View All News Items :: Search the News Database Search

Right Arrow Sticking by Miss Mears
07 August 2017 at 08:36

You never forget a teacher. Anne Tickle’s was a hospital midwife in 1962 and Anne had just given birth to Joanne, the first of five children.

She wanted to breastfeed and was fortunate Miss Mears, a redoubtable woman in her forties, encouraged all new mums at Ormskirk hospital to do the same.

The Sixties swung and Anne stuck with Miss Mears as two more children were born.

By the early Seventies, Miss Mears was still a familiar presence but her method had fallen out of fashion.

Less than a quarter of new mothers were now breastfeeding and it was barely encouraged in hospital at all. Bottle-feeding your baby was now the norm.

Still, Anne continued to breastfeed again in 1970 and finally for Amanda, born in 1972.

Happily we have come a long way in the past 40 years. Now seven out of 10 women breastfeed and nearly a fifth of babies are still exclusively breastfed at three months.

Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed your baby and can protect them in a way formula never can, providing long-term benefits that last right into adulthood.

It doesn’t matter how long you feed for. Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect.

Breastfeeding protects baby against sickness and diarrhoea, obesity and diabetes. It protects mum too from breast and ovarian cancers, osteoporosis and circulatory diseases.

Mums the world over are coming together tomorrow (Fri Aug 4) for the Big Latch On. It’s a global event raising awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and celebrated in 120 countries.

Women and children will gather in their own communities to take part with the aim of breaking last year’s record of nearly 18,000 babies feeding simultaneously.

Southport and Ormskirk hospital trust midwives are supporting the event at Lakeside Church in Southport. The headcount is at 10.30am.

Join us. Miss Mears would be proud.

Lesley Fawcett, Infant Feeding Coordinator
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust

Published in Liverpool Echo "My City" column, Friday 4th August 2017