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Hospital lockdown service for new mums praised

Posted onPosted on 3rd Sep

The Infant Feeding Team at Sherwood Forest Hospitals Trust, which runs Newark Hospital and King’s Mill Hospital, Sutton, has been commended by a leading charity for children, UNICEF BFI, for its good practice throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Following the pandemic and the need to still help new parents with breast feeding their newborns, the team adapted its services to ensure it could still provide care to families in need.

Non-essential home visits were suspended locally on 17th March, with many onsite clinics and face-to-face appointments moved to telephone consultations and appointments.

However, the Infant Feeding team ­— two specialist midwives and six healthcare support workers — did everything it could to ensure breastfeeding infants who needed clinical assessments or treatment for tongue tie could be seen face-to-face either in the community or hospital setting.

Specialist midwife for infant feeding, Natalie Boxall, said: “We know how important it is for new parents to get the right support with breastfeeding, so we worked hard to run the service in a safe way for everyone.

“Our community midwives and healthcare support workers were supplied with PPE so that they could see families in their own homes if they needed to, whilst we also set up a safe clinic at the hospital for parents to visit once their baby had been assessed.

“It worked really well and we were so pleased that we could continue to provide this essential service during such uncertain times.

“We hope it made a real difference to the families who were referred to the tongue tie service.”

One new mum who benefited from the service continuing was Megan Bajaj and her newborn baby girl, Ameila, who came to the clinic twice during lockdown.

She said: “The process of coming in was really easy. The first time I came to the clinic we had a chat on the phone beforehand so I knew what to expect and that I could only come alone, everyone was in PPE and socially distancing, so I felt safe. It was decided that we didn’t need the tongue tie procedure doing at first and I was just given some advice and help with feeding.

“However, the following week I had a really bad feeding week with Ameila, so I rang the clinic again and they said to come in the next day. They were all so helpful and put me at ease. The procedure was explained really well to me and I was given some great advice and told about support groups and online Facebook groups, which I could join to talk to others in a similar situation.

“It really helped, especially during lockdown and I’m really grateful that they were able to keep this service running throughout the pandemic.”

More about infant feeding and the support available is at