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Page last updated at 10:42 GMT, Wednesday, 26 May 2010 11:42 UK
Knitted breasts help new mothers
Louise Stickland, Shirley Dibbs & Julie Scrancher with the knitted breasts
Health workers will use the knitted breasts as a training aid

New mothers in Somerset are set to learn how to breastfeed with the aid of knitted breasts.

The Mothers' Union was commissioned by the NHS to knit 150 breasts as they are a better alternative to balloons.

The creations will help mothers learn how to express their milk and deal with problems like blocked ducts.

Shirley Dibbs from the union said when she was first asked to knit the breasts, she misunderstood and thought they wanted knitted vests.

She added: "Our members across Somerset were very pleased to help; many are mothers themselves and we all recognise the benefits breastfeeding brings new babies."

Infant feeding specialist Louise Strickland said she asked the union to make the breasts when she learned they were making clothes for premature babies.

"To my delight, they agreed and enrolled four of their best knitters, who have done an outstanding job."

The breasts will be given to every health health visitor, community nurse and nursery nurse involved in supporting new breastfeeding mothers.




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