Mothers and babies join the Big Latch On at East Kent Hospitals

Jennifer Brisk with new baby Guinevere, fiance Thomas Joosven and her mum Christine
Jennifer Brisk with new baby Guinevere, fiance Thomas Joosven and her mum Christine

Published on 5 August 2019

Mothers and babies in East Kent Hospitals took part in a synchronised breastfeeding session on Friday to mark World Breastfeeding Week

The women joined others in 120 countries across the globe to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and promote the support available to families.

At the Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate and William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, midwives and maternity support workers were on hand to offer help and advice, and all the women who took part received a commemorative certificate.

Kate Lynch, infant feeding co-ordinator for East Kent Hospitals, said it was a fantastic way to start a conversation around breastfeeding.

She said: “The maternity wards are a great place to hold events like this Big Latch On, as there are experts on hand who can help if people are struggling.

“But it’s also a really important opportunity to let mums know where they can go for help once they leave hospital.

“There is so much support out there but it’s easy to feel overwhelmed if you are at home with a crying baby who is struggling to feed. We really want to make sure everyone knows where they can turn to help get breastfeeding off to a great start.”

The World Health Organisation recommends mothers breastfeed exclusively for the first six months of their baby’s life to reduce the risk of health issues such as heart disease, osteoporosis and some forms of cancer. Research also suggests that babies and children who were not breastfed are at increased risk of adult obesity and diabetes.

The infant feeding service at East Kent Hospitals is overseen by specialist lactation consultants, with support on the wards from midwives and maternity support workers.