The infant feeding team at NHS Lanarkshire is inviting new mothers to join an online community to receive professional advice from the team and support from other Lanarkshire mothers. The call coincides with Breastfeeding Awareness Week (1-7 June), which aims to promote a better understanding of the benefits of breastfeeding and the support that is available to breastfeeding mothers.
With reduced home visits and face-to-face support from community midwives and health visitors during lockdown, the team is ensuring new mothers can continue to have access to professional feeding support. New mothers can join the online group, after passing appropriate identity checks, and gain access to virtual infant feeding classes and expert advice.
The group’s aim is also to create a community of mothers who can support each other in the absence of local parent and baby groups, and the help they may currently be missing from family and friends.
Maternity services has also set up an antenatal workshop page where they will provide interactive sessions on all aspects of pregnancy, birth, postnatal care, infant care, infant feeding classes and live interaction for expectant parents who are also missing out on the support they would normally receive during the exciting time leading to the birth of their child.
AnneMarie Bruce, Infant Feeding Development Midwife at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Breastfeeding Awareness Week is a reminder that education is an ongoing necessity as we continue to see and hear many misconceptions about breastfeeding. Our goal is always to ensure that mothers have the support they need from the NHS, regardless of how they feed, and to help them understand more about responsive parenting and feeding.
“Like many organisations around the country, the NHS Lanarkshire team is continuing to adapt to new ways of working during the current situation, and we’re creating new opportunities to support mothers in our community.
“We know that many new mothers are missing support from their family and friends, and some are feeling especially isolated because they’re not enjoying the socialisation offered by the community mum and infant groups they were a part of, or expected to join.
“We invite any new mothers to get in touch with their midwife or health professional if they have any questions, and to sign up for the online support group through Facebook at NHS Lanarkshire Mums & Babies. They can follow the link to the breastfeeding support page where they will be asked to respond to three simple questions to ensure it is a safe space to share concerns and receive support.”
More information on the NHS Lanarkshire infant feeding team can be found at https://www.nhslanarkshire.scot.nhs.uk/services/infantfeeding/, on 01698 366710, or on the Facebook group NHS Lanarkshire Mums & Babies.