More Newham mums breastfeed their babies

The number of women breastfeeding their newborn babies in Newham is continuing to rise, according to recent figures.

Statistics released by Public Health England have revealed that 88.7 per cent of new mums were breastfeeding their newborns in 2011/12. This is slightly higher than the London average of 87 per cent and significantly higher than the England average of 74 per cent.

The figures show more and more mums in the borough are heeding the message from health professionals. In 2008/09 the figure was 82.8 per cent and has risen gradually since then.

A spokesman for Newham Council, which has responsibility for public health, said: “This report highlighting the increase in breast feeding rates in Newham is great news .

“Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed new born babies and mothers in Newham know this and are acting on it increasing numbers. Giving babies only breast milk is recommended for around the first six months of baby’s life. This is because breastfed babies have:

*less chance of diarrhoea and vomiting

*fewer chest and ear infections

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*less chance of being constipated

*less likelihood of becoming obese and therefore developing type 2 diabetes and other illnesses later in life

*less chance of developing eczema”

He said mums in the borough were hearing the message that breastfeeding also benefits their health as well.

He admitted that the report highlights that more support is needed for mums to be able to continue to breastfeed their babies for longer and that all groups of mothers are supported to breastfeed.