Issued by NHS Highland
Children at an Inverness primary school have been busting myths about breastfeeding with help from NHS Highland.
Primary 6 pupils at Raigmore Primary school were learning about relationships through discussion and DVDs when the topic of breastfeeding was raised.
Their teacher Lynda Banks said: “I was very surprised to hear some of them making statements such as ‘breastfeeding causes cancer’ and that it was ‘horrible and disgusting.’ I didn’t feel that I could continue with the education programme until we had helped them to understand better, so we asked infant feeding advisor Karen Mackay from NHS Highland to come in and explain more about breastfeeding. It’s important that young people have the correct information so that they can make informed choices.
“The children reacted really well to the actual facts about breastfeeding and the whole class has now done a complete U-turn with many of the girls deciding that when they are mums they will definitely try to breastfeed.
“Some of the pupils didn’t know if they had been breastfed or not so went home to find out and were really excited to know that some of them had been fed this way.”
The pupils have drawn posters to show the benefits of breastfeeding; these are currently on display at the Eastgate Shopping Centre in Inverness.
Eleven year old Ben Williams said: “When the subject of breastfeeding began I didn’t really know many facts. Karen came and told us all about the benefits of breastfeeding. Now my views about it have changed to being positive. I really enjoyed making the posters because I wanted everyone to understand more about how good it is for mums and babies.”
Infant Feeding Advisor Karen Mackay said: “It was a real privilege to talk to these children and I’m really pleased that the school invited us to make a presentation. When I talked about the health benefits of breast milk one of the boys went to see his uncle afterwards and said ‘if you’d been breastfed it might have helped stop you getting sick with diabetes’ so it’s really rewarding to see how much information they’ve taken in.”
This week is also Breastfeeding Awareness week where the focus is on significant others and the role that they play. Partners, husbands, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, best friends and any other significant others are being asked to imagine the kind of support that they would like if they were breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding will help offer your baby protection from a range of illnesses including: gastro intestinal infections, eczema, obesity, asthma, ear infections and type 1 diabetes. Mums who breastfeed have added protection from illnesses such as ovarian cancer, breast cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
For more information about breastfeeding support groups or advice please call Karen Mackay or Janet Kellock on 01463 704842.