Health chiefs are campaigning to boost the number of mums who continue to breastfeed beyond the first few weeks of motherhood.
Public Health England has launched a campaign to improve breastfeeding rates as 58.6 per cent of Derbyshire mums do not breastfeed six and eight weeks after birth.
Public Health England has launched the ‘Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend’ (BFF), a new interactive tool (chatbot)to help guide new mums through their first weeks of breastfeeding.
The chatbot, which can be accessed through Facebook messenger, works as a live chat tool via one-to-one messaging and push notifications. BFF gives mums 24/7 access to expert NHS-trusted advice in a friendly and familiar way, providing clarity around breastfeeding barriers, which are often misconceptions, and helping to alleviate any concerns mums may have.
Ann Crawford, deputy director, health and wellbeing, PHE East Midlands said: “Many of the mothers we have spoken to have said how important support and advice is in the first few weeks of breastfeeding – although it is natural to feed your baby this way, it is a skill that needs to be learnt by both baby and mother.
“Not everyone can attend a local breastfeeding group so the Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend is a great tool that is free, quick and easy to use and can offer guidance and answer questions that are concerning parents of babies.”
Less than 44 per cent of women in England are breastfeeding once their baby reaches two months old, despite the fact that three quarters (73 per cent) of women begin doing so when their baby is born.
For more information, advice and tips on breastfeeding visit www.nhs.uk/start4life/
To access the ‘Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend’, visit www.facebook.com/Start4LifeBreastfeedingFriend/