPs and hospitals and promote the wellbeing of parents and children. There are also proven benefits to mothers including a reduced risk of breast cancer as well as mental benefits such as reducing postnatal depression and helping parents bond easier with their baby.

Tannice Hemming, founder of Keep Kent Breastfeeding, who help raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding across the county, says of the grant: “Keep Kent Breastfeeding are delighted to discover that Sevenoaks District Council have taken this great opportunity to support their local breastfeeding families. Sevenoaks District is a wonderfully supportive community: it's clear the Council's priority is to invest in the health of their young families. The Council has demonstrated this through their understanding of the varied benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby.

“The breastfed babies of Sevenoaks District- those here and those yet to be born - are so lucky their mothers will continue to receive wonderful breastfeeding support from true breastfeeding experts. This is a simply fantastic outcome. We couldn't be happier."

Sevenoaks District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Health, Cllr Michelle Lowe, adds: “I am delighted that Sevenoaks District Council is able to provide enhanced support to mothers that choose to breastfeed their babies across the district and need extra support to ensure successful breastfeeding going forward.

“It can be very daunting trying to breastfeed a new born baby, and despite the portrayals in films and on television it does not always come easy to every mother. The home visits provide specialist training before and after birth, ensuring parents are able to overcome any problems with breastfeeding, saving extra stress and worry as well.

“Women who are unable to successfully breastfeed can often feel like failures, even though they are not, so I am over the moon that we are able to make a difference to their overall wellbeing in Sevenoaks.”

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