Breastfeeding motion and speech

This council believes that women who chose to breastfeed should be supported and respected. Breastfeeding has many benefits for children and mothers including

Reducing the likelihood of a mother contacting breast cancer by up to 20% and also reduces risk of ovarian cancer and developing cardiovascular disease.

Reducing stress levels and the risk of postpartum depression.

Protects the baby from a long list of illnesses including respiratory infections, diabetes and gastroenteritis.

Reduces likelihood of a child developing allergies.

May boost the child’s intelligence and reduce their likelihood of being obese in later life.

However recent events have shown that many women who want to breastfeed feel unable to do so when out of the home and Britain continues to have low rates of breastfeeding take up especially after 3 months (17%), four months (12%) and six months (1%).

This council pledges itself to become breastfeeding friendly, promote breastfeeding and to work towards making sure that all its public buildings have facilities that can be used by breastfeeding mothers and to work with local businesses to encourage them to become breastfeeding friendly.

Thank you madam mayor

It is my great pleasure to bring this motion to council as part of a larger piece of work this council is undertaking to work with the CCG on improving the health of our community.

I would like to point out that this motion deals with mothers who choose to breastfeed. The important word is choice. Women who choose not to breastfeed or are prevented by circumstance are not being criticised. When women want to breastfeed we are intent on making it as easy and stress free in Gedling as possible.

The motion rehearses the advantages of breastfeeding to mother and child and the relatively low take up.

Breastfeeding is important, we cannot deny that. Yet with the trend to get women out of hospital as soon as possible after giving birth many women feel unprepared, unsure or unable to breastfeed or even to choose whether to breastfeed or not.

We know of recent cases where women have been made uncomfortable feeding in public places.

As a Council we are at the forefront of working with the CCG on the Nottinghamshire Breastfeeding Friendly Scheme. This is a scheme which centres on Peer supporters and giving certification to businesses and buildings that match the Breastfeeding Friendly Guidelines.

Peer Supporters are mums who have breastfed, completed a 20 hour breastfeeding course and are keen to support mums in the early days of breastfeeding a new baby. They spend a few hours each week working as volunteers and follow confidentiality and safeguarding children practice guidelines.

This motion commits the Council to further work including joining in with the Nottinghamshire Breastfeeding Friendly Checklist and Sticker to promote breastfeeding friendly places. This will be led by the peer support volunteer programme in line with the checklist they have put together.

We will review our buildings and promote breastfeeding, work towards providing suitable facilities for breastfeeding and encourage partners to do likewise. We will be having a group of Peer supporters visiting our facilities and assessing them in line with the Breastfeeding Friendly guidelines. The initial visits will be at Calverton Leisure Centre, Arnold Leisure Centre, Carlton Forum and Gedling Civic Centre.

It is an opportunity to lead the way and become the first certified organisation in Gedling. We have already taken some steps to ensure we are Breast Feeding Friendly and now I am asking for your support to go further in providing firm support for mothers in Gedling Borough.