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Improving our breastfeeding support

At Newham Hospital, we’re working hard to support pregnant women and new mums with breastfeeding.

Our teams work with expectant and new mums and support them in making an informed choice about feeding before, during and after birth. This includes providing them with information on the benefits and importance of breastfeeding, helping get their breastfeeding journey off to a good start and supporting them in overcoming any challenges they may experience with it.

The World Health Organisation recommends infants to be exclusively breastfed for at least the first six months their life, and in combination with other foods for at least a further two years.

This is because breastfeeding improves the overall health and wellbeing of new babies. Already at the correct temperature and designed to be easy to digest, breast milk contains the right balance of nutrients to support growth and can protect a baby against infections and illnesses, including asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Breastfeeding also benefits the mother, and is important for building early relationships and bonds between mother and child,

Over the last 18 months, our team at Newham Hospital have made a number of improvements to our breastfeeding support offer, which they continue to build on as they work towards getting their Baby Friendly Initiative stage 3 accreditation. Some of the improvements made, which span across our maternity ward and our neonatal unit, include:

  • Infant breastfeeding specialist:

    • Our new lactation consultant is on hand to support new and expecting mothers with any questions, concerns or issues they may be having with breastfeeding.

  • Offering donor milk:

    • Some new mothers are unable to breastfeed for a variety of reasons, so our team have developed an offer of donor milk as an alternative. They work closely with the donor expressed breast milk (DEBM) bank to manage supply and the types of donor milk provide

  • Tongue-tie support:

    • Being tongue-tied makes it harder for babies to breastfeed, so our team refer all tongue-tied babies to King's College Hospital Tongue Tie clinic and Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

  • Infant feeding classes (see below):

    • The team offer a variety of antenatal infant feeding classes to help women prepare to breastfeed, and postnatal classes to support new mums and share information, including about feeding, to help give their babies the best start in life.  

    • They have regular conversations with mums upon admission, during their stay and after discharge, and provide information packs, which also signpost to other support (e.g. in the community).

Speaking on these improvements, and the team’s continuing improvement journey, Sherry Manning, divisional director for women’s and children's at Newham Hospital said: “I’m very proud of the work our maternity and neonatal teams have done to increase the type of support we offer those who wish to breastfeed. Working together, and with community partners, we’ve made real improvements for the benefit of mothers and babies, and I look forward to our continued work to reach Baby Friendly Initiative stage 3.”

Antenatal classes via Zoom – scan the QR code for more

Antenatal colostrum harvesting

  • Tuesday, 11-12pm
  • From 32/34 weeks

Antenatal colostrum harvesting QR code Newham Hospital

Getting ready to breastfeed

  • Fridays, 11am – 1pm
  • From 28 weeks

Getting ready to breastfeed QR code Newham Hospital

Postnatal classes via Zoom – scan the QR code for more

Newham baby feeding café

  • Tuesdays, 3:30pm – 5:30pm
  • New parents

Newham baby feeding café QR code Newham Hospital

Starting solid workshop

  • Wednesdays, 10-11am
  • Four to six-month-olds

Starting solid workshop QR code Newham Hospital

Further support information

Parent can contact our baby feeding helpline with any questions about feeding your baby or toddler (up to three years of age) where they will be provided with skilled help and support. Simply call or text 07534249611, or email: baby.feeding@newham.gov.uk

Further videos and information on breastfeeding are available by scanning the QR code.

Further support information QR code Newham Hospital

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