Introducing our new breastfeeding provider, Families and Babies - Public Health Dorset
Introducing our new breastfeeding provider, Families and Babies
We’ve benefitted in Dorset from having good breastfeeding peer supporters, who have been on hand to provide information and support to mums to help them succeed at breastfeeding.
We recently commissioned Families and Babies (FAB), a national breastfeeding charity, to further develop the role of peer supporters while working with NHS services, including midwives and health visitors, who provide professional support to mums.
“We are extremely pleased that Public Health Dorset has appointed us to provide breastfeeding peer support,” says Elaine Edwards, chair of FAB, “We have been providing breastfeeding support services throughout the UK for over 11 years and we are delighted to widen our support to more families as we know how effective peer support can be alongside health professionals.”
With the new service, which starts on 1 April, parents will be able to access support by telephone, social media and face-to-face in a number of settings, including community breastfeeding support groups within children’s centres. Staff and volunteers will have accredited training to allow them to provide support and information to parents and will work alongside midwives, health visitors and children’s centres to help parents access the support they need.
Marie Longworth, operations manager at FAB, has responsibility for how the service will run: “It’s our aim to provide a true mother to mother peer support service across Dorset to help mothers to breastfeed successfully and feel supported every step of the way. We want to ensure that each area has a community breastfeeding support group that runs at least once a week delivering support to mothers especially in priority areas where it is needed.
“We wish to build upon the existing network of knowledgeable and experienced peer supporters currently facilitating breastfeeding support groups within children’s centres and other community venues and encourage future mothers to become trained peer supporters.”
For Dr David Phillips, director of Public Health Dorset, there’s clear reasons why this service is important: “We’re committed to making sure children are given a healthy start to life and there are huge benefits for both mother and baby from breastfeeding. This is a great opportunity to build on the excellent work done by local peer supporters to help mothers to both start and continue breastfeeding. We look forward to working with Families and Babies and our local health visiting and midwifery services to further develop this support.”