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As National Breastfeeding Awareness Week takes place from June 19th to 25th, a young Mum has been speaking to Heart about why she decided to breastfeed.
The NHS says week is aimed to remind mums and professionals that every amount of breastfeeding contributes to giving babies the best nutrition possible for their immediate and future health. This includes mums with pre-term babies and mums returning to work, and we advise all mothers to seek advice for their situation from their midwife, health visitor and children’s centre.
25-year-old Hannah Lazarus from Swanton Morley near Dereham in Norfolk has two children - Jay, six, and baby Luca who was born in April 2011. She has breastfed both of them.
She said "It didn't occur to me not to breastfeed. My mum is a health visitor and I was lucky enough to have been brought up with the understanding that breast is best. It was partly convenience too. I couldn't face the thought of getting up in the night to make bottles!
As a new mum I wanted to do what was best for Jay. I felt that breastfeeding was the most natural and healthy option."
Jay was born with a tongue tie, which was later corrected. Hannah breastfed him until he was four months old.
"Jay was a very healthy baby and I attribute that to the fact that he was breastfed, "she said.
To this day he very rarely gets ill. I believe he had a good start in life through breastfeeding. I feel very glad that, although I didn’t get to breastfeed as long as I would have liked, we did our best and it was still hugely beneficial for him."
She added: "It gave me this overwhelming feeling of love and compassion and connection with my child. It was such a beautiful experience and it helped me to gain confidence as a new, young mother. I felt like I was really fulfilling my role as Jay’s mum."
Hannah also told Heart that Mums should be able to make a choice about whether they do it or not and shouldn't feel pressured to do it if they are not able to: "It's very wrong to make a mother feel guilty because she doesn't want to, because she can't. You've got to find what's right for you as an individual mother and for each individual child. If you're unsure just start with the breastfeeding and then if it's not for you, don't feel guilty about giving it up and going onto the bottle. You know, you've given it a go and if you've given it your best shot - that's all anybody can ask of you - you're child included."
NHS Norfolk has added a map of breastfeeding support groups to its website. Visit: www.norfolk.nhs.uk/breastfeeding-map or call the NHS Norfolk Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) on 0800 587 4132 to find a group near you.
Anyone who lives in the Great Yarmouth and Waveney area and would like to find their nearest baby café should ring 01493 852209.
For services in Suffolk, you can visit http://www.suffolk.nhs.uk/
For additional help and advice, call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 or visit www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk