Families and Babies wins contract to provide breastfeeding support to mums in Suffolk

Mother cradling baby

Mother cradling baby - Credit: Getty Images

Public health officials in Suffolk have announced Families and Babies as the organisation that will be providing breastfeeding support for mums in the county.

The new service will now get under way in east Suffolk and comes after a highly successful pilot project called Bosom Buddies, which supported mums in Ipswich, came to an end.

The organisation, know as F.A.B., has worked with families in west Suffolk and among its objectives now will be to support mums to breastfeed from birth through to eight weeks.

According to latest figures, in 2013/14, 73% of mothers in Suffolk were breastfeeding at birth, but this fell to just 37% at the six to eight week check.

Alan Murray, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member for health and adult care, said: “We also want to ensure that each Suffolk area has a community support group that runs at least once a week delivering support to mothers in priority areas where it is needed.

“By working with Families and Babies it is our aim to develop an early education program for women to target schools and communities in high priority areas for educating mothers on the benefits of breastfeeding.

“This will cover the health of child and mother using national evidence and nationally approved methods.”

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Other objectives that the group has been set include setting up support services at Ipswich and West Suffolk hospitals and promoting the service and community support networks.

Elaine Edwards, chairman of F.A.B., said: “We are extremely proud that Suffolk County Council Public Health has decided they wish us to provide the same high standard of service to East Suffolk families that we have been delivering to families in the west.

“We are delighted to widen our support to more families as we know how effective peer support can be alongside health professionals.”

The contract for the service is due to run until March next year. There is the possibility of a year extension depending on the availability of funding.

It will cover all of Suffolk excluding Waveney, which already has a service in place.

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