A peer support programme is helping increase the number of mums who breastfeed their babies.
North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation run the scheme which recruits and trains breastfeeding mums to volunteer their time to support others in breastfeeding baby groups hosted at children’s centres and health centres.
Some new mums struggle to establish breastfeeding, with the support network helping mums access information with other mothers.
Photographer Tara Alisandratos, mum to Finlay, ten months, recently completed her peer support training and supports the North Shields breastfeeding baby group.
She said: “I couldn’t have continued on my breastfeeding journey if it hadn’t been for the support from family, friends and other mums.
“This made me want to help support others and I have found peer supporting is hugely rewarding.”
Weekly breastfeeding baby groups are held at Howdon – (0191) 643 2229, Wallsend (643 2699), Whitley Bay (293 9080), North Shields (200 5438), Longbenton (270 1240) and Shiremoor (643 2110) children’s centres and at Wellspring Medical Centre, Killingworth (268 4550).
Coun Lesley Spillard, cabinet member for adult and social care, said: “Improving breastfeeding rates is a priority in North Tyneside as it contributes to both short and long-term health.
“Speaking from personal experience I highly recommend breastfeeding to new mums
“We all want what’s best for our babies and by giving them this fantastic start in life they can grow into healthy, happy children.”