“Breast is normal” is very much the message for mothers of new-born babies and those who need support with breastfeeding as Bosom Buddies @ the Spinney launched its breastfeeding support group in Guildford.
New parents with their tiny babies gathered in a cosy toy-filled room at the centre, where they were given a warm welcome and offered the opportunity to talk to professionals one to one in a very relaxed and informal environment about any concerns that they might over their new babies feeding.
The launch was celebrated in style with an afternoon tea party complete with delicious homemade cakes and biscuits.
With plenty of mixed messages out there Bosom Buddies, which is run in partnership with Virgin Care, the Royal Surrey County Hospital (RSCH) and supported by children’s centre staff at the Spinney, is aiming to provide support to mothers of new-born babies to help them to increase awareness and acceptance of breastfeeding as a normal part of a child’s development.
The sessions are designed to offer peer support as well as advice from health professionals in an open, relaxed and informal environment and echo Department of Health advice that new-born babies should be exclusively breast fed where possible for the first six months of their lives to help protect against things like ear infections and gastro-enteritis.
New mum, Sarah Wakefield, said: “If you’ve got worries or concerns it is really difficult; you want to keep on breast feeding your baby but you feel you can’t keep phoning the hospital or doctor. Here it’s fantastic and it’s really relaxed. I can get one to one professional support and advice as well as being able to chat to other parents about their experiences.”
Maggie Pringle, infant feeding co-ordinator for Virgin Care, said: “Parents get so many mixed messages in the early days of having a baby. It is so important that parents get the right most up to date advice from specially trained health visitors who can talk to new parents one to one. Breast feeding your baby reduces the occurrence of gastro-enteritis and ear infections and also helps protect a mother against breast cancer and ovarian cancer.”
Kate Rosati, breastfeeding specialist for the RSCH said: “As a UNICEF baby friendly hospital for over a decade we are excited to work in partnership with Virgin Care to support breastfeeding mothers.
“The early days and weeks of breastfeeding can be challenging. This new clinic will offer professional support, information and advice to new mums. The clinic will run alongside the drop-in clinic held at the RSCH on a Wednesday 10.30 to 12.00 to offer a fully comprehensive support system to all.
“On a personal note I am very excited about this drop in clinic as I recognise consistent advice and support can be key to successful breastfeeding, with these drops in clinics I believe we can offer this.”
The breastfeeding drop in sessions are not just for new or first time mums; they are also for those with a second or third baby, or part of a mum’s ante natal learning.
The drop in clinics are held every Monday from 12:15pm to 13:45pm at the Spinney, Guildford Grove Children’s Centre, Southway, Guildford GU2 8YD. Similar clinics are held at a number of locations across Surrey and information is available.
For more information of breastfeeding, please call the NHS Breastfeeding helpline on 0300 100 0210 from 9:30am to 9.30pm every day.
Press enquiries to: Russell Elliott, Virgin Care. Tel: 020 7380 1794; 07855 806 093
Notes to editors
About Virgin Care
- We provide local NHS services, so that the care our patients receive is free at the point of delivery.
- We are responsible for community services across north west and south west Surrey, including some services Surrey wide such as prison and sexual health service.
- We operate over 180 services including community-based intermediate NHS services, GP-led walk-in and healthcare centres, urgent care centres, out of hours, community diagnostics and GP practices.