Blogging today is Danielle, our Children’s Centre Breastfeeding Champion, with her thoughts on this years’ theme – support.
Support is really important to many people, myself included. I remember back to 2008 when my first baby was born and how I lacked any proper breastfeeding support. No one in my immediate family had breastfed so I couldn’t get advice from them and my midwifery team was as helpful as they could be with so little time to give to me… I felt very alone. Discovering a weekly “baby café” (known here in Thanet as a ‘breastfeeding support group’) at my local Children’s Centre was amazing! It was a safe place for me to ask questions, with my baby in tow, and get answers from other mums as well as professionals. I am still in touch with some of those mums today! The volunteers were fantastic; able to reassure me that what was happening to me and my son was (or wasn’t in the case of undiagnosed mastitis) perfectly normal. I felt supported – being able to have a drink and a chat with other mums in the same boat was, at times, a life saver for me.
Here in Thanet, we are lucky to benefit from the support of highly trained volunteer peer supporters at all of our three weekly breastfeeding support groups as well as a qualified lactation consultant at one specialist clinic on a weekly basis. These are ladies who have been there, done that (and, quite literally, got the t-shirt!). They can offer information, support and a friendly ear – which is often just enough to keep a mum going in her hour of need. Our peer supporters can also talk to mums (and dads/partners/family) before baby arrives to answer queries and provide information. Why not come along to one of the groups and make some new friends? You can also find out about what sort of information is available from NHS Choices here.