Breastival is back for the second year to mark World Breastfeeding Week

Parents will be pampered and get the chance to play with their little one at events to help champion breastfeeding as South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust team up with South Tyneside Council to host a Breastival.

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World Breastfeeding Week taking place this week is a global campaign aiming to raise awareness of it and its advantages.

While it highlights everyone has the right to make their own decisions, it helps spread the world that it is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) until a child turns two.

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As well as recognising those who have been able to, it also aims to support those who would like to breastfeed and offer them advice if they need it.

The event is returning to Hebburn Family Hub in Campbell Park Road today and will welcome breastfeeders past and present and feature music from Tiny Tweenies, relaxation with Kalma Life South Tyneside, games including hook-a-duck, sensory-filled paddling pools and crafts, as well as a chance to enjoy some relaxation time.

On Friday, August 4, from 11am to noon, a Breastfeeding Brunch will be hosted at All Saints Family Hub in Whitehall Street, South Shields.

It will offer people the opportunity to meet other parents, have a bite to eat, including cake. Goody bags will be available at both, as well as health information.

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Cheryl Rutherford is a Community Nursery Nurse who works in South Tyneside for its 0-19 Service.

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Angel Puttock, 24, from Hebburn.with daughters Octavia, six, and Mazikeen, 16 months and fiancé Chris Abdo, 30.Angel Puttock, 24, from Hebburn.with daughters Octavia, six, and Mazikeen, 16 months and fiancé Chris Abdo, 30.
Angel Puttock, 24, from Hebburn.with daughters Octavia, six, and Mazikeen, 16 months and fiancé Chris Abdo, 30.

She said: “Last year was the first time we hosted these events and they were very popular

“Our groups give parents the chance to make friends, chat about their own experiences and lend each other support, because it’s important they know they’re not on their own if they’re struggling.

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“We can also offer them lots of advice and the events we’ve lined up are an extension of those, so they can feel free to call in and find out more."

The Trust’s hospital and community midwifery teams will also be marking the week with celebrations with new parents.

Breastfeeding milestone gift cards will be handed out to parents, helping them mark their weekly progress.

Councillor Ruth Berkley, Lead Member for Adults, Health and Independence, said: “Breastfeeding provides many positive health benefits for both child and mother.

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“Breastfeeding is known to provide protection against infections, diarrhoea and vomiting in babies, supports their immune system and it is thought to reduce the risk of obesity and other diseases in later life.

“Parenthood brings all sorts of challenges and breastfeeding can take a little getting used to which is why we offer support and advice on this and a whole range of other issues at our network of family hubs to help families stay healthy and well throughout their lives.”

Among the mams helped by a group at Hebburn Family Hub is Angel Puttock, 24, from Hebburn.

She is a parent to Octavia, six, and Mazikeen, 16 months, with fiancé Chris Abdo, 30.

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Angel said: “I learned about the breastfeeding group early in my pregnancy as I was a little anxious to start breastfeeding as I know some people struggle.

“This sparked me to contact the family hub and they allowed me to attend a few sessions before the birth to help take away some of the anxiety.

“The other mothers give me plenty of advice if and when I needed it and were there for support because having a new baby to look after can be very exhausting. 

“It has made me more confident to talk to people and I have made some lovely friends in our group. Loads of new people have started and I've been able to give them some advice too. 

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“I’d say to others, you're not alone. It's not easy, so please don't beat yourself up over it.

To book a place on the Breastival call Hebburn Family Hub 0191 428 7650 and for the brunch call All Saints Family Hub on 0191 420 7657.

Lots of information is available to parents across South Tyneside via the Family Hubs:

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