'Breast is best' bus celebrates birthday

Link to Oxford Mail article by Amanda Williams


The Oxford Baby Café Bus has celebrated its second birthday. The bus, which is staffed by counsellors and volunteers, and supported by health visitors and midwives, now calls at eight venues a week.

Project leader Julie Osborne said: “It’s very important, because a mother’s milk is perfectly made for her baby. Even if people are embarrassed about breast feeding, and feel uncomfortable doing it in public, there are other ways of getting the breast milk to a baby, for example a pump. In the early weeks of having a new baby there is so much to get used to. Most women want to breastfeed but need encouragement and sometimes skilled help to overcome common problems. It is not rocket science, but a few good tips make a huge difference to getting it comfortable and sustainable.”

Studies have shown breast milk can provide babies with all the nutrients they need in the first six months of their lives and help protect them against health problems such as asthma and eczema. It is also thought to reduce the chance of mothers developing ovarian or breast cancer and guard against osteoporosis in later life.

Anna Lawrence began visiting the bus when she had a painful experience trying to feed her baby son Ernie, who is now nine months old. She was so pleased with the support she got, she now volunteers with the service. She said: “For me the biggest fear, because I so desperately wanted to breast feed, would be to be told I should probably give up. Anyone who wants to breast feed should be given the chance and support to be shown how to—and that’s what the bus does.”