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Breast way forward for mums-to-be

27/03/2014

A cash injection of £10,000 aims to make a huge difference to mothers in the most deprived areas of North Lincolnshire.NLAG logo

Jane Goodwin, a breastfeeding support midwife at Scunthorpe hospital, has worked in partnership with public health and children’s centres to secure a breastfeeding innovation grant, administered by the Royal College of Midwives and supported by Philips Avent.

The grant will be invested in women with the aim of increasing both initiation and continuation rates of breastfeeding.

Current statistics show that 63 per cent of women in North Lincolnshire breastfeed during the first 48 hours of their baby’s life. The national average is 74 per cent.

However Brumby Ward, which covers Westcliff and Riddings children’s centres, has the lowest uptake of mothers breastfeeding with just 41per cent doing so. With this area also showing the highest number of teen parents, young offenders, unemployment, smoking in pregnancy and childhood obesity, Jane knew additional work would be needed to engage mothers.

She said: “Our maternity services are working collaboratively with public health and children’s centres in the Brumby Ward. We carried out some insight work with seven mothers who bottle fed their children to understand why they chose this route. It primarily came down to lack of information they obtain during pregnancy, or not attending antenatal classes readily available to expectant parents.jane

“As part of this work the ladies came up with a title for a promotion board called ‘don’t bottle it b 4 u know the facts’ after having a clearer understanding of the benefits of breastfeeding.

“We took the project and a presentation to London to highlight our reasons as to why the £10,000 breastfeeding innovation grant was needed in our area. I am overjoyed that we secured the grant for North Lincolnshire.”

The grant will be used in various ways over the year to increase the initiation and duration of breastfeeding in mothers residing in the Westcliff and Riddings area of Scunthorpe primarily.

Some of these will include:

  • Providing a one-to-one home visit from either the children centres or a breastfeeding peer supporter 
  • Create a text message service to alert women of antenatal classes coming up
  • Provide transport to take women to a class
  • Provide lunch during a class
  • A mother’s kit bag.

Jane said: “Breast milk and breastfeeding is more than a way of feeding a baby, it’s a special relationship between mother and baby which provides them both with protection from many illnesses and disease”

Councillor Rob Waltham, cabinet member for people at North Lincolnshire Council, said: “It is fantastic that we have been able to secure this grant to help increase the rates of breastfeeding – it will make a real difference.

“We have been focusing on the children’s centres in Scunthorpe South as these areas have the lowest initiation and continuation rates of breastfeeding in North Lincolnshire. An action plan was implemented in March last year to look at how this can be improved and what needs to be done.

“We have been working alongside Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust to consult with young mothers at the children’s centres, which is where the inspiration came from to make the bid for the funding. We will continue working in partnership with the Trust to put the funding to good use and improve the breastfeeding rates in North Lincolnshire.”

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