A NEW batch of volunteers have been trained in Keighley to support breastfeeding mums.

The new Breastfeeding Buddies are mothers who have themselves learned the benefits of breastfeeding their babies.

The five women recently completed a ten-week course at Keighley Healthy Living and will join other Buddies offering help to pregnant and breastfeeding mums.

Mum-of-two Sarah Casey, one of the new buddies, said she is looking forward to supporting women on the postnatal ward at Airedale Hospital.

She added: “I was really struggling to breastfeed my little girl, after trying to breastfeed my son five years earlier and giving up after three months.

“I was really determined! I read books and Googled articles but it wasn’t until I visited the Breastfeeding Buddies drop-in group that the penny finally dropped.

“It’s such a relaxed environment and you quickly realise all the little niggles and worries are shared with other mums.

“The buddies were sensitive, yet knowledgeable, and I do believe that without that support I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed my daughter."

As a result of her experience, Sarah joined the latest course to become a Breastfeeding Buddy herself.

She said: “When I heard about the course, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give something back.

"It always sounds like a cliché but if I can help even one mum then I’ll take something really positive from that."

Julie Thomas, the Breastfeeding Buddies co-ordinator, said breastfeeding offered many benefits for both mother and baby.

She added: “The training course enables mothers, who have experienced breastfeeding themselves, to develop their skills, knowledge and confidence to support other mums.”

Women can access support from the buddies at the free Breastfeeding drop-ins at Keighley Healthy Living, behind Keighley Library in Scott Street, on Tuesdays and Fridays from 10am to noon. They can also chat with other mums in a relaxed and informal setting.

There is a drop-in group on Tuesdays from 1pm to 2pm at the Daisy Chain Children’s Centre in Silsden.

Breastfeeding Buddies also visit mums in their homes, at hospital or at any suitable location, such as a café or children’s centre.

Keighley Breastfeeding Buddies can be contacted by calling their helpline number 07990 700842, or via a midwife or health visitor.

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