Breastfeeding Peer Support Service
The service delivers targeted one to one support services by paid peer supporters via a combination of face to face contact and telephone, text and social media support. Support includes help with attachment and positioning, information regarding early identification of potential problems and instruction on hand expression.
Group-based peer support will build on existing peer support groups provided in community settings including Sure Start Children’s Centres through the development of a sustainable volunteer-led peer support programme for all pregnant and breastfeeding women.
Peer supporters are recruited from, and reflect, the diversity of the community in which they operate.
The service has already helped to achieve UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation in Nottingham Community Health services and is integrated with maternity care, health visiting teams, the Family Nurse Partnership and children’s centre services.
The team contacts everyone in the target age group (women aged under 25) at 26 to 28 weeks of pregnancy to arrange an antenatal visit at 30 to 34 weeks to discuss infant feeding. This discussion will support informed choice.
All new breastfeeding mothers in the target group will be visited at home within 24 hours of their discharge from hospital, or within 24 hours of a home birth. At this visit breastfeeding support is offered and the mother is helped with positioning and attachment of their baby.
The team continues to provide encouragement to all breastfeeding mothers in the target group at regular intervals until six to eight weeks after the birth. Members of the team liaise and share information with midwives and health visitors directly if a woman has additional needs or there are any clinical breastfeeding concerns. All support offered by the service is recorded in the Parent Child Health Record (Red Book).
Group-based peer support is also provided for pregnant and breastfeeding women and delivered by volunteer peer supporters. Peer support groups are accessible to all women and accommodate all spoken languages and cultural differences.
Days/hours of operation
Targeted one to one peer support is available between 9am and 5pm, seven days a week. The team provides mothers with contact details of the national support line and Community Midwifery or health visiting service should women require support outside these hours.
Group-based peer support is available at times that meet the needs of breastfeeding women, including some weekends and evenings.
Support is proactively offered to all women in the target age group. Referrals are accepted from community and acute maternity services to the Breastfeeding Peer Support Service. Women under 25 can also self-refer.
All pregnant women under 25, and living in Nottingham City or registered with a Nottingham City GP.