"Phone call for Breastfeeding mums leaving hospital within 72 hours"

About: King's Mill Hospital / Maternity care Mansfield & Ashfield

(as a volunteer/advocate),

As a SureStart Peer Support Volunteer I'm now able to go onto the Maternity Ward at King's Mill Hospital to ask Breastfeeding mums if they would like a phone call to see how they are getting on with Breastfeeding when they have left hospital. We aim for this to be within 72 hours of them getting home. This is for a mum to mum chat and try and answer any questions and concerns they may have about Breastfeeding. It is also to tell them about the Breastfeeding Groups, known as BreastFriends in their nearest SureStart Childrens Centre. This is where we can offer one to one support, they can sit and chat to other mums, make new friends and see friendly faces. Most of all make them feel they are not on there own. They can use the group as a drop in or attend every week so its very easy going and calm surroundings.

It has taken a few weeks to settle down going into the Hospital as a SureStart Volunteer getting to know some of the staff and on the whole it has gone very well. I'm enjoying it and the consents for phone calls has risen which I'm very pleased about. I have had mums drop into the Breast Friends Group where I'm based, who I have spoken to in the hospital so I think this is fantastic.

On the downside to all this I have been a Peer Support Volunteer for eight years now, and when I'm talking to a mum in hospital I can only talk about the phone call and what to expect from it, fill in the consent form with her details for the call. It really upsets me when they ask a question, or might be feeding infront of me and I can't give them any advice there and then. I can talk to them on the phone within the next few days but not when they need it. I do fetch a midwife to them but they can be very busy.

I'm not classed as a Hospital Volunteer and need to go through more checks and hospital training but this could be difficult. I don't have the time to do this as it doesn't fit in with school times like all my training which I do with SureStart. I love what I do and hope I'm making a diffrence in my community but I only have limited amount of time to give. I think this Service run by volunteers is boosting the Breastfeeding figures and even if a mum feeds for just one more day making a diffrence to the mum and baby. I think there should be abit more understanding between the Hospital and what SureStart Childrens Centres are trying to offer, but realising that Volunteers have commitments and limited amount of time.

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Response from Jenny Newman, Digital Health Project Manager, Health Partnerships, Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

picture of Jenny Newman

Thanks for taking the time to share your experience, it is great to hear about what you do as a volunteer. It is so important that we all work together to provide the best possible support, advice and guidance so that mums and dads are more informed and involved in the decision to breastfeed their babies, and your role as a volunteer sounds invaluable.

I will share your comments with the team who will get back to you with further response to the issues you have raised.

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