It’s exciting times ahead for ABSS as we can confirm further details about our upcoming Group-based Breastfeeding Support project.

Initially the project will run as a six-month pilot, delivered in partnership by four local voluntary sector agencies. Lined up to run the pilot are community-based organisations Southend YMCA (who are leading the project), Family Storehouse, Trust Links and Milton Community Partnership.

The sessions will be starting in the spring and will take place on a weekly basis in a variety of settings across the ABSS areas. Mothers will be offered support up to one year from birth and are encouraged to attend the sessions both ante-natally as well as post-natally. Be sure to look out for the courses, which are to be held in a variety of community settings including provider settings and children’s centres.

Part of service is about training mothers to become breastfeeding ‘supporters’. Peer volunteers will be trained during these sessions with providers offering a 10-week training course for this, working towards providing long-term continuity and sustainability.

The original impetus for a group-based breastfeeding support project came about as a result of the ABSS Diet and Nutrition Strategy identifying a need around breastfeeding initiation and continuation rates.

Though the project’s overall aim is to increase breastfeeding rates in the target wards, it will also look to increase links between families in these areas as well as cultivating community partnerships. Learning from the 6-month pilot project will then be used to inform the service model for a longer-term project that will run for the next 3-5 years.

If you would like to take part in the course, you can contact Eleanor King at Southend YMCA or 01702 356050.


Article published February 2018

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