Here at the Trust, we recognise the important health benefits for you and your baby whilst breastfeeding. We therefore encourage all mothers to aim to give their babies the best start in life by exclusively breastfeeding for as long as they wish. As such, we are committed to becoming a UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital and our policy is based on UNICEF “The Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding” guidelines.
We aim to protect, promote and support your chosen method of feeding and as a result all women receive evidence based information on an individual basis starting from your first booking appointment and then throughout the antenatal period as required following the Baby Friendly Pathway of Care. During your stay in hospital all the midwives and nursery nurses are trained to assist you with your chosen method of feeding. If there are any further concerns you can ask to see any of the infant feeding co-ordinators to give extra guidance on a range of feeding problems.
When you leave hospital you will be given information on the many support groups in the area that provide ongoing encouragement and expert guidance on breastfeeding. All groups are run on a drop-in basis, which means that no appointments are required. You don’t even need a problem to attend! Just see it as a place to meet, make new friends and ensure you have the best possible chance of succeeding. If you decide to bottle feed your baby, make sure that you get information from your midwife or health visitor on how to reduce any potential risks when you prepare infant formula, how to sterilise equipment and, if you require, how to give a bottle feed.
Please note that the Trust does not provide artificial milk or bottles during your stay in hospital, you will be required to bring your own milk and small bottles and we will provide a cold water sterilising unit. It is recommended that you use ready to use liquid milk from cartons or bottles for the first four weeks before using powdered infant milk. The Trust supports all mothers who wish to breastfeed and you are welcome to feed your child in any location on site. However if you feel that you would like a more private facility you are welcome to come to the maternity unit where we have an allocated quiet room.
Breastfeeding drop-in clinic
The infant feeding co-ordinators run a breastfeeding drop-in clinic for women who are staying on Dacre and Gloucester wards. The clinic runs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 10.00am to 12.00 noon in our dedicated breastfeeding room.
Breastfeeding support groups in Hertfordshire
Infant feeding co-ordinators
Michaela Bryan | Geraldine Gibson | Jenny Larkins
0300 100 0210
Supporter line 9.30am to 9.30pm, seven days a week
|National Breastfeeding Helpline||0300 100 0212 www.breastfeeding.nhs.uk|
|Breastfeeding Network (supporter line in Bengali/Sylheti)||0300 456 24219.30am to 9.30pm, seven days a week|
|Breastfeeding Network (supporter line in Tamil, Telagu and Hindi)||07501 466 8179.30am to 9.30pm, seven days a week|
|Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM) Helpline||08444 122 9499.30am to 9.30pm, seven days a weekDebbie Abbott 01480 214110 www.abm.me.uk|
|National Childbirth Trust (NCT)
|0300 3300 7718.00am to 10.00pm, seven days a week