Commitment to improve breastfeeding

Improved support for nursing mothers in the workplace and the wider community will help boost breastfeeding in North Lanarkshire.

breastfeeding

The council aims to encourage more employees to breastfeed for longer by providing appropriate workplace breastfeeding facilities and access to flexible working arrangements to support them when they return to work from maternity leave. 
The commitment to providing a framework that will change the current culture from bottle to breastfeeding comes after a report to support improved awareness and engagement for breastfeeding across North Lanarkshire was agreed. 
Both the council and NHS Lanarkshire have signed up to a multi-strand approach that will explore further opportunities to improve breastfeeding figures including:

  • Incorporating breastfeeding awareness into the education curriculum from nursery through to secondary school, including breastfeeding awareness sessions to senior pupils as part of the Personal, Social and Health Education (PHSE) programme. 
  • Incorporating breastfeeding facilities at the design stage of any new construction projects, particularly those included in the proposed £500million community investment fund, or in any future refurbishment plans for existing council buildings. 
  • Working with its partners to promote the benefits of breastfeeding as well as the council and NHS breastfeeding facilities available, to staff and the wider public.
  • Assisting young parent groups with practical skills to improve nutrition and infant feeding through Community Learning and Development classes. 
  • Adapting the council's Diet and Nutrition policy to ensure the promotion of breastfeeding is included.

Councillor Paul Kelly, depute leader of the council said, "Breastfeeding rates in North Lanarkshire are low and it's important that we make every effort to change the current bottle-fed culture to one that is focused on breastfeeding. We can help to increase breastfeeding rates by encouraging our own people, who in the main live in North Lanarkshire, to breastfeed for as long as possible. 
"We are committed to exploring a range of opportunities that will ultimately encourage more women to breastfeed, such as providing breastfeeding-friendly facilities and delivering a practical educational programme that improves knowledge of the benefits of breastfeeding."

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