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Campaign urges mothers in Belgium to breastfeed for longer

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Mothers in Belgium are being encouraged to breastfeed for as long as possible – up to two years – in a new campaign launched this week.

According to the public health department, many women who give birth in hospital stop breastfeeding when they get back home, despite breastfeeding having numerous positive health benefits for both babies and mothers.

Breastfeeding is also beneficial to the bond between mother and child, the health department explained.
The federal department has launched its new campaign during the International Week of Breastfeeding.

“A large majority of pregnant women in Belgium give birth in a hospital,” said campaign spokesperson Laurence Doughan. “In the last few years, assistance in hospitals for mothers who want to breastfeed has improved substantially.”

But as soon as mothers leave the hospital, many stop breastfeeding, either right away or within a few weeks. As the number of days that new mothers stay in hospital is on the decline, the department wants to familiarise pregnant women and new mothers with the various avenues of continued support.

The campaign website (http://www.health.belgium.be/) provides information on breastfeeding in public, personal statements from breastfeeding mums and the legal right to breastfeed at work.

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