Celebrating Portsmouth - A Positive Baby Feeding Place.
At Positive Birth Portsmouth we love a good news story. The PBP team were chatting about National Breastfeeding Awareness Week and realised how much there was to celebrate about breastfeeding support in our city.
Breastfeeding Awareness might not seem like an obvious part of positive birth, but positive birth is just the beginning of a family's journey. A positive first breastfeed can play a big part in a positive birth experience for many people and the same support that is needed for positive birth is needed for a positive start to parenting and to baby feeding.
Just like with birth, at PBP we support people to make their own informed decisions about feeding their baby. We share information about breastfeeding and we're also not afraid to say breastfeeding can be challenging and it's really normal to need support with getting breastfeeding established. We support your right to breastfeed anywhere and any way that suits you, and if you choose not to breastfeed, or to stop breastfeeding, we support your right to do that without guilt.
We think it's important to focus on helping the people around new families, the extended families, health professionals and members of the wider community to appreciate that, whatever choices women make, they have the right to support, encouragement and love and to be given accurate information and unbiased care.
So if you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed, or if you are already breastfeeding, do you know what support is available to you to help you have all the information to help you make sure you're making decisions and enjoying your baby?
If you're pregnant, one place to start is with the antenatal breastfeeding workshops provided by the infant feeding midwife at our local hospital, Queen Alexandra. All the information and dates can be found on the hospital website by clicking here: Portsmouth Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshops
Another place to go when you're pregnant, and again once your baby is here, is to any of the free local breastfeeding peer support groups run by the Breastfeeding Network. These are a great place to find out more about what it's really like to breastfeed and what's normal. There are also trained peer supporters available at many of them to help with any issues or questions you might have. Portsmouth is very lucky this service is still funded in the city as many of the peer support services across the country have had their funding cut in the last few years. There's also a very active Facebook Group where you can get sympathy at 1am and up to date details of face-to-face groups.
You can also get specialist breastfeeding support from lactation consultants across the city. To find out more about what an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is, and what they can do, check out our post where we interviewed Lynn, who also runs a free breastfeeding support group in Southsea.
Last but not least, one of the main reasons women identify that they stop breastfeeding is concern over breastfeeding in public. In Portsmouth there is a brilliant way of finding places you can go and feel comfortable feeding your baby, knowing that they will support and welcome you. The Portsmouth Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme has many members across the city and will give you confidence getting out and about with your baby.
So much to celebrate and so much to be positive about in Portsmouth!
Not local to Portsmouth? You can get support with Breastfeeding via the National Breastfeeding Helpline - 0300 100 0212
To find your nearest Breastfeeding Network group visit https://www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk/