COMMUNICATIONS NEWS: Barnardo's in breastfeed drive

DAN WILLIAMSON

Barnardo's is targeting men with a campaign aimed at encouraging natural breastfeeding by mothers.

The activity, which is claimed to be the first of its kind in Britain, will use cartoon-style leaflets to educate fathers about the health benefits of breastfeeding.

The initiative, which is being run in Bristol's Hartcliffe, Highbridge and Withywood areas in association with local parenting group Sure Start, aims to erase any negative pre-conceptions associated with breastfeeding.

The campaign shows a group of men in a pub being educated by a group of babies using a question and answer format.

Clive Jones, fathers' development worker at Barnardo's New Fulford family centre, said the work will support the area's ongoing parenting groups for fathers.

"There is so much confusing material out there," said Jones. "It needs to be addressed. There are a lot of myths about whether the baby is getting enough nutrition from the milk, which need to be exploded. The activity needed to be light in nature and kept simple."

Jones said he hoped the scheme would be extended outside the Bristol area, given the campaign's positive response so far.

"Early responses suggest this has certainly opened some eyes," said Jones.

"This supports the Government's realisation that fathers need to be around. A lot of money is going into that. We are moving in the right direction."

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