We have exciting news for the start of September as our Midwifery 1-2-1 Breastfeeding Support Service project has been approved to run as a 12-month pilot in partnership with Southend University Hospital Foundation Trust. The project will deliver one-on-one breastfeeding support at home by Infant Feeding Support Workers for mothers who meet the criteria for this additional support.

The 1-2-1 support will be provided during the first six weeks post-birth in the mother’s home by fully-trained Infant Feeding Support Workers. The service aims to increase both initial uptake and retention of breastfeeding rates and will be initially delivered within the SS3 postcode areas of Shoeburyness and West Shoebury for mothers identified during their pregnancy or subsequently in the postnatal period. This will either be from a direct referral by the midwifery service, health service or the maternity team at Southend Hospital.

During antenatal appointments, the community midwife will discuss the benefits of breastfeeding, how to get off to a good start, how to develop the relationship with your unborn child/children as well as how families and partners can support. During the postnatal period, a mother in receipt of 1-2-1 support will receive one-on-one support at home with a fully-trained ‘Infant Feeding Support Worker’ for the first six weeks following birth. These sessions will focus on areas such as positioning and attachment, hand expressing of breast milk, safe parenting, relationship building, brain development, how partners and families can support, how to access group-based support and approved websites for additional information.

The 1-2-1 project will also run alongside our ‘Breastfeeding Group Support’ being carried out by the Southend YMCA and the midwifery service will refer directly into group-based sessions for mothers who do not require that 1-2-1 support.

As a programme we are committed to supporting mothers to breastfeed through a range of projects/activities including:

  • Unicef Baby Friendly accreditation for children’s centres (adding to that already achieved by Southend Hospital and the Health Visiting workforce)
  • The creation of the ‘Southend Supports Breastfeeding scheme, encouraging all public venues, and transport providers to make breastfeeding mothers feel welcomed and supported in their feeding choice
  • Group support for mothers who may have “graduated” from the one-on-one support, or feel less confident or empowered to sustain breastfeeding after the early days of the infant’s life

If you have any questions about our Midwifery 1-2-1 Breastfeeding Support Service or our Breastfeeding Group Support, please get in touch with Charlotte Graham, A Better Start Southend Project Manager, on 01702 356050 / 07544 160450 charlotte.graham@pre-school.org.uk

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