23rd Oct, 2016

Buddies help boost breastfeeding

Rob George 23rd May, 2015 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

KIND-HEARTED mums and aspiring midwives have come forward to answer an appeal for  ‘breastfeeding friends’ in Worcestershire’s maternity wards.

Infant feeding leads at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust invited people who wanted to support women who are breastfeeding, to a meet and greet session in November.

And since then, 44 volunteers, including breastfeeding mothers and aspiring midwives, have completed their breastfeeding support training, and are sharing their experience with new mums on the

Alexandra and Worcestershire Royal hospitals’ postnatal wards.

In Worcestershire, 73 per cent of mothers start breastfeeding straight away, slightly below the national average of 80 per cent.

And after the first six weeks, this drops to 44 per cent, this is where the trust’s breastfeeding friends come in.

Becky Davenport, Infant Feeding Lead said “Having volunteers on the wards provides new mothers with another level of breastfeeding support that compliments midwifery support and advice.

“They are a welcome addition to on our postnatal wards,” she added.

Aspiring midwives Jennie Roehrig and Rachel O’Shea have both just completed their breastfeeding support training.

Jennie, who hopes to begin her midwifery training next year, said

“Even if I could only help just one mum and her baby with establishing effective feeding, it’s more than worth it and can really make a difference.

Rachel said her experience training to be a volunteer has immensely prepared her for life on the ward.

“I’ve volunteered on a couple of shifts so far and the rewards are amazing. This experience has only further confirmed my career choice,” she said.