CLCH celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2021
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, our Infant Feeding leads, Breastfeeding Champions and the Health Visiting teams at Central London Community Healthcare Trust have been spreading the word about the benefits of breastfeeding for both maternal and child health.
World Breastfeeding Week takes place from 1 to 7 August 2021 is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanise action on breastfeeding-related issues. The event is organised every year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network that aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding around the world and is supported by key organisations such as the World Health Organisation and UNICEF. Additionally, this year also marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (otherwise known as the Code) by the World Health Assembly which enables for creating a better environment for breastfeeding promotion and support.
This year's theme is "Protecting Breastfeeding – a Shared Responsibility" with an overarching goal of making breastfeeding important on all levels of society, from healthcare systems to workplaces and communities.
CLCH is committed to protecting and supporting breastfeeding. Throughout the week, staff from the Infant Feeding and Health Visiting teams have been sharing messages about what breastfeeding means to them including evidence-based information, key resources for families and staff returning to work as well as presenting interesting facts about the UK law related to breastfeeding in public spaces and women’s’ rights. The Infant Feeding leads have been handing out aide-mémoire (reminder or memorandum in the form of a book relating to before and after birth and any feeding or sleep enquiry) approved by UNICEF BFI assessors during their virtual contacts with mothers.
"It's important for mothers to be able to receive support because it enables them to breastfeed for longer and offer their infants the best start in life, by giving the best nutrients for their infant to develop and be healthy. Breastfeeding protects mothers from certain illnesses as well," said Beverley Beckford, a healthcare support worker in Ealing.
Chief Nurse and BFI Guardian, Charlie Sheldon, commented: “The promotion of breastfeeding and choice for parents remains a top priority for CLCH in line with the aspirations in our quality strategy. I would like to thank all our staff who work with families to achieve this.”
Providing the highest standard of care to support all mothers
Our Infant Feeding and Health Visiting teams in all London boroughs are dedicated to assisting all mothers in breastfeeding while providing high-quality care. Despite the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our Merton Infant Feeding and Weight Management Lead, Iman Hikal, and Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic Lactation Consultant, Indira Lopez-Bassols, have been awarded a place with the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Improvement Leader fellowship. Indira's written case studies on a child with cleft lip and palate, as well as a story about parents of the same gender and were offered donated breast milk were published into the Journal of Human Lactation.
CLCH has been implementing UNICEF standards in stages for several years, and our inner London borough health visiting service, as well as the Portman Baby Café, were the first in London to receive the UNICEF Baby Friendly Gold Sustainability Award. At the 2019 BFI Conference, the team received a plaque, and were re-accredited in early January 2021. As part of this, the CLCH Health Visiting service collaborated with Portman Baby Café in a new venture with midwifery at St Mary's Hospital and the Portman Children's Centre to offer weekly drop-in sessions for mothers breastfeeding that supported a diverse community in the area, with 86% of mothers who attended identifying as non-white-British. Mothers were evaluated and asked about their breastfeeding goals, which are addressed in the form of a feeding plan for their babies. They were also able to meet other mother and baby groups and were directed to baby clinics and massage sessions.
Staff image, left to right: Mary Nee, Mary Okonkwo, Khedijah Mohammed, Amanda Bridges, Sam Grey, Cathy Cannon from the inner London borough team (Westminster, Hammersmith & Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea)
In January 2021, our Ealing Integrated Early Start Service health visiting team achieved Stage Two Accreditation and are now working towards Stage Three Accreditation with the aim of achieving this by the end of 2021.
CLCH is pleased to recognise these outstanding achievements, which are a testament to the excellent service provided by the Trust's health visiting teams, as well as the monitoring of infant feeding data. Read more about the Health Visiting teams’ aspirations and triumphs.
We also asked a few of our clients to share their experiences of CLCH's breastfeeding support service. Here's what they had to say:
"I can say that I have been really appreciative of your support with my breastfeeding, it has been excellent! I wouldn't be where I am now or have come so far without your help. I feel like the quality of care has not been compromised by the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt very safe and looked after during my appointments."
"I met other moms who were facing difficulties and it gave me reassurance that I am not alone in my struggles with breastfeeding."
"Just wanted to say thank you for today's session - great idea, really helpful and great to have contact with other people at this time."
We are here for you!
Our amazing Infant Feeding and Health Visiting teams at CLCH are here to support all expectant and new mothers in the communities we serve. Locate your borough and contact the team for assistance: https://bit.ly/3fnEov0.
Information and guidance on breastfeeding:
Introducing solids: First steps nutrition first guide: eating well
The Breastfeeding Network (UK): breastfeeding support during the pandemic and taking COVID-19 vaccines.
NHS UK: Breastfeeding
Pictured above, some of our Infant feeding and health visiting teams sharing important messages about what breastfeeding means to them.
We'd like to take this opportunity to thank all our incredible Infant Feeding leads, Breastfeeding Champions and Health Visiting teams for their ongoing support of mothers and children in the communities we serve.