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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 February 2007, 15:12 GMT
Knitted breasts help new mothers
Knitted breasts
The breasts are used by community midwife teams
A hospital needing a cheaper alternative to fake breasts has begun knitting its own.

The woolly breasts are being used at Liverpool Women's Hospital to show new mothers how to breastfeed and how to express milk if necessary.

Kate McFadden, the hospital's infant feeding co-ordinator, has already knitted several and has called in the services of her mother, a keen knitter.

The breasts are produced in a variety of skin shades.

They are used by community midwife teams to demonstrate how milk should be expressed, particularly for premature babies being kept in hospital.

Ms McFadden told BBC News: "We have a regional neo-natal unit and we encourage new mothers to express milk to help the small and sick babies.

Expensive models

"When we first put an e-mail appeal out to everyone in the trust, there were a fair few messages being sent back.

"But they are vital to us and are a low-cost, simple teaching tool."

Ms McFadden sourced the breast pattern from the Lactation Consultants' Association.

She said: "You can buy model breasts, but they cost around 35 each, which is quite prohibitive, as we need about 50."

Although community groups, including the official friends of the hospital association, have pitched in, more knitters are needed.

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