Volunteers to bring breast feeding support to the NNUH
Later this month a new initiative will see 12 volunteers on the maternity unit at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) giving additional support to new mothers with breast feeding.
Called Volunteer Breastfeeding Helpers these volunteers will be on hand to offer support for new mothers who are breastfeeding; actively listen to any mothers experiences and worries, describe the importance of correct positioning for breast feeding and as well as discuss with mothers the technique of hand expressing milk and benefits of skin to skin contact.
The volunteers have all undertaken training kindly provided by The Breastfeeding Network (BfN) Charity, completed a nationally recognised qualification with the Open College Network as well as a two day Breastfeeding Management course, to UNICEF standards. One of the volunteers has also been trained up as a Breastfeeding Supporter which is an advanced qualification from that of a Helper.
The helpers are to complement and enhance the care given by the midwifery staff on the maternity unit at the NNUH and act as a well informed friend or mentor to new mothers.
Luisa Lyons, Infant feeding co-ordinator at the NNUH said Throughout history women have supported their peers during pregnancy, childbirth and mothering. There is much evidence to suggest that mothers are more likely to start and continue breastfeeding if they are supported by someone who is confident, both in breastfeeding and in the ability of the mother to be successful. With the help of our volunteers it is hoped that this will enable more women to breastfeed successfully and more importantly continue to enjoy breastfeeding once they leave the NNUH”.
Sally Knights, NNUH, Voluntary Services manager said Our Maternity and Neonatal services are very committed to supporting breastfeeding and were really keen to develop a new volunteer role to work alongside our midwives and MCAs to further assist mothers in our care.
The Breast Feeding Network already offers successful community based breastfeeding support groups so were the ideal partners for us to work with on this new project. We are thrilled to be able to launch this new volunteer role and to become an integral part of such a valuable and worthwhile service”.