World Breastfeeding Week 2021: Mums encouraged to access breastfeeding support this World Breastfeeding Week

3 August 2021

It’s World Breastfeeding Week 2021 and midwives and nurses across the Northern Care Alliance NHS group are busy promoting the many benefits of breastfeeding with mums. 

This year’s theme for the global campaign supported by key organisations like the World Health Organisation and UNICEF is ‘Breastfeeding is a shared responsibility’. The aim behind this year’s campaign is to promote ways in which we can all work together to create a breastfeeding-friendly environment that supports breastfeeding and one which encourages investment in services that can provide high-quality care and support to families. As always, the campaign is also seeking to inform families about the many benefits of breastfeeding to try and galvanise people into action.

Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. The longer you breastfeed for, the greater the health benefits for both mum and baby. If mums continue to breastfeed beyond the first few months, it can help protect your baby from infections and even when you’re no longer fully breastfeeding, just one or two feeds a day can still benefit your baby’s health.

The benefits of breastfeeding have been well evidenced and midwives and nurses across the Northern Care Alliance are keen to highlight the benefits to both mum and baby this World Breastfeeding Week:

Breast fed babies are:

  • Five times less likely to present with gastrointestinal infections (tummy bugs) or urinary tract infections.
  • Two times less likely to have a chest infection.
  • Two times less likely to have an allergy if they are from an allergic family.  This includes eczema, asthma or diabetes.
  • If the babies are premature, they are 20 times less likely to get neonatal necrotising enterocolitis, a bowel condition, which can be life threatening.
  • Have improved cognitive development.
  • And are less likely to be obese in childhood or later adult life.

Breastfeeding also has benefits for mums and can reduce their risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer and osteoporosis later in life. Breastfeeding also naturally uses up to 500 calories a day and can help mums regain their pre-pregnancy weight more quickly. It also helps their womb contract to its pre-pregnant state more quickly, reducing their likelihood of postpartum bleeding or womb infections.

Whilst breastfeeding is a natural process, it’s not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding. The good news is that there are some great resources available to help mums with all aspects of breastfeeding, including guides about how to breastfeed and express milk, how to overcome some of the common challenges and how to continue breastfeeding when you go back to work.  

A great resource for mums is the NHS Start4Life website:, which offers a great range of advice and also signposts mums to a range of organisations where they can find additional support and advice on breastfeeding. Local midwife can also offer invaluable support.

Wendy Blackwood, Infant Feeding Coordinator at The Royal Oldham Hospital, said: “Our Midwives, Nurses and Infant Feeding Leads across the Northern Care Alliance are always available to answer any questions that mums may have and talk about the benefits of breastfeeding, as well as skin-to-skin contact as soon as the baby is born. We can help mums to decide whether breastfeeding will work for them, give advice on how to start and offer ways to help mums to breastfeed their child for longer. We’d always encourage mums to contact us and discuss any questions or concerns they have.”

If mums-to-be or their families have any questions they can contact our infant feeding leads by e-mailing:

For more information and support about breastfeeding, please contact Wendy Blackwood on 0161 627 8752 or Paula Mulhall on 0161 206 2331.

Alternatively, women and their families can find out more information about local breastfeeding support groups in Greater Manchester on our website at:

For any media enquiries, please contact Josie Neil, Communication and Engagement Lead at the Royal Oldham Hospital on 0161 627 8703 or by e-mail:     

Accessibility tools

Return to header