Free Lancashire breastfeeding clinic helping mothers form deep emotional connection with their newborns
Just three days into breastfeeding their new baby, 92% of mothers experience issues, be they latching, pain or concerns about milk supply.
But the benefits of breastfeeding could hardly be greater: it offers protection for babies from infection and disease, breast milk is almost constantly available, and breastfeeding helps form a deep emotional bond.
On-hand to help mothers in Lancashire is a new, free lactation consultant clinic run by the Lancashire Healthy Young People and Families Service every Tuesday at Ribbleton Neighbourhood Centre in Preston.
Implemented to make face-to-face support for mothers more readily available, the service is run by HCRG Care Group on behalf of Lancashire County Council, with all staff members boasting the highest accreditation level of breastfeeding support awarded by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE).
“Breastfeeding can be challenging, but with the right support, we strive to help mothers to breastfeed as long as they wish to,” says Laura Whisker, the service’s Infant Feeding Project Coordinator. “We want families to know that they can access lactation consultants within their health visiting service totally free of charge.
"Our breastfeeding specialist lactation consultant clinic launch coincided with National Breastfeeding Week,” she adds. “[That] gave the perfect opportunity for us to provide more tips and information to help mothers with their breastfeeding journey.”
According to the NHS, breastfeeding can offer a litany of benefits to both mother and baby, including the fact that breast milk is perfectly designed for baby’s growth and that breastfeeding provides health benefits for the mother herself, lowering the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.
County Councillor Michael Green, Lancashire County Council's cabinet member for health and wellbeing, says that the service is offering mums in Lancashire a ‘great opportunity’. “Research has found that breastfeeding is best for both mothers and babies, as it has significant health benefits for both,” he says.
"Breast milk is perfectly designed for your child and can protect them from infections and diseases,” he adds. “It’s also proven to benefit a mother’s health and can help to strengthen the bond between mother and child. We therefore want to do all we can to support mums who would like to breastfeed their child.
"This clinic is a key part of our plans to support families to ensure children have a good start in life. It’s a great opportunity for mums to get free expert breastfeeding support from trained consultants.”
Run by the HCRG Care Group, one of the UK’s leading independent providers of community health and care services which helps transform healthcare provision in local communities by focusing on experience, efficiency, and outcomes, the service also has an infant feeding team which has partnered with the Families and Babies (FAB) breastfeeding peer support.
Together, the two organisations run a free group alongside the clinic on Tuesdays from 10.30am to 12 noon at Ribbleton Neighbourhood Centre to offer those seeking further support and advice a friendly and welcoming environment in which to reap the myriad rewards of breastfeeding.
For more information or to register your interest, please call 0300 247 0040.