Our maternity unit at Yeovil Hospital has been celebrating World Breast Feeding Week.

World breast feeding week is a global campaign to raise awareness on various themes around breastfeeding.

The infant feeding team has made hundreds of “boob” cakes in various shapes and sizes and provided “Lots to Remember” infant feeding cards so that the maternity staff have infant feeding resources in their pockets.

Yeovil Hospital is a UNICEF Baby Friendly accredited unit. Sadly, many mothers in the UK stop breastfeeding before they want to; a Trust that has achieved this accreditation is committed to supporting mothers in their feeding journey. The accreditation process ensures that staff in the hospital are all working within a set of standards and can provide good quality, evidence-based information that helps new parents make informed choices about feeding. The staff not only promote and protect breastfeeding but provide unbiased information around formula feeding and support all families in developing close and loving relationships.

The team at Yeovil Hospital is preparing for reaccreditation in 2021 and hopes to be awarded the prestigious Gold award.

Speaking about the Infant Feeding Team at Yeovil Hospital, Interim Head of Midwifery Sallyann Batstone said: “I am very proud of how the Infant Feeding Team has adapted to COVID-19 and continued to give support either face to face, by telephone or via video call. This has been invaluable during this time of anxiety and ensure women have the best possible advice and support to get feeding off to a good start. The team has also facilitated monthly on-line infant feeding workshops which have been well evaluated. For more information about these, please contact your midwife.”

As a finale to World Breastfeeding Week, Public Health Midwifery Clinical Leader Cher smith, Interim Head of Midwifery Sallyann Batstone and Infant Feeding Team Midwife Jane Kennard met with the Trust’s Chief Nurse Shelagh Meldrum to present her with a set of “Lots to Remember” cards and a cake to celebrate her new role as a Baby Friendly Guardian. The Baby Friendly Guardian is responsible for promoting, protecting and supporting the Baby Friendly standards across the Trust. Shelagh will be essential in supporting Cher take the Trust through the reaccreditation process and achieving the Gold award.

Feedback below from the Maternity Facebook group:

Beth Robshaw
I wouldn’t have got through the first 24 hours feeding my twins If it wasn’t for the midwife and care assistant on that night, they helped me get their latches right. They came every couple of hours and when I wanted to give up they encouraged me but in no way shamed me had I wanted to go onto the bottle. At one point I was so exhausted, Chris put my teeny tiny twins onto my chest for me. Thanks to them my tiny 4lb11 and 5lb3 twins are now both well over 11lbs each! They’re amazing xx

Lottie Hayward
After labouring for 25 hours, I required an emergency C Section. My little boy latched brilliantly for his first feed and I was over the moon as I had been unable to attend any breastfeeding classes due to lockdown. After a few hours, my partner had to go home (again due to Covid-19 restrictions) and I was on my own, a first time mum, recovering and very sleep deprived! When trying to feed, my son would get very distressed and I was uncomfortable due to the c section so could not get him to latch. As he got more hungry, got more distressed. Breast feeding wasn’t working. The midwives stepped in and were fantastic! So patient, so caring. I panicked that Jackson was going to starve as the time ticked by and he still hadn’t eaten but they didn’t rush me. They were calm and reassuring. Together, we got him feeding and they continuously checked on us both. I can’t thank all the midwives enough. Ten weeks later and we are still exclusively breastfeeding!

Becky Duncan
My little boy is four weeks old today and after having an emergency csection, he didn’t latch straight away. It took two and half days for him to latch while I was in hospital recovering. The midwives, care assistants and ladies from the infant feeding team were so supportive and helped me to hand express colostrum so he could be fed for those first two days. A combination of my own stubbornness and the support of all the individuals I met, now means that four weeks later I’m still breastfeeding. I had a few midwives who helped me on those first few days come and see me on the day I was leaving and mention they’ve heard they we were finally successful with feeding, which was lovely and made the whole experience feel really personal. Despite initially losing 10.9 per cent of his weight, he quickly recovered it and is now over 10 pounds. Breastfeeding hasn’t been easy but I think if it wasn’t for that support at the beginning, I definitely would have stopped.

Laura Jane
I can’t thank all the lovely staff at yeovil enough for the help, support and encouragement I received during my week stay after the birth of my little boy. Following a traumatic birth I was completely exhausted but so thankful of all the help with the lovely midwives hand expressing my colostrum as I struggled to achieve a good latch. Their patience and kindness throughout the day and night, regularly checking and being called upon to help with good placement and latch, means that nearly four weeks on our journey we are exclusively breast feeding and feeling confident. Too many to mention (and remember all the names) but special thanks to Josie, Sarah (blonde hair) and Mel for going above and beyond in helping us, very much appreciated! Laura Turner and baby Milo xx

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