NEW mums in Wyre Forest are being urged to breastfeed their babies and restaurants to welcome them in.

Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust is teaming up with the county's public health service to highlight the benefits of breastfeeding.

The leader of Wyre Forest District Council, Conservative councillor Marcus Hart, has urged local businesses, such as restaurants, to make sure that breastfeeding women are welcome.

The campaign, running until November, aims to inform new mums and their relatives in Worcestershire of the general importance of breastfeeding, both for themselves and their new babies.

Posters will be displayed in children’s centres, libraries, coffee shops, GP surgeries, pharmacies and supermarkets. The trust will run a social media campaign on facebook and twitter.

During September, the advertising will focus upon future and "soon-to-be" mums.

October’s push will target people who support and influence mums, including dads, partners, grandparents and friends.

November's effort will encourage new mums to keep it up and continue breastfeeding after the first six weeks, which is when rates tend to drop off.

The trust says the longer a mother feeds her child breast milk, the better the health benefits for both mother and baby.

Around 72 per cent of babies in Worcestershire initially start breastfeeding but that drops to 44 per cent by the time the baby is six weeks old. Breastfeeding is recommended up to the age of six months.

Anthea Griffiths, Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust’s breastfeeding co-ordinator, said: “Breastfeeding gives babies the best possible start in life."

Mr Hart, who is Worcestershire County Council cabinet member for health and wellbeing, said: "It is not just about mothers. Fathers, grandparents and friends can all support women to breastfeed and local businesses, such as restaurants, can make sure that breastfeeding women are welcome.

"It would be great to see a real improvement in the numbers who breastfeed so that most women in Worcestershire are breastfeeding their babies for the first few months of life."