“Breastfeeding week – we are here for you”

Karen Howell, executive director of the Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust, writes for Globe.

It’s breastfeeding week.

Throughout June we have been promoting breastfeeding awareness and shared all support available in the community for breastfeeding families and new parents.

As some restrictions are lifted and as we see many services and activities reopen and resume, I would like to take this opportunity to remind you in this week’s column that the support is there for you.

Whether you’re starting or expanding your family, whether you’re pregnant, a new parent, or a nursing family.

Especially for pregnant women and new parents, access to self-help groups, baby courses and clinics is invaluable. Not just for support, but to build self-confidence and well-being and also to learn from others.

Image courtesy of the Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

The past 16 months have been challenging for many reasons, but it’s great to be able to welcome back personal assistance, some of which went virtual during the height of the pandemic. With that in mind, the message this month is: We are here for you.

All over Wirral there are safe areas with friendly and experienced staff to support and advise your baby’s development, breastfeeding and weaning support, and baby parenting courses. From baby massage and baby yoga to clinics for healthy children and self-help groups.

To get involved and learn more about support options, please contact your nearest children’s center for more information:

  • Wallasey Children’s Centers – 0151 666 3506
  • Birkenhead Children’s Centers – 0151 666 3323
  • South and West Wirral Children’s Centers – 0151 666 3246.

Our friends at Koala North West have a schedule of breastfeeding groups to assist you too.

There is something in different locations every weekday, so why not come with me? Book your place by phone on 0151 608 8288 or write an email to [email protected]

Here at the Trust, our infant nutrition team offers dedicated and tailored support for nursing families and their babies on site. You can also join the closed Facebook group.

Clare Whitehead, Infant Nutrition Leader for the 0-19 service here at WCHC, encourages families to take advantage of the support available this month of breastfeeding and beyond.

She said, “We are excited to see the return of our great breastfeeding support groups run by Koala North West in various locations in Wirral.

“Although breastfeeding support did not stop during lockdown, many families may feel more isolated and have difficulty meeting other new parents.

“This June we are encouraging new breastfeeding families to re-book for the groups at local children’s centers that have become available again, including Well Baby Clinics and personal support sessions – there is something for everyone to enjoy with their baby.

“For those expecting new additions to the family, there are also a number of bookable pre-natal wellness sessions that include feeding, meeting your baby’s needs, and all-important self-sufficiency.

“We’re here for you.”

I also want to give this breastfeeding week a great opportunity for those to get involved in baby feeding in the community.

Koala North West offers training for women in Wirral to support families on their breastfeeding journey by becoming a volunteer breastfeeding peer support company.

If you are passionate about breastfeeding and want to get involved, contact [email protected] or call 0151 608 8288.

Visit our website www.wchc.nhs.uk to learn more about breastfeeding awareness and the support available.

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