Local Groups Support Families To Have The ‘Breaststart’

Help and support for breastfeeding mums is never far away in Lincolnshire.

Whether you need expert advice, want to talk to other mums or just meet a friendly face, finding one of the county’s 18 Breaststart groups could not be easier.

Breaststart groups are facilitated by health visiting teams from Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust (LCHS) and are supported by breastfeeding peer supporters and volunteers.

Sarah Button joined the St Giles Breaststart group in Lincoln following the birth of her third child.

“My first two children were not breastfed,” explained Sarah. “With my first I really wanted to but I gave up after three weeks as I felt there was no support. With my second I managed to do it for five days but gave up again. This time I was really determined to give it a go.”

However, Sarah developed mastitis, a condition where breast tissue becomes inflamed and painful. She sought professional help through a friend who was a peer supporter and in turn, it was suggested she also call in to a Breaststart group.

Sarah (37), of Branston, said: “The group made me feel very welcome and I have become really good friends with some of the mums there. There is no way I would still be breastfeeding without the support of the group. I have experienced a number of problems with feeding and had I been breastfeeding without any support I probably would have given up very early on.

“However, knowing that other mums were having similar issues helped me realise I wasn’t alone and it has proved that you can get through difficult times with support. This is where Breaststart has been invaluable. If I had known about this kind of support with my first child, my experiences would have been very different.

“I hope this reassurance can help give other mums the courage and the confidence to persevere.”

Anita Wood, Locality Lead for LCHS, added: “Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and baby, but we know that everyone is different and it can be overwhelming and challenging at times. Lincolnshire’s Breaststart groups provide families with a relaxed, safe environment where they can get help and advice from either other mums, peer supporters or a health professional, while enjoying a cup of tea and seeing a friendly face.

“We’re very proud that some of these groups have been supporting local communities for more than 10 years and we would encourage families to call in and see what these wonderful groups have to offer. We hope there is never a time where breastfeeding mums feel as though there is no where for them to turn.”

To find your local Breaststart group, visit www.lincolnshirehealthyfamilies.nhs.uk/breastfeeding/lincolnshire-groups and type in your town or postcode.

The website also includes a range of information and advice, as well as other helpful contact numbers.