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Breastfeeding support

Breastfeeding Support Workers work alongside Community Midwives and Health Visitors to provide an additional tier of infant feeding support to expectant and new families. Support workers make every effort to contact all mothers living in Worcestershire within 48 hours of hospital discharge or home birth.

Support in pregnancy and after birth

  • before your baby is born, you will have an opportunity to talk about feeding your new baby; this normally happens before you are 32 weeks pregnant but we encourage you not to make any decisions about feeding until your baby is born
  • following the birth of your baby you will be given time to have skin to skin contact, cuddling your baby in this way encourages her/his first feed, it keeps baby warm and calm and regulates his/her heart rate and breathing
  • all staff supporting breastfeeding mothers are fully trained to help with breastfeeding
  • staff will teach you how to position and attach your baby correctly for feeds
  • staff will encourage you to feed your baby whenever he or she is hungry and will explain to you how you can tell if your baby is getting enough milk
  • you will be shown how to hand express and safely store your milk and you will be given written information about this

Support in early days

  • keeping your baby close, particularly at first, helps you get to know each other and to recognise when your baby needs to feed
  • the more feeds you give the more milk you will make
  • breastfeeding support workers will give you information about sharing a bed with your baby safely
  • 24 hours a day 7 days a week support: Start4Life has launched a breastfeeding friend interactive chatbot to help guide you through your first weeks of breastfeeding; simply open Facebook Messenger and search Start4Life or visit Start4Life - Breastfeeding help and support (opens in a new window) to get started
  • National Breastfeeding Helpline provides support via telephone or a web chat, for more information visit National Breastfeeding Helpline (opens in a new window)
  • we do not recommend the use of teats, dummies or nipple shields when your baby is learning to breastfeed, babies suck differently at the breast and using these can confuse them; this may make it harder for them to learn to breastfeed well and for you to build up a good milk supply
  • you will get information and advice on how to manage night feeds and to help you breastfeed when you are out and about

General information

  • most babies do not need to be given anything other than breast milk until they are around six months old, if for some reason your baby needs some other food or drink the reason will be fully explained to you
  • staff can help you recognise when your baby is ready for other foods and explain how these can be introduced (normally at around six months), breastfeeding should continue as long as you and your baby wish
  • you will get information about how to continue breastfeeding should you wish to return to work or college
  • breastfeeding women cannot be discriminated against by law, protection covers women breastfeeding in any public space from parks, leisure facilities, public buildings, public transport, shops, hotels, restaurants, hospitals, theatres and cinemas.
  • children's centres, family centres and many shops and restaurants welcome breastfeeding but if you would prefer somewhere private it's worth asking a member of staff or visit Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust - Breastfeeding support workers (opens in a new window)
  • there are local breastfeeding support groups across the County, visit Find Breastfeeding support services services (NHS website, opens in a new window)

Videos

 

Breastfeeding Friend

Access the Breastfeeding Friend interactive chatbot (opens in a new window) to help guide you through your first weeks of breastfeeding. Simply open Facebook Messenger and search Start4Life or visit NHS Star4Life - Breastfeeding help and support (opens in a new window) to get started.

The benefits of breastfeeding

  • it’s free
  • your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby
  • breast milk is available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
  • there is no preparation needed to feed your baby
  • it is always the right temperature
  • your baby learns to recognise when they are full
  • your baby is prepared for the tastes and flavours of various foods as a result of the food you have eaten

For mum

Breastfeeding is good news for mum too as it

  • lowers the risk of breast cancer
  • lowers the risk of ovarian cancer
  • lowers the risk of osteoporosis
  • lowers the risk of obesity
  • can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease

For baby

Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby with some benefits lasting into adulthood. It reduces the risk of:

  • diarrhoea, vomiting and gastroenteritis
  • being obese and developing type 2 diabetes
  • ear infections
  • sudden infant death syndrome/cot death
  • cardiovascular disease in adulthood