A local breastfeeding support group held at Oswestry Library celebrated it’s one year anniversary last month. Commissioned by Shropshire Council and run by national charity, The Breastfeeding Network (BfN), the group offers two, free drop-in sessions each month giving mums face-to-face, reliable, evidence-based information and support.

Who are the groups for?

Led by trained volunteers, the drop-in sessions are there for any mum who feels like they need support with their breastfeeding journey, or just wants to come along for a friendly chat and meet other local, breastfeeding mums. The group has supported mums on a variety of topics such as, helping with positioning and attachment to improve a latch, information on combi-feeding, support with returning to work whilst breastfeeding, information on breastfeeding whilst introducing solid foods, support with stopping breastfeeding and much more. The group also welcomes pregnant families to come along to talk about breastfeeding, discussing any questions or concerns they have to help them plan for how to feed their new baby when they arrive.

Who runs the group?

All of the volunteers are local mums with breastfeeding experience and a passion for supporting others with their breastfeeding journey. Nicola, a local volunteer at the Oswestry group, says, “I love volunteering with the BfN. It’s such a wonderful charity that works so hard to support mums through what can sometimes be a lonely and difficult time. The training we get is excellent and it’s fantastic there is now local, free, face to face support available in Oswestry for breastfeeding mums. It’s been wonderful to meet so many local mums and support them with their breastfeeding goals. It’s lovely when mums that we have supported previously, drop in for a social chat and share their experiences with new mums.”

What do local mums say about the group?

Here’s some feedback from local mums who have visited the support group:

“I am so grateful for the breastfeeding support group. I have been several times throughout my breastfeeding journey and have found the volunteers so incredibly helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. I’ve always felt very welcome, and no question is ever silly or too much. I always feel a lot more confident about myself as a mum after attending and I genuinely feel that I have been able to continue to breastfeed for as long as I have despite a number of difficulties, in part due to the advice and help from the team. I’ve had advice on expressing colostrum when I was still pregnant, advice about tongue tie, breastfeeding a teething baby and weaning, among other things. Thank you so much to all of the BFN team.”

“Very welcoming and listened to my concerns, offered sound advice and I didn’t feel judged at all.”
“Invaluable service that has given me the confidence to carry on with my breastfeeding journey.”

“Very inviting, friendly and child friendly place to take my 18-month-old and ask about toddler breastfeeding… it was informative and supportive. Thank you very much.”

When does the group meet?

The group runs every first and third Friday of the month from 10am-12pm at the library. It’s a free, drop-in service so families can come at any time during the session and stay for as long as they would like. There are toys for older children to play with and the library provides a lovely setting with lots of beautiful books to help entertain children.

Where can I find out more about breastfeeding?

More information can be found at www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk and you can also follow-on social media. The BfN runs a number of support groups across the country and there are other local groups in Shrewsbury and Ludlow.

If you need to talk to someone about breastfeeding and can’t wait for a local group, the National Breastfeeding Helpline offers friendly, non-judgemental, independent, evidence based breastfeeding support and information to anyone in the UK who needs it – call 0300 100 0212.

Left to Right: Emily Evans, Nicola Manford, Melissa Everett, Rosie Koleva, Becky Higgins and Bex Bromley.