A great start – launch of Buddies Baby Bistros

June 17, 2011 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
A new initiative to support young parents in Dewsbury is being launched by Kirklees Community Healthcare Services (KCHS) with the help of players from the Dewsbury Rams.

The first Buddies Baby Bistro will open its doors at Flatts and Eastborough Children's Centre in Dewsbury on Thursday, 9 June at 9.30am. Along with help and advice there will be stalls, breast pump demonstations, a beauty therapist, face painter and refreshments.

Launched to coincide with National Breastfeeding Awareness Week (June 19-25) these weekly sessions will offer help and advice on breastfeeding in a friendly, relaxed environment for teenage and young mums aged between 16-24.

Jayne Heley, Kirklees Baby Friendly Initiative and Infant Feeding Lead said: "Research shows that young mums are more likely to give up breastfeeding within a week of giving birth and that a lack of help and support in these early weeks is often the reason they stop. Whilst breastfeeding is not for everyone it is cheap, convenient and protects babies from a wide range of illnesses."

Jayne, along with a team of volunteers - usually mums themselves who have breastfed - offer practical help and support to mothers attending the Baby Bistros. In the case of the Buddies Baby Bistro these are younger mums who will usually be able to identify with someone their own age. The Baby Bistro's have proved a great success around Kirklees with another one opening at Thornhill Lees Community Centre on Wednesday 22 June at 10.30am.

Staff from Action for Children, the Charity who run Flatts & Eastborough Children's Centre, are looking forward to welcoming the KCHS team along and encouraging the families who use the Centre to give Baby Buddies Bistro a try.

Ruth O'Connor, centre manager, said: "This partnership is really important and it provides the perfect opportunity for young parents to find out more about breastfeeding in a supportive environment. By dispelling the myths and encouraging mums and parents-to-be to share their experiences, we hope our centre users will find the confidence to breastfeed and in doing so encourage other mums to continue breastfeeding for longer."

Keegan Hirst is both a player for the Dewsbury Rams and a Community Coach along with James Stephenson and both will be attending the event. They said; " We think the Buddy Baby Bistros are a great idea and anything that can help young children in the area grow up stronger and healthier has to be a good thing. Who knows, with a great start in life one of these youngsters could be playing in the front row for the Rams in a few years time."

Jayne adds: "The sessions also highlight a team approach. Breastfeeding can be pretty hard as a new mum and you never know whether what you're doing is right or wrong. Baby Bistros will really help because mums can get reassurance from people who have experienced what they're going through. It's totally relaxed and informal and gives mums the chance to get together with their babies, share tips and encourage each other to continue breastfeeding."

Jayne is keen to stress that those mothers in Kirklees who choose not to breastfeed will also get the same high-quality support and advice from KCHS health visitors.