Notts health chiefs asked to rethink IVF cuts

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Health chiefs are campaigning to boost the number of mums who breastfeed beyond the first few weeks of motherhood.

Public Health England (PHE)has launched a campaign to improve breastfeeding rates.

It comes after figures showed more than half – 55.2 per cent – of Nottinghamshire mums had stopped breast feeding by eight weeks after the birth.

PHE has launched Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend, a new interactive tool to help guide new mums through their first weeks of breastfeeding.

The chatbot, accessed through Facebook messenger, works as a live chat tool via one-to-one messaging.

BFF gives mums 24/7 access to expert NHS-trusted advice in a friendly way, providing clarity around breastfeeding barriers and helping to alleviate any concerns mums may have.

Ann Crawford, PHE East Midlands deputy director, health and wellbeing, said: “Many of the mothers we have spoken to have said how important support and advice is in the first few weeks of breastfeeding – although it is natural to feed your baby this way, it is a skill which needs to be learnt by both baby and mother.

“Not everyone can attend a local breastfeeding group, so the Start4Life Breastfeeding Friend is a great tool that is free, quick and easy to use and can offer guidance and answer questions concerning parents of babies.”

Less than 44 per cent of women in England are breastfeeding once their baby reaches two months old, despite the fact three-quarters, or 73 per cent, of women begin doing so when their baby is born.

n See www.facebook.com/Start4LifeBreastfeedingFriend