Released on: 06 September 2023

New parents in Peterborough will continue to get support with areas including breastfeeding and mental health thanks to funding secured by NCT.  

NCT, the national charity for parents, has successfully retained its contract with Peterborough City Council and Cambridgeshire County Council for a further 18 months. The new contract means the charity can help more parents to initiate and continue breastfeeding, as well as providing community support for parents with their emotional wellbeing through one-to-ones and weekly drop-in group sessions online and in person.  

The UK has some of the lowest rates of breastfeeding globally, with eight out of ten women stopping breastfeeding before they want to. The extended funding will enable the charity to train double the amount of volunteer peer supporters to provide support to more parents in other areas.  

Difficulties in breastfeeding can contribute to poor mental health, which 1 in 5 parents will experience during or after pregnancy. As well as support with breastfeeding, the funding will allow more trained peer supporters to work with parents to improve their emotional wellbeing and to reduce isolation within the community by providing a safe space to talk.  

Mum of two, Ella who attends the group sessions for breastfeeding support, said: “Breastfeeding my second baby after my first was tube fed was so daunting. I was terrified of doing it by myself - add to that the stress of having two children under the age of three to look after. But having the breastfeeding led baby group was so relieving.  Knowing the volunteers were there each week, ready to help with any and every issue I threw their way, plus I ended up making friends with an amazing little group of women who I contact and meet up with outside of the group that I know I wouldn't have met had it not been for the group.  

“I'm so grateful I have the volunteers there as part of my breastfeeding journey. They have been everything for me and I simply can't thank them enough for everything they have done. Their service is absolutely invaluable and so important for mums, for their first, second, fourth, or even fifteenth babies. We are all so lucky to have them.” 

Helen Lloyd, Head of Programmes at NCT, said: “Breastfeeding rates in Peterborough are lower than average, so we have a unique opportunity to support more parents in the area who might otherwise go unnoticed. Many factors contribute to poor parental mental health during the perinatal period including anxieties surrounding infant feeding, social isolation, financial insecurity and deprivation and paternal depression. 

“It is a positive step forward that Peterborough recognise the benefits of this holistic approach to providing much needed perinatal support in the region. This is a national programme, and we hope more local authorities will look to make this support available to parents.”  

Helen Freeman, from Public Health Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, said: “We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the NCT across Peterborough in the form of this new contract, ensuring invaluable peer support for families at the start of their parenting journey.  

“As we continue to develop our family hubs offer, this ensures that parents can access friendly, safe and non-judgemental support to support their wellbeing and feeding choices.” 

For more information about the Parents in Mind service, please visit here. 



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