Posted on Thursday, August 11, 2011 by Rizwan Janmohamed
At the Children’s Centre, we recognise that Breastfeeding has a huge amount of benefits for both the mother and child including immunity from infections and greater bonding opportunities and because of this we are committed to finding new and innovative ways of supporting mothers in the area to breastfeed their babies.
We know from statistics, research and our work with families that breastfeeding can be challenging. NCT research shows that ‘three quarters of British mothers who stopped breastfeeding in the first 6 months (and 90% of those who stopped in the first 2 weeks) would have liked to have continued for longer’ but did not have the support’ (NCT, 2011). We have also found that many women chose not to breastfeed due to embarrassment, lack of role models, fear of pain and worries about their babies weight gain. Concerns with regards to low breastfeeding rates led further research to discover that positive social experiences of breastfeeding on the other hand such as social networks where members regard breastfeeding positively are significantly associated with mothers positive attitude towards breastfeeding and therefore lead to increased rates (Muller et al, 2009).
The peer support training works with mums who have breast fed to build ‘support for mothers by mothers’ (NCT, 2011) in community settings where there is need. The programme is an OCN accredited 8 week course focusing on different aspects of breastfeeding and building relationships. Specifically the group were trained on effective methods of breastfeeding, the difference between breast milk, formula and solids, factors that affect breast milk supply and communication skills for working within community.
Following the completion of the course, on 27th August 2011, NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor Lisa Cruickshank held an information and training session with professionals from the local area who were invited to join us to find out more about the peer support programme and how they could integrate the volunteers into their working practice. We were then able to begin putting plans in place to ensure the peer support workers are well used in Children’s Centre groups, clinics, antenatal wards and in 1:1 sessions. Following the information session, the peer support workers joined the professionals for a fantastic celebration of their hard work. Family and friends also came to join in the party as the peer support workers were presented with their certificates and a bunch of flowers.
Now that they are trained, we hope to get the peer support workers engaged in the community as soon as possible in a variety of services. If you would like more information or would like help from one of the peer support workers, please contact the Balsall Heath Children’s Centre for more information on 0121 4646349.
Tel: 0121 464 4376 firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Paul's Community Development Trust
Registered in England & Wales: 1429707
Charity No: 508943
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