YOUNG Bulwell mum Lydia Maidment is playing a key part in a campaign to encourage more mothers under 25 to breastfeed their babies.
The initiative, which was launched at the Riverside Centre on Lower Main Street, Bulwell, is aimed at raising awareness of a new breastfeeding support service.
The Nottingham City Baby Feeding Team is providing help, advice and practical support for all new mums and expectant women who want to breastfeed or find out more about the benefits.
Lydia and another mum, Rosie Lambert, of Bestwood Estate, have been chosen as the new ‘faces’ of breastfeeding in Nottingham.
Their babies, Elizabeth and Jared respectively, are appearing with the two mums across all campaigning material to encurage young women to breastfeed.
“Some new mums feel self-conscious about breastfeeding their babies in public,” said Lydia. “I hope the campaign will help to create a more positive image for breastfeeding.”
Despite an increase in breastfeeding rates across Nottingham, 2010-21 figures show big variations between age groups.
Fifty per cent of mums under 25 started breastfeeding their babies but only 27 per cent were still doing so six weeks after birth. Seventy-four per cent of mums over 30 started breastfeeding their babies and 60 per cent were still breastfeeding at six weeks.
The average in England for the same period was 74 per cent of all mothers starting breastfeeding and 47 per cent still doing so at six weeks.
Benefits of breastfeeding are claimed to include a reduction in outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting and of chest and ear infections. There is less chance of a baby being constipated or developing eczema, as well as a smaller likelihood of obesity and later developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses.
Promoters of breastfeeding claim that infant formula does not give babies the same ingredients or provide the same protection.
Deborah Hooton, head of joint commissioning for children’s services at NHS Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “The launch of this campaign is an exciting chance for us to re-define breastfeeding in Nottingham and improve the rates among those least likely to breastfeed.”