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Around 80% of new mums breast feed here in Somerset. But in an effort to try and push those rates up, our NHS has turned to a rather unusual creation.
The county's Mother's Union has knitted 150 woollen breasts! They'll be given to health visitors to use as a teaching tool for new mums.
NHS Infant Feeding Specialist Louise Strickland told Heart: "In the past our breastfeeding trainers had to use balloons to demonstrate feeding skills, but when I heard the Mothers Union did knitting of clothes for premature babies, I asked if they would be prepared to knit 150 breasts so I could make them available as a training aid to every health visitor, community nurse and nursery nurse involved in supporting new breastfeeding mums. To my delight, they agreed and enrolled four of their best knitters, who have done an outstanding job.”
Shirley Dibbs Liaison Officer at the Mothers Union in Somerset, said: “Members of the Mother’s Union are always ready to help good causes and we often produce knitted clothes for very small premature babies. However, I think this is the first time we have had a request to knit woollen breasts, in fact at first I misunderstood and thought they needed 150 woollen vests! Our members across Somerset were very pleased to help, many are mothers themselves and we all recognise the benefits breastfeeding brings new babies.”
The NHS has these top tips for new breast feeding mums..