New mums linked to the Salisbury District Hospital maternity services who need help to breastfeed can now get more support from other women following an increase in breastfeeding peer support in hospital and the community.
Breastfeeding peer supporters now come into Salisbury District Hospital regularly to talk to woman about their experiences of breastfeeding. As well as providing peer group sessions in Salisbury, Mere, Downton, Bulford, Wilton and Tisbury, the Salisbury team have set up new locations in Amesbury and Tidworth. This is part of Wiltshire Council’s Mum2Mum network.
Jenny Stagg, Infant Feeding Midwife said: “Breastfeeding protects babies against a wide range of serious illnesses including gastroenteritis and respiratory infections in infancy as well as allergies and diabetes in childhood. For new mums breastfeeding can reduce the mother’s risk of developing some cancers and is easier, cheaper and less hassle than bottle feeding.
Although over 80% of mothers start to breastfeed after birth, by 10 days this can drop by up to 30%. While we carry on providing support when women leave hospital, support from mums who are actually breastfeeding successfully at the time can give the extra help that they need to breastfeed over a longer period of time.”
Mrs Stagg added: “By expanding peer support in hospital and the number of locations where women can meet informally and share their experiences over a cup of coffee and cake in the community, we hope to increase breastfeeding rates in women who could have difficulty in keeping breastfeeding going once they leave hospital.”