Our Baby and Breastfeeding Encouragement and Support groups (known as BABES groups) offer a welcoming atmosphere for all mums who breastfeed.
BABES groups run across Nottinghamshire, mainly within children’s centres. To find your local group visit www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/breastfeeding-useful-information
Volunteer breastfeeding peer supporters
BABES groups are run by Trust staff and volunteer breastfeeding peer supporters.
Breastfeeding peer supporters are mums who have breastfed themselves, completed a breastfeeding peer support course, and volunteer a few hours a week to support new mums during the early days of breastfeeding.
Peer supporters provide support with positioning and attachment to ensure comfortable breastfeeds offer tips to increase milk supply show mums how to hand express give information on the importance of night feeds and tips to make it easier offer practical ways of helping mums to enjoy their breastfeeding experience listen to you and share tips to help you with any concerns.
Healthy family teams and children’s centre staff
At a BABES group, you will also meet staff from the Healthy Family Team as well as children’s centre staff and volunteers.
The Healthy Family Team can offer antenatal and postnatal breastfeeding support to mums and their families. This includes help with positioning and attachment; how to hand express; and tips for maintaining breastfeeding longer term.
Meeting other mums
BABES groups are a great opportunity to meet other breastfeeding mums and make new friends. You can chat whilst your baby enjoys a play followed by a singalong at the end of the session. Many mums first practice breastfeeding in public at a BABES group too, which helps to build their confidence as they move on to feeding in busier places.
BABES groups also welcome mums-to-be. The group offers an idea of what to expect from breastfeeding and mums-to-be can join the interactive antenatal workshops, which provide information on baby’s development and how to get breastfeeding off to a good start.
Feedback we’ve received tells us that breastfeeding mums really appreciate the support of other mums who have breastfed - they value their practical advice and personal experiences. Mums who attend the BABES groups feel listened to, respected and supported in their feeding choices.
But don’t just take our word for it…here's what the mums said!
“I went to BABES after trying several different groups. I love the laid-back, informal atmosphere where you can talk without feeling that any subject is taboo or that you will be judged or dictated to.”
“I wish I had known about the group in the early weeks, when I was struggling to cope. Sandra - a member of staff at the group - gave me guidance as well as reassurance.”
“I like that the staff are positive about combination feeding, as my low milk supply means I mainly bottle feed but top-up with breast feeds. Lots of people tell me to just ‘give up breastfeeding’ but the group help to lift my spirits when I’m feeling down.”
“I have always felt uncomfortable feeding in public but felt at ease feeding in the children’s centre. I now feel more confident in feeding and the advice has helped and inspired me.”
“I was given a list of places in Mansfield to feed my baby and advised on storing milk – this was important to me as I wanted to continue feeding after returning to work.”
For more information about breastfeeding support services in Nottinghamshire visit www.nottinghamshirehealthcare.nhs.uk/infant-feeding
The Breastfeeding Network has produced a video about breastfeeding peer supporters and breastfeeding support groups similar to the BABES groups. You can watch it at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wGDvz1tLlvk&feature=youtu.be
This post is part of our Happy Baby Corner series.