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Last Updated: Monday, 20 August 2007, 09:39 GMT 10:39 UK
Drop-in clinic for breastfeeding
Mother breastfeeding her baby
Experts say breastfeeding lowers the risk of many infections
New mothers are to be given extra help with breast feeding in a Devon city.

A new NHS drop-in centre is being opened at St Sidwell's Healthy Living Centre in Exeter.

Devon Primary Care Trust (PCT) said it has 40 trained volunteer breastfeeding advisers in the city and 40 more are undergoing training.

The weekly Baby Oasis clinic will offer information, help and advice to expectant women and new mothers who wish to breastfeed their babies.

Health visitor Victoria Howard said the new centre was the third in the Exeter area.

It doesn't come naturally to all mums
Victoria Howard, health visitor

"The group will be very relaxed and informal with refreshments available and soft comfy chairs for mums, where they can have a drink and a chat," she said.

"Breastfeeding is one of the most important things you can do for your child as there are so many benefits.

"But it doesn't come naturally to all mums and so this is where our health visitors or trained peer support workers can help."

The PCT said benefits of breastfeeding include a lower risk of gastro-enteritis, respiratory, urinary tract and ear infections, eczema and childhood diabetes in breastfed babies

It added evidence showed breastfed babies were less likely to be obese as adults.

The clinic is a joint venture with the PCT and the Flying Start Children's Centre and will be open every Monday between 1330 and 1500 GMT at St Sidwell's Healthy Living Centre.


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