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Extra Support for Breastfeeding Mums

Published: 7th January 2011 16:18

 Dawn Saunders, Associate Director of Public Health
for NHS Portsmouth
New mums in Portsmouth will have more support to breastfeed thanks to the city's largest ever network of peer supporters.

The peer support role offer mums information and encouragement to get started with breastfeeding, and overcome problems they may face with feeding their newborn. A new group of 12 peer supporters will join the 11 already working across the city now that they have completed training.

Peer supporters are all local mums who breastfed their own baby and who want to pass on their experience to other women. The role is voluntary and the supporters work with NHS midwives and health visitors. Mums can meet them at drop in sessions everyday of the week at different location across the city. The supporters also visit the maternity ward at Queen Alexandra Hospital.   

Their training from the breastfeeding network has been funded by the breastfeeding action group.  The group represents a range of organisations working under the Portsmouth Supports Breastfeeding banner, including Solent Healthcare, NHS Portsmouth, Portsmouth City Council, the breastfeeding network and sure start children's centres.  They aim to make Portsmouth a breastfeeding friendly city and increase the number of women who choose to breastfeed for six weeks or more.

"There is a lot of information for pregnant women telling them that breastfeeding is the best option for them and their baby. But that doesn't mean that every woman will find it easy or pain-free straight away. Peer supporters can offer practical tips, and a friendly person to ask questions" said Dawn Saunders, Associate Director of Public Health for NHS Portsmouth who will be presenting the awards. 

This can be especially useful to mums who may not know other women in their own circle of friends or family who breastfed. For further information on groups, please search breastfeeding at http://www.portsmouth.nhs.uk/

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