1,000 signatures reached
To: SSOTP/Stoke on Trent City Council
#SaveOurIFT Save Our Infant Feeding Team - Stoke on Trent
Save the IFT and continue providing support on a one to one and group basis to enable parents to be supported throughout the breastfeeding journey.
Why is this important?
The Infant Feeding Team (IFT)
Support breastfeeding families through support groups or one to one appointments in hospital and community settings. Breastfeeding facilitators are highly skilled staff and they also give guidance to formula feeding mothers who need help and give advice on infant weaning. The breastfeeding facilitators are being drastically cut in number and we are wanting to save their posts in order for families to receive crucial support.
The IFT help parents to:
Recognise if their baby is getting enough milk.
Ensure feeding is a comfortable experience for mum and baby.
Identify where more help is needed.
They also address medical issues such as tongue tie to help babies to feed.
Increase the social capital of mothers through facilitating group and peer support networks.
Since IFT (or Mum2Mum as they were previously known) was founded, breastfeeding rates in the City have risen exponentially but we are still significantly less than the national average and more support is needed to encourage breastfeeding. So budget cuts to the service seem to be particularly inappropriate.
A UNICEF study found that in addition to saving the NHS £40m a year, increasing breastfeeding rates could reduce the risk of a host of childhood diseases including gastroenteritis, bronchiolitis, ear infections as well as reducing the risk of breast cancer for the mother.
Stoke On Trent Council has confirmed the benefits of breastfeeding in their own report dated June 2015, stating "Evidence shows that babies are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital with gastroenteritis and more likely to be overweight or obese in later life if not breastfed."
Breastfeeding also helps to tackle infant poverty and goes some way to address health and social inequalities. With present government cuts to families support in reducing family expenditure through breastfeeding is needed.
Without IFT new and existing mums will struggle and are likely to cease breastfeeding their babies which will create an increase in health and socio-economic issues for babies, mothers, families, the council and the NHS.
Please Sign and share to help us Save Our Infant Feeding Team #SaveOurIFT