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 are available at breastfeeding drop-in sessions (see downloads) and at some baby clinics. They visit the postnatal wards of the Whittington and UCLH hospitals each morning, and can offer home visits to Islington women who are breastfeeding if needed during the first few days after going home from hospital. We cannot promise home visits to everyone, but we do our best to make ourselves as available as possible. Some of our supporters are volunteers and some are paid.
Breastfeeding drop in sessions are informal meetings at children’s centres where mothers can talk through any concerns with peer supporters and meet other mothers who are breastfeeding. There is usually a separate room available if you prefer to feed your baby or talk to a supporter in private.
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 are now signing 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 early evening antenatal workshop is available for Islington's mums-to-be and their partners/supporters - a chance to learn about babies' early development after birth and how to feed their baby responsively and effectively to support this, as well as the opportunity to discuss their 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. Parents will learn about responsive feeding, skin to skin contact, establishing breastfeeding, and how to see the world through their baby's eyes. For more information and to book please see https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/breastfeeding-islington-18727049097 or get in touch via the contact details below. We're always happy to see bumps as well as babies at our breastfeeding support groups too.
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).
Families can call Islington Breastfeeding Support on 020 3316 8439 in ofice hours, or their midwife or health visiting teams. Outside office hours please call the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212