Infant Feeding teams and midwives across the Black Country and West Birmingham will be supporting and encouraging mums this National Breastfeeding Week which runs from Monday 27 June until Friday 1 July.
This year’s theme is “Everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed” with a focus on the difference that can be made if everyone supports breastfeeding. And the Black Country and West Birmingham Local Maternity and Neonatal System (LMNS) is highlighting the help that is available for mums-to-be and new mums who want to breastfeed.
Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer Designate for the NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board, said: “Breastfeeding is a natural way to nurture babies and breast milk not only gives them antibodies to strengthen their immunity to viruses and bacteria it also provides a beautiful bonding experience for mum and baby.
“Breastfeeding Week gives us an opportunity to show our collective support for mums who breastfeed – particularly for those who may struggle and need extra encouragement in their breastfeeding journey.”
Meg Schubert, Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust, said: “We want mums to feel just as loved, safe and happy as they make their babies feel and Breastfeeding Week gives us all a chance to show our support.
“As well as our infant feeding teams in the hospital and community, mums need to know their families and wider communities are there for them. Breastfeeding can be a lovely experience and mums should feel confident that we’re all here to help them along the way – through the good times and the difficult times.”
Samantha Ball, Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust, said: “Breastfeeding Week is so important to acknowledge and celebrate as it highlights the importance of supporting mothers with feeding their babies, as well as increasing the awareness of breastfeeding within the wider community.
“Breastfeeding Week also raises the profile of the different methods of support a woman can access within her local maternity and health visiting services, in order to help her achieve her own breastfeeding goals.”
Lisa Williams, specialist midwife infant feeding at The Dudley Group Foundation Trust, said: “Breastfeeding Week is so important and gives us the opportunity to promote and celebrate breastfeeding in our local area and with staff.
“As an infant feeding team we are dedicated to supporting women and their families to achieve their breastfeeding goals and the journey they aspire to and want to achieve. We are proud to work in a Baby Friendly accredited Trust and offer specialist and experienced peer support.”
Louise Thompson, Infant Feeding Team Co-ordinator at Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS Trust, said: “Many mums will say to us things like ‘a family member told me breastfeeding didn’t matter, but it did matter to me’.
“This Breastfeeding Week we would like to encourage everyone to support women to reach their feeding goals whatever they might be. Friends, family and professionals can help by encouraging mums to access local feeding support groups, especially when things are tough. Also, what really helps is telling the mum she’s doing a great job.”
The LMNS brings together all those who are involved in providing and organising maternity care such as midwives, obstetricians, service users, neonatal staff, managers, commissioners, public health, educators, perinatal mental health providers and GPs. It is working to ensure services respond to the challenge set out nationally in Better Births to become more personalised and more responsive.