Breastfeeding is the most natural start to life for a baby and can have lifelong health benefits for both mother and baby.
Breastfeeding protects the baby against ear and chest infections, stomach upsets, diarrhoea, asthma, eczema, allergies and even obesity. Breastfeeding mothers are less likely to develop breast and ovarian cancer and osteoporosis later in life.
Babies don’t need anything but breast milk for the first six months to provide all the necessary nutrition. Giving anything else will decrease the supply of breast milk and lessen the health benefits of breastfeeding.
Solids can be introduced alongside the usual milk feeds from six months, when the baby’s development shows they are ready to cope with solids well.
The Department of Health recommends breastfeeding for at least a year, as it continues to provide both significant nutrition and protection from illnesses.
UNICEF Baby Friendly
Lewisham and Greenwich health visiting services have Stage 3 UNICEF Baby Friendly accreditation for breastfeeding. Queen Elizabeth Hospital has also achieved full Baby Friendly Stage 3 accreditation. This is a fantastic and very prestigious achievement for the Trust.
The UNICEF Baby Friendly Standards aim to improve the information, support and encouragement provided in order to promote, protect and support breastfeeding and appropriate introduction to solid foods. This means that midwives, health visitors and other health and professionals receive high quality Baby Friendly training to support breastfeeding mothers effectively. For more information on the UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative please see www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly
Many mothers find they need some support with breastfeeding. This can be any time from getting started through to your child’s final breastfeeds.
There are several drop-in breastfeeding hubs across Lewisham and Greenwich where parents can access for breastfeeding support. This support is provided by health visiting team, midwife and peer supporters who have been trained. No appointment is required.
Mothers are also welcome to attend during pregnancy and ask any questions they may have about feeding their baby, or as an opportunity to meet other mothers informally in your local area.
Mothers who are formula or mixed feeding their baby are also welcome to attend for advice and support.
Breastfeeding hubs in Greenwich (link to Oxleas NHS Trust)
|Downderry Children’s Centre, Shroffold Road, Downham BR1 5PD
|Bellingham Children’s Centre, 109a Randlesdown Road, Catford SE6 3HB
|Tuesdays (term time)
|Deptford Breastfeeding Group, Shaftsbury Centre, Frankham Street, Deptford SE8 4RN
|Wednesdays (term time)
|The Milky Way at Baring Road Surgery, Baring Road, Lee SE12 0DS
|Eliot Bank Children’s Centre, Thorpewood Avenue, Sydenham SE26 3HB
|Waldron Health Centre, Suite 1, Amersham Vale, New Cross SE14 6LD
|Torridon Road Library, Torridon Road, Hither Green SE6 1RQ
|Good Hope Cafe, 261 Lewisham High Street, Ladywell SE13 6AY
|Jenner Health Centre, Stanstead Road, Forest Hill, SE23 1HU
|Holy Trinity Centre
Corner of Orchard Hill and Bennett Grove, Lewisham SE13 7QZ