Mum’s the word for nationwide celebration

Health visitor Jen Menzies with Fred the bear at All Saints Children's Centre.
Health visitor Jen Menzies with Fred the bear at All Saints Children's Centre.

Life proved a picnic for South Tyneside mums helping to give their bouncing babies the best start in life.

Parents flocked to All Saints Children’s Centre for some early morning fun in the sun at the borough’s 12th annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic, organised as part of National Breastfeeding Celebration Week.

Mothers and babies celebrate Breastfeeding week with a coffee morning at Horsley Hill Children's Centre.

Mothers and babies celebrate Breastfeeding week with a coffee morning at Horsley Hill Children's Centre.

South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust health visitor Jen Menzies set up the event in a bid to promote the benefits of breastfeeding over the bottle for mums and mums-to-be.

A host of events have been held throughout the week to to encourage a better breast-feeding culture throughout the borough and beyond.

A raft of information stands have also been on display at South Tyneside Distict Hospital, with health professionals and peer counsellors - mums trained to help other women to breastfeed - sharing their experiences.

The aim of the week-long initiative is to provide an opportunity for mothers, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals to come together and share what works well to support breastfeeding.

The event is now in its 12th year and has become really popular.

Jen Menzies

Mrs Menzies said: “More breastfeeders past, present and future than ever before came along to support us and to celebrate the benefits of breastfeeding.

“Breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby, provides protection from infections and diseases and is available whenever your baby needs it.

“Breastfeeding also provides health benefits for mothers. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.”

“This event is now in its 12th year and has become really popular.

Parents also stirred up support for the celebration by hosting a coffee morning at Horsley Hill Children’s Centre, in South Shields, on Monday.

Mums and expecting mums came along to enjoy a fun and friendly atmosphere, with adice and guidance dished out by health workers.

Tea, coffee, cake were served up - along with a free book for every baby, with little ones also having a chance to be showered in gifts with a free prize draw taking place.

Councillor Tracey Dixon, the Council’s Lead Member for Independence and Wellbeing, added: “By giving your baby breast milk, you are giving him or her the best start in life. This is because breastfed babies have less chance of developing type 2 diabetes, less chance of vomiting and diarrhoea and of suffering from eczema and have fewer chest and ear infections.

“Any amount of breastfeeding has a positive effect, however, the longer you breastfeed the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits are to you and your baby. There are many breastfeeding support groups throughout the Borough and to find a local one you can ask your midwife or health visitor or contact your local Children’s Centre.”