Midwives at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital King’s Lynn (QEH) have launched a new initiative to support pregnant women to hand-express during pregnancy from 36 weeks onwards.
The project aims to increase the number of babies having colostrum for their first feed. Colostrum is the first breastmilk and is packed with special nutrients which boost babies’ immune systems for life. It is a very important first food for all babies as it colonises babies’ gut with healthy, protective factors and reduces the need to use formula milk for breastfed babies. It also aims to improve the experience of women who have an induction of labour here at the QEH.
Packs containing equipment and information will be offered to all pregnant women at their 34 week appointment, at the new born feeding antenatal classes, or during their induction of labour.
Flo Crawley, Infant Feeding Co-Ordinator at QEH, said: “We’re passionate about providing excellent infant feeding support for the families in our care. We hope these packs will support many more families to give the best start to their baby’s immune system. However you choose to feed your baby, staff at QEH would like to support women to give their baby colostrum as the first feed.”
Amanda Price-Davey, Head of Midwifery at QEH, said: “We want to provide the very best experience for the families in our care, so I am really proud of our Midwifery team at QEH for setting up this service which we hope will help new mothers choosing to hand-express.”
The service will be reviewed regularly through data collected from patient feedback.
We are launching the scheme as part of our celebrations for World Breastfeeding Week 1-7 August 2021, when packs will be available for women from 34 weeks of pregnancy, via our midwives and in the maternity unit. Women are encouraged to speak to their Midwife if they would like to find out more.
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Download the press release and photos here.