New mum hails breastfeeding support service

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New mums and health chiefs have hailed a breastfeeding support service a success.

The two-year pilot scheme in Ashfield, Bassetlaw, Broxtowe, Gedling, Mansfield, and Newark and Sherwood has introduced Infant Feeding Peer Support workers in addition to what a midwife and health visitor already offer.

Claire Tweed was introduced to the support team when her daughter Alice was a day old. She said: “I really wanted to be able to breastfeed my baby so having someone around to offer advice and support was invaluable. Those first couple of days are crucial to get things like positioning and attachment right, and without that extra encouragement it would have been easy to give up.”

Claire was supported by breastfeeding support worker Carol Callow. She said: “I stayed in hospital for a further week as Alice was jaundiced, so I had to express my milk and feed her via a syringe. Without Carol’s encouragement I may well have not got past the first week.”

Theresa Drozdowska, Infant Feeding Lead, Nottinghamshire Healthcare, added: “Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as asthma, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in later life.”

The new initiative is supported by Nottinghamshire County Council.

County Health Partnerships has been awarded the Baby Friendly Award.

Coun Joyce Bosnjak, chairman of the Public Health Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “I’m delighted that County Health Partnerships has received this award in recognition of the support they provide mothers and babies across Nottinghamshire.

“Surveys show us that most mothers want to breastfeed but don’t always get the support they need. In the last 12 months alone more and more venues are taking on Baby Friendly status which is great news for new mums and mums to be.”