About Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding Support Workers

The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding for your baby’s first six months, and then breast milk alongside other food until they are two years and over.

No matter how you decide to feed your baby, your choice will be respected, and you will be supported by trained and caring professionals.

If you do choose to breastfeed, our breastfeeding Support Workers (BFSWs), are available, working alongside Community Midwives and Health Visitors to infant feeding support to expectant & new families.  

We also understand that many new parents may feel a little apprehensive and unsure about feeding in the early days & weeks, and really appreciate the emotional support and practical guidance the breastfeeding support workers offer.

We will make every effort to contact all new parents as soon as possible after your discharge from hospital or after a homebirth. To offer information on how to get breastfeeding started, responsive feeding, expressing breast milk and ways to avoid feeding problems in the future.  

Our service is parent led, and you are encouraged to contact us as little or often as you wish during the first six to eight weeks following birth when breastfeeding can be most challenging. 

Breastfeeding can also be a magical experience, as making eye contact and talking or singing to them during feeds, holding your baby close and feeding whilst skin to skin will help your baby feel safe, loved, and secure. 

If you miss our call or misplace our number, can contact us  emailing the team  with details of your baby's name, date of birth and a contact phone number to get back in touch on.

Breast Buddies’ Support Group

We also run breastfeeding support groups across Worcestershire. Our Breast Buddies’ Support groups provide an opportunity to meet other mothers in a relaxed and friendly setting. Pregnant women and pregnant people are also welcome to access these groups which take place:

  • Every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month from 10:00am - 11:30am at Pear Trees Family Hub.
  • Every Tuesday from 10:00am - 11:30am at Brookside Family Hub.
  • Every 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesday from 10:00am - 11:30am at Holly Trees Family Hub
  • Every Thursday from 10:00am - 11:30am at WANDS Family Hub
  • Every Friday from 11:30am - 1:00pm at The Hive in Worcester

If you would like to attend one of our Breast Buddies' support groups, please email the team with your baby's name, date of birth and postcode. We will then book you a place. Partners, grandparents, friends, and older children are also welcome.  

If you would like more information about a particular group please ask your Health Visitor, Breastfeeding Support Worker or Community Nursery Nurse, alternatively contact the National Breastfeeding Helpline on 0300 100 0212 (9.30am to 9.30pm, daily) or visit the national NHS website to find a breastfeeding drop-in near you

Contacting a Breastfeeding Support Worker (BFSW)

  • For individual breastfeeding support until your baby is 6-8 weeks old, please email the team
  • If your baby is over 8 weeks old, you can access support at your local Breast Buddies' group or NCT breastfeeding group. You can also ask a member of the Health Visiting team for support via our 1 simple number: 01905 520032

Breastfeeding support can also be accessed on the following helplines:

  • On evenings and weekends calls will be redirected to The National Breastfeeding Helpline 0300 100 0212 available from 9:30am-9:30pm
  • NCT helpline 0300 330 0700 from 8am-midnight
  • La Leche helpline 0345 120 2918 from 8am-11pm
  • Association of Breastfeeding Mothers 0300 330 5453 from 9:30am-9:30pm

Expressing breast milk

Expressing milk is when you take milk from your breasts, so you can either feed it to your baby straight away or store it in the fridge or freezer to feed it to your baby at a later time.

You can express breast milk by hand or with an electric or manual pump, whichever is more comfortable for you.

Before expressing, it’s best to wait until you feel confident breastfeeding. But there may be lots of reasons why you need or choose to express milk including: 

  • Your baby is premature or needs extra help after birth and cannot be with you
  • You’re returning to work or have to be apart from your baby
  • Your breasts feel uncomfortably full or have mastitis
  • Wishing to boost your milk supply
  • To use with your baby’s first solid foods
  • This is your preferred method of feeding

Remember, it can take time to learn how to express. Just relax, don’t worry – practice makes perfect!

Storing and using breast milk

After expressing, you can either give the milk straight to your baby or you may wish store it for future use. If you chose to store your breast milk, make sure it is stored in a sterilised container or special milk storage bags. You should also label and date your milk before storing and it is also best to store in small quantities to avoid waste.

Your breast milk can then be kept: 

  • For up to five days in the fridge at 4C or lower
  • For two weeks in the ice compartment of a fridge
  • For up to six months in a freezer

Defrosting frozen breast milk

If you have frozen your breast milk, the best way to defrost it is by leaving in in the fridge to thaw out completely. You should not use a microwave to defrost or heat up breast milk as it can cause heat spots – which could burn your baby’s mouth.

If you need defrost the milk quicker, or if your baby prefers to drink milk at room temperature, you can do so by placing the container in a jug of warm water. Remember to check the temperature of the milk before feeding.

Once defrosted, milk should be used straight away, and any used milk discarded as expressed milk can’t be refrozen once thawed.

Breast pump hire

Breast pump
Did you know that families can now hire Ardo Calypso breast pumps from Family Hubs across Worcestershire?
To find out more information or to make an enquiry about hire, please contact your local Family Hub via our 1 simple number: 01905 520 032

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