North Lanarkshire is breastfeeding friendly

Projects agreed to improve health and wellbeing

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We're protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding to improve the health and wellbeing of mothers and young children across its communities.

Our Education and Families Committee agreed to include breastfeeding awareness in its education curriculum in a bid to change the culture of our younger generation, and provide workplace facilities for employees who wish to continue breastfeeding on their return to work from maternity leave.

These latest initiatives follow on from a Lanarkshire Breastfeeding Summit held last year and reaffirms our commitment to making North Lanarkshire a place where breastfeeding is the norm and to build a supportive community around families to help achieve this.

Research shows that the positive benefits from breastfeeding last well into childhood and beyond. And many mums choose to breastfeed their babies to improve their child's health not always realising that it improves their own health too.

Breastfeeding figures in North Lanarkshire are low and the council, together with its partners, have pledged to play a key role in increasing these to establish healthier communities.

We strongly believe that lessons on infant nutrition at an early age will shape and change the attitudes of our future parents as well as helping to increase the number of mothers' breastfeeding their babies. That's why we're including breastfeeding awareness messages as part of the education curriculum from nursery to secondary. This is already underway as primary schools now have a resource pack including a soft toy (nursing cat) and a Katie Morag book about the arrival of a new baby which includes an illustration of a mum breastfeeding her baby.

Councillor Frank McNally, Convener of Education and Families Committee, said: "There are real long and short term advantages of breastfeeding for both mother and baby and that's why we're taking steps that will not only raise awareness of breastfeeding but offer practical support.

"Our staff policies have been updated giving mums the flexibility and facilities to allow them to breastfeed successfully when returning to work from maternity leave.

"And by taking the message into our schools we're hoping to educate our parents of the future of the benefits of breastfeeding, including the protective effect it has against many childhood illnesses. By working with our partners and with positive support across our communities we can be part of a real culture change and live in an area that is breastfeeding friendly."

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