The work being done to promote healthy pregnancy and infant breast feeding in the East Riding is to be the key focus for the area’s Health and Wellbeing Board.
A report from the East Riding of Yorkshire’s director of public health Dr Tim Allison, highlighting smoking in pregnancy and breastfeeding as key priorities for the area, was be presented to the East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board.
Councillor Jonathan Owen, chair of the East Riding Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“The theme of our next meeting is ‘Start Well’, covering a range of incredibly important topics related to the first stages of life.
“Future meetings, throughout the remainder of the year and into next spring, will be focussed around the life course, covering topics including ‘develop well’, ‘live and work well’, ‘age well and end of life’.
“The items on the agenda will make for an interesting discussion this week about issues that are vitally important to the future health and wellbeing of the next generation.
“Once again the Board will be going ‘on tour’ and heading to Withernsea. By being more mobile it is hoped that more people will get involved in the discussions that are affecting the health and social care issues right at the heart of their local communities.”
The ‘Healthy Pregnancy’ report, which states that the proportion of women who smoked at the time of delivery in the East Riding was “significantly larger” when compared to the rest of England in 2014/15, at 13.8% compared to 11.4%, also addresses the work being carried out to tackle the issue.
For example, over the past three years carbon monoxide monitoring by midwives has become standard practice for all pregnant women in the East Riding, thanks to the introduction of carbon monoxide monitors and training.
Since last April Public Health has also re-commissioned stop smoking services, provided by the Humber NHS Foundation Trust Health Trainers. The latest statistics reveal that in 2015/16 following referral to the service, 63 pregnant women attended a pre-quit assessment, of whom 31 set a quit date, and 22 quit.
The report also discusses the progress that is being made in relation to tackling alcohol in pregnancy, teenage pregnancies, maternal obesity, and supporting maternal mental health.
To tie in with this the Board will receive the East Riding of Yorkshire Infant Feeding Strategy 2016-20.
This is a multi-agency five year action plan which aims to create a culture in the East Riding where breastfeeding is seen as the norm and is recognised as improving health and reducing health inequalities.
The strategy also aims to encourage collaboration between various agencies to ensure that every family is aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, can make informed choices about how to feed their baby, and has access to the right information, support and help needed in hospital and community settings.
The Board will also receive an outline ‘Parenting’ Strategic Needs Assessment, which has been carried out by the East Riding Children, Families and School Service and Public Health.
The aim of this assessment, which is an outline at this stage and is due to be completed by the end of the year, is to eventually help develop a Parenting Strategy for the East Riding “so that a culture is developed and sustained in the East Riding that values and supports the role of parenting” and in turn “improving the life chances of children and young people.”
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