Birth Voices East Blog
Updates on what we're doing and how your feedback is making a difference
Last week was a busy one! We held our virtual MVP meeting and welcomed some new faces, and some we already know. It was lovely to see representatives from Healthwatch, Get Me Out, Time, Sands and Angels and Rainbows, as well as breastfeeding support groups Lowestoft and Waveney Breastfeeding Support and Breastfeeding Mum Meets. We will do a blog post to let you know what came of the meeting and share what your collective voices have achieved.
Before that though, we find ourselves in Breastfeeding Celebration Week.
JPUH Bumps to Breastfeeding Facebook page and the Lowestoft and Waveney Breastfeeding Support Facebook pages are sharing breastfeeding success stories, tips and highlighting the support offered to families.
The Infant Feeding Lead at James Paget, Kay Horn has said the following "we are continuing in the best way we can at present to support mums and babies breastfeeding. Although not face to face, we are calling all mums to offer phone and online support."
We also heard from Kay at the MVP meeting sharing how this is working, and from Kaya at Lowestoft and Waveney Breastfeeding Support who was able to feedback that the calls Kay and her colleagues make to those families in the early days of breastfeeding, are received really well. Kaya did also explain that they had received a lot more requests for support at LWBS than usual times.
With this in mind, Kay has put together the following questions for you:
The small print-
The survey is important because it helps the maternity staff know what is working well for pregnant people, new parents and their families, and what areas there are concerns about. We will collate and analyse the feedback we receive and share this back to the leadership team who design the services you use. You might feel that alone, your opinions and feelings about your maternity care (whether good or bad) would not make a difference, but by speaking as a group, we can make sure your voices are taken seriously and services can be designed to suit the needs of you, the people that are using them. Your response is anonymous and you will not receive a response. we do not ask for any identifiable information, if you would like to receive updates about the work done by Birth Voices East, please fill out the Contact Form and we can add you to our mailing list. Please share the survey.
This information is being collected by your local Maternity Voices Partnership to gain a better understanding of current local maternity services so that improvements can be made in the future. We will process your personal information in order to deliver this service safely and effectively, and where otherwise reasonably necessary for our purposes.
You can expect your personal information to be stored securely. It will be kept on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity We will not share your personal information (contact information) with anyone else without your explicit prior consent. Your responses will be anonymised and only used for the purpose of improving local maternity services.
If you would like to find out more about your local MVP and the work that we do, please contact us
You can also contact us at any time to ask for your personal information to be updated or deleted.
Local women have recently contacted us to voice concerns after news that from 31st March, there will no longer be a breastfeeding support contract in place for community-based breastfeeding services across Suffolk. Last year the same happened in the Great Yarmouth area, and women are told to talk to health visitors instead.
So what will change?
• No local breastfeeding hotline to support new mums having difficulties
• No home visits from trained breastfeeding practitioners who could refer to tongue tie clinics
• No funding for baby cafes, where trained volunteers are on hand to help with any problems or provide moral support about feeding in public
Once women leave hospital they don't stop needing support to breastfeed. Although initiation rates are high (82% in October at JPUH), by 6-8 weeks postnatal this drops to only 46% (full or combi-feeding) across Suffolk (Jan-July 2016, Public Health England data).
We are interested in hearing from local mums and pregnant women about what impact they feel this may have. We can then use this to make a case to Maternity Staff and Commissioners to explore what other funding sources might be available.
HAVE YOUR SAY
This week we met with a lady from Norfolk County Council Public Health to ask her about the changes in breastfeeding support for mothers in Norfolk. When Suffolk ladies leave the James Paget Hospital (JPUH), they receive a telephone call from the Breastfeeding Team within a few days to ask how they are getting on and offer a home visit if they need further support with feeding. From my own experience, it really does feel like you are supported every step of the way.
When Norfolk ladies leave the hospital, there has been confusion about what support they can receive. When calling the Suffolk hotline the team have to unfortunately turn them away and signpost them to services in Norfolk.
The upshot of the response was that there is still support out there for Norfolk mums- but it has now been transferred to the Health Visitors. The official response they have asked us to pass on is:
"In Norfolk, breastfeeding support is available via a Breastfeeding Practitioner and the Health Visitor Teams by telephone call, a home visit or clinic appointment. If you require breastfeeding support in Great Yarmouth locality, contact Mandi, Breastfeeding Practitioner on 07929 330165 or speak to your Health Visitor. There is a drop-in baby café every weekday in the Great Yarmouth and surrounding areas. To find out where your nearest baby café is, visit www.norfolk.gov.uk/norfolkslivingwell. There is also a national breastfeeding hotline on 0300 100 0212 open 9:30am-9:30pm every day of the year. The breastfeeding rates at 6-8 weeks are monitored for all localities in Norfolk. It would be useful to hear feedback from local women on the support they have received."
We at Birth Voices are happy to pass on any feedback (positive or negative) from local women on how this is working. Email us on email@example.com or use the contact form on this website.
Anyway, we just wanted to let you all know who to contact if you need help!
We also have a feedback survey on this page, so your experience of local maternity care can help JPH learn what is working well and what needs improving, so others can benefit from improved maternity care.
Thanks for reading,
Your 'Birth Voices' team x
Author: Birth Voices East