Best for bringing up baby

SOUTHSIDE mums are being urged to breastfeed and being advised to take vitamin D supplements during pregnancy.

The Scottish government is making the appeals as part of its new strategy on maternal and infant health.

It is also encouraging parents to feed their infants home-prepared food rather than commercially-made baby foods.

Chloe (26) from Govanhill is mum to five-month-old Oscar. She said: “I always intended to breastfeed. I thought it might be difficult but the care and support I received was fantastic.

“The service provided from the NHS is ongoing and I know I can pick up the phone anytime. It’s fabulous how my baby is thriving on breast milk alone”.

Breastfeeding is one of the key recommendations in the Improving Maternal and Infant Nutrition: A Framework for Action strategy.

Health boards will be expected to develop their own action plans to take forward the scheme.

Linda Wolfson, NHSGGC health board infant feeding coordinator, said: “It is encouraging more babies living in Glasgow and Clyde are now being breastfed.

“One of Holyrood’s actions to improve standards for new breastfeeding mums is for maternity units and community health services to achieve full UNICEF-UK baby friendly accreditation.

“In the UK, UNICEF works with the NHS to help improve the standards of care that professionals provide.

“It aims to ensure that mothers who choose to breastfeed are more likely to have a good experience and are more likely to succeed.

“All five of NHSGGC’s maternity units are now fully accredited and all of its community areas have achieved stage two accreditation”.

Launching the campaign, public health minister Shona Robison said: “We know sometimes women can find it difficult to exclusively breastfeed for the recommended six months but this campaign aims to show them support is there to help them to continue to do so.

“Scotland should celebrate women making the choice to breastfeed, regardless of how long they choose to do so for”.

Pregnant mums are advised to take a daily supplement of 10 micrograms of vitamin D and while breastfeeding.

The main source of vitamin D is usually through sunlight exposure to the skin but due to Scotland’s climate, an additional supplement — alongside folic acid — is now recommended.

To find a breastfeeding support group visit www.feedgoodfactor.org.uk or call 0300 100 0212.