VIDEO Prof Sally Kendall on breastfeeding support
20 November 2017
Film maker and anthropologist Catriona Blackburn’s latest film is ‘Invest in breast’, focusing on the crucial role of peer support groups in helping women to establish and maintain breastfeeding. CHSS Professor of Community Nursing and Public Health Sally Kendall, talks to Hannah Croft, peer supporter and co-founder of ‘Save Canterbury, Whitstable and Herne Bay Breastfeeding Support Groups’.
They discuss the benefits of breastfeeding for babies, mothers and the wider community in the early days, and for long term public health. Sally also stresses how effective and cost-effective supporting breastfeeding can be. It reduces treatment costs and has wide-ranging health and social benefits.
‘From a public health point of view we have to work out how we can improve breastfeeding rates here. We have one of the lowest in Europe. For those who do initiative feeding in the first week we see huge drop-off by six weeks, and certainly at six months (the recommended WHO period for exclusive breastfeeding) in England rates are down to around 2%. We don't have enough health professionals with the specialist knowledge to support mothers. Peer support groups are amazing and I know there's been some fantastic work in Kent. It’s a sharing relationship, celebrating success and helping each other through difficult times. And nurturing the community – a real investment for the future’.
Find out more about Sally’s work on her web profile
**KCC are currently undertaking a public consultation about proposed changes to breastfeeding support services. For more information and to take part, please follow the link. Closing date for participation is 3 December 2017