Waveney breastfeeding service expands to cover whole of Suffolk

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother'

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother's Day.Sharon Jarvis and Michele Price - Credit: Archant

A team which has been helping Great Yarmouth and Waveney mums to breastfeed their babies for the past five years has launched a new Suffolk-wide service.

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother'

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother's Day last year. Sally Greenhill and Michele Price - Credit: Archant

Suffolk County Council has commissioned East Coast Community Healthcare (ECCH) to deliver the new Brilliant Breastfeeding Service from June 2016 with the aim of raising the number of mothers who initiate and sustain breastfeeding in the county.

The social enterprise has provided a breastfeeding support service in Great Yarmouth and Waveney since it was launched in 2011.

ECCH's director of children's services Julia Whiting said: 'We are very excited to be using our skills to share the benefits of breastfeeding with a wider group of parents and children.

'Our team are all passionate about the benefits of breastfeeding and about helping mums have a positive experience because not all babies find it easy to breastfeed at first.'

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother'

East Coast Community Healthcare held an event in honour of the breastfeeding support team on Mother's Day. - Credit: Archant

The new service will offer seven day and out of hours advice and support for breastfeeding families across Suffolk.

ECCH's specialist professionals will be assisted by peer supporters at a network of free breastfeeding support groups.

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A range of breastfeeding sessions will also be provided at children's centres and other community settings such as libraries.

The team will carry out home visits, where necessary, and will work at Ipswich and West Suffolk Hospitals offering support to new mums on the maternity units seven days a week.

A similar service is already offered at the James Paget University Hospitals in Gorleston.

The breastfeeding specialists will also work with agencies supporting teenage mums.

The Brilliant Breastfeeding service also has an active presence on Twitter and Facebook for mums to share experiences and get advice, and a dedicated phoneline and text service available seven days a week on 01502 719845.

ECCH's breastfeeding support team was awarded UNICEF Baby Friendly Stage Three (full) accreditation in 2014 and was given an award at the House of Lords for innovative services to breastfeeding. They consistently exceed the national average for the number of mothers still breastfeeding their babies at age six to eight weeks in the Waveney area.

Visit www.ecch.org for more details.

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