Seven mothers have been given training to become breastfeeding peer supporters, following from a further seven who completed the training last year.
Cristina Cooper, Eliza Jones, Heather Fitzpatrick, Ally Nixon, Nicola Farquar, Rebekah Downing, and Suzanne Kennedy have all be presented with certificates at East Newport Children’s Centre this week.
The scheme, funded by the Isle of Wight Council’s public health service, aims to give new mums the confidence to breastfeed by receiving guidance and encouragement from fellow mums who understand the physical and emotional challenges of breastfeeding.
The newly trained peer supporters, who all attended and are supported by the Island’s children’s centres, will work closely with centre staff, health professionals and the existing peer supporters to promote breastfeeding. The nutritional benefits and developing close bonds between mother and child are the main reasons why breastfeeding is often the best options for babies.
Councillor Phil Jordan, Executive member with responsibility for public health, said:
“It is very pleasing that the team of dedicated peer supporters has been expanded to provide more help and guidance to mums alongside health professionals.
“I offer my congratulations to the seven new peer supporters for gaining their certificates.”
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Eleanor Bell, Isle of Wight Council senior public health development commissioner, said:
“We know that lots of women who stop breastfeeding would have wanted to have breastfed for longer and if they had received more help and support they may have achieved that.
“Peer supporters enable more women to get the support they need. Often they just need to know that what is happening is a normal part of breastfeeding, which reassures them.”
Anyone who is interested in the training as a peer supporter should contact their local children’s centre. There is a timetable of breastfeeding support which can be obtained from midwives, health visitors and children centres and on the Isle of Wight Breastfeeding Support Group’s Facebook page.