If you are a patient, carer or member of the public who lives in Northamptonshire and are interested in supporting the work of NHS Nene CCG – why not become a member?
This would enable us to work together to develop new and improved health services for local people. Please complete our simple on-line application form here.
In Northamptonshire we want to improve the life chances of our children and young people and to have the healthiest population in the country. Breastfeeding gives our children the best start in life and decreases risks of ill health in the short and long term.
Breastfeeding is natural and normal.
Experts recommend that babies are fed exclusively with breast milk for the first 6 months of life with breastfeeding continuing after that alongside appropriate solid foods. Every day that a mum continues to breastfeed makes a difference to her baby’s health now and in the future.
Breast milk is easy for babies to digest and has all the nutrients that a baby needs for the first six months of life. Every mum’s milk is unique and alters to meet her baby’s changing needs.
Breast milk protects babies
Breast milk has protective factors which reduce risks of ill health for babies and this protection is most effective with exclusive breastfeeding. Babies that are fed with breast milk are less likely to develop:
They are also less likely to become overweight or obese as they get older and less likely to develop Type 1 diabetes.
Breastfeeding protects mums
Breastfeeding lowers the risk of mums developing:
Although breastfeeding is both natural and normal, it is a learned skill for both mums and babies and all mums and babies need time and encouragement to breastfeed effectively.
Expectant mums will find it helpful to find out a bit about how breastfeeding works and how to be successful before the baby is born. This information will be offered by midwives but can also be gained by talking to peer supporters or voluntary organisation experts or by accessing information online (see below).
Once the baby is born, spending some time with the baby in skin to skin contact helps breastfeeding get off to a good start. Midwives, health visitors and breastfeeding peer supporters can all provide the practical help and information that mums need to be successful and there are lots of good support networks in local communities to support you to continue to breastfeed for as long as you want.
In Northamptonshire 76% of all new mums choose to breastfeed their babies. Over the last few years this percentage has risen significantly. However, a large number of mums have stopped breastfeeding by the time their baby is 6 – 8 weeks old. We are working hard to provide support services to help mums to breastfeed for longer.
In Northamptonshire Maternity units and health visitor services we have a breastfeeding policy which sets out standards of care you can expect to help you feed and care for your baby:
Our maternity units are both working towards becoming fully accredited with the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative which sets out standards of breastfeeding support. Both KGH and NGH are now Stage 1 accredited.
If you decide to breastfeed:
If you decide to bottle feed:
The Northamptonshire Breastfeeding Support Service provides support and advice for mothers, and training for health professionals to improve breastfeeding rates in the county.
As part of the service, Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) lead provision of breastfeeding training programmes with a whole range of providers, provide specialist support for mothers with complex breastfeeding issues and undertake targeted work in areas of low breastfeeding uptake or high drop-off rates (mums who begin breastfeeding but don’t continue).
The service includes:
As well as providing training to health professionals across the county, there are a number of drop-in services. A Breastfeeding Support Drop-In takes place at Derngate, Northampton, every Monday from 10am to 1pm.
For more information on Breastfeeding Support in Northamptonshire go to the Northamptonshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) website here.
In addition to the above standards, all new mums, on leaving hospital, should receive a copy of the Directory of Breastfeeding Support which details the wide range of support groups and sources of help for breastfeeding available in local communities in Northamptonshire including Children’s Centres.
Whether you need an expert to help you with a problem, or a friendly face to make you feel welcome when you venture out with your new baby, you should find someone to help in the directory.
The following websites are also a good source of information about breastfeeding:
Breastfeeding Clinic details click here
National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300100 0210 Open 9.30am to 9.30pm
La Leche League 0845 120 2918 Open 24 hours
National Childbirth Trust 0300 330 0771 open 8.00am–10.00pm
The Breastfeeding Network - breastfeeding support also available in Bengali and Sylhetti Tel. 07944 879 759 Open 9.30am to 9.30pm
Association of Breastfeeding Mothers Helpline: 0844 4122 949 Open 9.30am to 10.30pm
This document can be downloaded here: N_Breast_feeding_strategy_2013_final.pdf