With news this week of the threatened closure of the Breastfeeding Baby Café in Northampton due to funding problems, the question has been raised about the support provided to breastfeeding new mums and where this support comes from.
New mothers and breastfeeding mums require both practical and emotional support. This support can come from family and friends, medical professionals and charities and groups, such as the Baby Café.
The support of family and friends is great if you’ve got it but we no longer live in a community surrounded by extended family. We lead busy lives, often miles away from our parents and siblings, and friends have their own hectic lives to lead.
Midwives, health visitors and the NHS provide practical breastfeeding support to new mothers. Many new mums however are in need of ongoing emotional support and advice too and this is where the charities and groups come in.
The Breastfeeding Baby Cafés are supported by the NCT and provide the chance for new mums to meet other new mums, share experiences and get advice on breastfeeding in an informal setting. This emotional support cannot be measured and its value goes far beyond getting a baby to breastfeed comfortably. Without emotional support, breastfeeding women can feel isolated and their self-esteem can suffer; this can take years to recover from.
Services like this need to be encouraged and expanded to be available to new mums and breast-feeding women everywhere and not struggling and worrying about funding. The breastfeeding mums in Northampton have started a Facebook campaign to highlight problems with their funding and the value of such a resource. These new mums need our support. Please join their campaign on Facebook below:
They have also started a Twitter campaign, so please follow them and show support:
The power of harnessing social media to highlight a social cause, like raising the profile of breastfeeding in public, is not to be underestimated. These courageous women are utilising the social power available to them to draw attention to their need. Social Breastfeeding is here to stay!