This is a smart phone App designed to support continuation in breastfeeding women. The App is available on all smart phones and launched last month has had over 400 downloads across the globe. The App is designed to be clean and simple with links to approved websites if people need more information, video clips or diagrams. The colour scheme links to the ongoing amazing breast milk campaign running locally. Breast Start has been well received and the fact that it has been downloaded from many countries (including China and Australia) as well as the UK shows that there was a need for this. Local women get the chance to find groups and breastfeeding friendly venues. The plan long term is to expand the local pages so it is relevant to anyone who down loads it in the UK. We are booked in to attend 2 conferences this year to promote the App and have had a great deal of interest from the DH.
Home-Start Breastfeeding Peer Support
This service provides one to one support at home and in the hospital to mothers to support initiation and continuation of breastfeeding. The service has recently expanded to offer one to one ante-natal appointments in the hospital and also to provide more intensive support in the most deprived areas. The service has an efficacy of 44% at 6-8 weeks for the women they support. The Qualitative feedback from this service is excellent.
Breastfeeding Incentive Scheme
The Incentive Scheme is designed to have two aims. It offers women the chance to receive “gifts” for continuing to breastfeed and it also engages local businesses with the breastfeeding agenda. Women have to sign up to the Home-Start Breastfeeding Peer Support Scheme, they are then entitled to choose ante-natal vouchers and once they commence breastfeeding they can receive vouchers until the baby is eight weeks.
This scheme has involved engaging local cafes and restaurants in supporting breastfeeding women. The venue sign up to being part of the scheme, they are given a window sticker, certificate and training if required. Then we have compiled and produced a list of welcoming venues which is available in leaflet form and on the Breast Start App.
Breastfeeding Week Activities
We have decided as part of our Action Plan to look at the agenda of breastfeeding across the age spectrum. In order to do this we have designed a series of events to run every year in Breastfeeding Week.
- Birkenhead Market Stall – Actively engaging old and young at the stall, giving free gifts logoed for Breastfeeding Week and promoting the benefits.
- Big Feed – In 2 venues gathering breastfeeding women together to celebrate their success in breastfeeding. Raffle, prizes and demonstrations from relevant businesses (sling lady)
- Stall in Mothercare – Actively targeting Ante-natal and post-natal women and their families. Giving information and completing referrals to local support services (saw 1000 women last year)
- Colouring Competition (Pre school) – Using feeding animals as the colouring charts, engaging local pre-school venues to enter a competition to win a plush cat or dog feeding their babies
- Donate a Doll (School Age) – Raising awareness in schools about breastfeeding. A competition to collect pre loved dolls which we use to support breastfeeding mothers.
- Road Show – Day event in Birkenhead to raise awareness. Stalls from local providers and businesses, prizes, games, bouncy castle, flash mob and more. A fun day to entice the local population to look at what we are trying to do locally.
Having run breastfeeding groups for sometime we found that the numbers in some of the deprived areas were consistently low. Following a consultation with clients and staff a new format was created. The new groups have a clear information based structure with time to learn and time to socialise. The groups are new but so far the feedback has been really positive.
Read more about the Breast-Start-APP here