Help with breastfeeding in Kent and Medway thanks to new #BesideYou campaign offering expert help and advice
A campaign to support breastfeeding mothers is being extended across Kent following success in Medway.
Beside You gives mums access to advice, information, details of breastfeeding groups and online support through a new website called wearebesideyou.co.uk
Aimed solely at mums living in Kent and Medway, the aim of the campaign is to normalise breastfeeding and clearly outline where and how parents can find help, encouragement and expert advice.
Kent Community Health NHS Trust, which is part of the launch team, says figures for 2018/19 show that two thirds of babies born within Kent and Medway maternity services begin by receiving breast milk.
It is hoped that Beside You will contribute to 'normalising breastfeeding in Kent and Medway' and give mothers the right information, support, and guidance to get through any issues they encounter to enable them to feed their babies for as long as they would like to.
Originally launched in Medway in 2016, Beside You was declared a 'resounding success' prompting organisations from across Kent and Medway to join forces and make the service and the advice on offer applicable county-wide in order to reach more mothers and babies.
The website covers everything from thinking about feeding options before baby arrives, to the early days and how to approach things like pain, expressing milk, feeding after a c-section and sleep.
It also addresses other common issues women may encounter such as their baby having tongue tie, the infection mastitis, growth spurts, low milk supply, feeding in public and having and feeding twins.
Among the organisations involved in Beside You are Medway Council and Kent County Council, both community health trusts, midwives from actute hospital trusts from around the county and breastfeeding support organisations including La Leche League and PSBreastfeeding.
Jinny Robinson-Bright, from the Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are really happy to be able to support breastfeeding mothers and their partners and family thanks to Beside You.
“We have custom-made some excellent resources that are available across Kent and Medway. This is a great example of how partnership working can benefit people directly and have a positive impact on lives.”
Kent County Council (KCC) commissions Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust to run the Health Visitor Service in Kent.
KCC cabinet member for adult social care and public health, Clair Bell said: “The Beside You website has been an excellent resource for mothers in Medway, so we are delighted to be able to now offer this online support to families across Kent by working in partnership with a number of different providers.
“We remain committed to increasing the number of women who breastfeed and offer support to families when they need it most.”
Families requiring support and information can visit www.wearebesideyou.co.uk for access to the latest expert information and advice as well as details of where breastfeeding groups, suppport or guidance can also be found. Parents can also follow #BesideYou across social media.