Breastfeeding support in Islington is still being provided during the current COVID-19 outbreak, but has to adapt to the changing situation. The information below is current as at September 2020; check our Facebook page for any further updates.
In Islington we aim to provide encouragement, support and up-to-date information for all local mothers and families to enable them to feed their babies and young children confidently and successfully. Since breastfeeding provides food and drink uniquely designed for babies and also reduces the risk of many illnesses for both the baby and mother, we encourage mums to breastfeed, and support them starting and continuing to breastfeed. For those who choose to bottle feed their babies, we aim to provide information to enable that to be done as safely and responsively as possible. Support is also available on introducing solid foods to babies.
Mum-to-Mum (Peer) Support
It can take a little while in the early weeks for the baby to learn how to breastfeed effectively. Talking to a trained peer supporter can often help mothers breastfeed their baby comfortably and manage any difficulties they might encounter. Peer supporters are local mothers who have breastfed their own children and have been trained by the Breastfeeding Network charity, commissioned by the NHS and Council in Islington, to support other mothers.
Peer supporters visit the postnatal wards of the Whittington and UCLH hospitals each morning, and contact all Islington mums by phone within a few days of giving birth. Home visits can be offered if needed during the early days after going home from hospital. We cannot promise home visits to everyone, especially at this time, but we do our best to make ourselves as available as possible. We cannot provide face-to-face support to households who are COVID-positive, symptomatic or shielding.
We also offer pre-booked breastfeeding clinic appointments, currently at Hungerford Children's Centre and Bingfield Primary Care Centre, for support with breastfeeding issues at any stage. Telephone support is available on weekdays - leave us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible. Video call appointments can also be arranged, and we can be contacted by email and Facebook or Instagram messaging.
All breastfeeding drop-in support groups are currently suspended. An online support group is available on Fridays, as well as a Mums and Babies Meet-up social group on Wednesdays - see our other listings or our Facebook page or contact us for more information.
Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme in Islington
Helping women feel comfortable to breastfeed when they are out and about can make all the difference between whether a mother continues to breastfeed or not, so many Islington businesses and venues have signed up to be breastfeeding welcome. They display 'breastfeeding welcome' posters and stickers, so that women wishing to breastfeed will know they’ll be welcome there, with staff orientated to help them.
An online antenatal Q&A session is run every few weeks with various weekend and evening dates available - a chance to learn about babies' early development after birth and how to feed baby responsively and effectively to support this, focused around parents-to-be's own questions and concerns. Understanding normal newborn behaviour and why it happens helps parents know what to expect - and what not to expect! - with their baby once he or she is here. For more information and to book please see Eventbrite or get in touch via the contact details below. We're always happy to see bumps as well as babies at our other online sessions too. We've also put together a list of lots of other recommended antenatal resources.
Islington has produced some leaflets and a 'Milk and More' reference and training pack, that cover the topics of feeding young children and oral health (see downloads). See also Infant Feeding and Starting Solids pages.
Families can call Islington Breastfeeding Support on 020 3316 8439 - messages will be returned in weekday office hours - or their midwife or health visiting teams. Outside office hours please call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212.
We collect, receive and process your personal information as part of your perinatal care with Whittington Health NHS Trust and operate within Trust systems and policies. For more information on how we use your data, visit www.whittington.nhs.uk, see our Facebook page or contact us.