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National Breastfeeding Awareness Week


Breastfeeding twins and triplets can be challenging but many new mothers of multiples believe that they cannott breastfeed their babies at all. Nothing could be further from the truth—nearly every mother can breastfeed. The trick is educating yourself on the subject and practice. practice. practice !

New research commissioned by The Department of Health for the campaign has revealed that. despite popular belief. the majority of men are supportive of breastfeeding. with 79 per cent of those surveyed saying that they would want their children to be breastfed.
The Importance of Support
The decision to breastfeed can make a huge contribution to infant health and development as well as benefiting mums. Breastfeeding is often depicted or described as something exclusively for mother and babies. but this is not the case. The more support and encouragement a new mum has the more likely she is to give it a go and this especially important for mothers who are breastfeeding twins. triplets or more. Support from Breastfeeding Counsellors. Mid-Wives. Health Visitors and very importantly family and friends. can all help build the confidence to first give breastfeeding a go even if they are not sure about how long they will continue.

All mums should feel proud of breastfeeding. whether they breastfeed for one day or one year. as research shows that every feed makes a positive difference to both mother and baby.
Nine out of ten women who stop breastfeeding in the first six weeks are stopping before they want to. The most common reasons given for stopping. reveal that these women often didn't receive the accurate information and support that they needed.
Dr Anthony Williams - senior lecturer and consultant in neonatal paediatrics at St George's Hospital Medical School. London. says:
"Breastfeeding for three months or more reduces a baby's chances of catching diarrhoea. chest and ear infections. It may also reduce the risk of later eczema. obesity and diabetes for the child. Breastfeeding may also reduce the risk of a mother acquiring breast cancer before the menopause.
"There is additional evidence to suggest that breastfeeding leads to a reduction in blood pressure at school age and an improvement of IQ levels. especially when babies are born prematurely. This is a very positive and exciting development for the health of future generations. Breastfeeding gives a baby the best start possible and helps to set down a pattern of good health for life."
Reasons to Breastfeed


Breastmilk provides everything your babies need for the first six months.


Breastmilk is always available fresh. in the right amounts and at the right temperature.


Breastmilk can also be expressed so everyone can help with feeding.


Breastfeeding helps develop a strong emotional bond with your child.


Breastmilk is delivered without any pollution. unnecessary packaging or waste.


Women who breastfeed regain their figures sooner than women who bottlefeed. Your body burns about 500 calories a day when making breastmilk.


Breastfeeding is much cheaper than bottle feeding for families (450/year per baby bottle fed)


Breastfeeding is good for the environment. it does not need processing. packaging. transporting or manufacturing.


Breastfeeding is unique to women and you have twins or more. your body produces breastmilk tailored to the needs of your babies.


Breastfeeding. by its very nature. requires the sort of skin-to-skin contact that babies need. It is a uniquely bonding experience.


Breastfeeding doesn"t need any equipment (unless mum is expressing). So. less to pack and carry about with you !


Your babies will have a lower risk of gastro-enteritis. respiratory. urinary tract and ear infections. eczema and childhood diabetes and less likely to be obese as adults.


You'll have a lower risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer and ovarian cancer and breastfeeding also helps the womb return to normal.


Events around the UK
On Monday. 15th May. a demonstration is being held on Richmond Terrace. adjacent to the Department of Health in London. This is to petition the Prime Minister and the government to back the Breastfeeding Bill that is being proposed later in the year.

The Big Feed will be held on Saturday. 20th May at 1pm. All around the country hundreds of mothers will be nursing their babies and children to show their support for breastfeeding. All through the week there will be events to celebrate and support breastfeeding. This will support the bill that David Kidney MP is proposing for England and Wales to protect a baby's right to eat in public. The Big Feed in Blackburn is to be televised for a programme to be shown later in the year.
Where can I find out more ?
If you'd like more information on breastfeeding. TwinsUK has a number of useful links for breastfeeding information and support and we also have some breastfeeding and expressing articles under our Twins Tips section that cover twins and triplets as well as breastfeeding premature babies.
For practical products that help with breastfeeding and expressing for twins. triplets or more. visit our Breast & Express department and for books/leaflets please see our range of Parenting Books.
For more information and support. you can also contact the Breastfeeding Network on 0870 900 8787 or go to www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk. You can also ring the NCT breastfeeding helpline. which offers support and advice from breastfeeding counsellors. You can call them on 0870 444 8708. The line is open 8am-10pm. seven days a week. TwinsUK is a supporting member of La Leche League. an international charity. founded almost 50 years ago. giving information and encouragement. mainly through personal help to all mothers who want to breastfeed their babies. Their helpline is 0845 120 2918 or visit their UK website at www.leleche.org.uk
For more information about this year's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week. see www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk.


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