Breastfeeding Peer Support Service
Peer supporters visit postnatal wards at the Whittington and UCLH each day, phone all breastfeeding mothers on discharge to offer support, and support via phone and video calls. There are a number of face-to-face appointment-only clinics each week, and some home visits are also available where necessary. They provide valuable emotional as well as infant feeding support to new mothers. They also have an online breastfeeding support group, as well as an online social Mums and Babies Meet-up group.
Ongoing updates can be found on the Breastfeeding Islington Facebook page, where parents can also contact the service.
Infant Feeding Specialist Service
The Infant Feeding Specialist service can help where there are particular concerns about a baby’s feeding, whether breastfeeding or bottlefeeding. It is designed to support mothers and babies with more complex difficulties that have not been resolved with basic feeding support.
Following referral, the Infant Feeding Coordinator will decide whether to provide a face-to-face assessment, suggest management, or refer to resources over the phone. They also decide if the case can be followed up by breastfeeding peer supporters with feedback to the Infant Feeding Coordinator. Post-intervention information is not routinely provided.
Breastfeeding support includes help for:
- mums who need help with baby attaching at the breast
- mums having pain or sore nipples, engorgement or mastitis
- babies with difficulty gaining weight in early days
- babies (breastfeeding or bottlefeeding) with tongue tie or suspected tongue tie affecting feeding
- babies not wanting to go to the breast
- mothers with low milk supply
- starting on solid foods
- weaning off the breast
- managing mixed feeding.
More complex problems include:
- milk supply issues possibly needing medication
- babies with growth faltering over period of time
- breastfed babies with symptoms of colic (usually related to effective attachment at the breast)
- breast or bottle fed babies with symptoms of reflux (attachment at the breast, and, for bottlefeeding babies, it can be bottlefeeding technique or constitution that needs to be checked)
- babies whose parents wonder if they have a cow’s milk allergy but without blood in stool, we can assess feeding first to rule out any feeding issues before trial of extensively hydrolysed milk
- any other issues (eg helping mum feed after breast abcess) that are considered complex or that the GP would like us as health professionals to assess first.
- babies and families resident in Islington
How to refer
The following clinicians can refer to this service:
GPs, Nurses, Anyone
Directly by telephone
t: 020 3316 8439
Clinicians are asked to refer by emailing a referral in the first instance, if possible,.
But it is possible to refer via the telephone helpline (with details of the mum/baby, contact details and the problem). If you need to leave a message, the team will respond as soon as possible.