21 February 2022

Comfortable breastfeeding space for mothers

This February, we officially opened the new breastfeeding room at Royal South Hants, creating a comfortable space for mothers to breastfeed their newborn babies.

Last June as part of national breastfeeding week, Southampton Hospitals Charity launched a mini appeal to refurbish a room in Royal South Hants hospital next to the postnatal clinics.

New parents Lucy Wilcox and Peter Wheeler say: “Our baby Rosie is only eight days old, and she is my first. I’ve not fed her in public before, so the thought of feeding her at a hospital appointment was quite daunting.

This new room is so comfortable and private. This means a lot as I am not distracted by someone else walking along the corridor getting to their appointment while Rosie is trying to latch on. Thank you so much to everyone involved in this project. It is really appreciated.”

Clare Godden is the Baby Friendly Initiative Project Lead and an Infant Feeding Specialist for University Hospital Southampton. She says: “These mothers are in their very early days of having a baby and this is when they need the most support.

We do our feeding assessments in these breastfeeding clinics, offering reassurance and support. These rooms are very clinical and sometimes the appointment is shorter than a baby would like to feed for.

During those early days, and certainly for first-time breastfeeding mothers, it’s not comfortable to sit in a waiting room in the middle of a hospital with a newborn baby whilst learning how to breastfeed.

Having this room next to our clinics is invaluable.

Previously, the old storage room was run down with plastic chairs, and it wasn’t comfortable for our new mothers.

I want to thank Amiri Construction for painting the room for us. This gave us a fantastic canvas to use the hospital charity money to provide soft furnished chairs, artwork of other breastfeeding mothers, a radio to create an atmosphere, and toys for siblings to play with.

We wanted it to look more like a home-from-home environment. When mothers are more comfortable and relaxed, it increases the volume of milk the baby receives during the feed, making it a more enjoyable experience for both mother and baby.”

A special thank you to Clare, Sara Thomas, and Debbie for their work to make this room a reality, and of course, thank you so much to everyone who donated.

Learn more about the Baby Friendly initiative

The Baby Friendly Initiative is being implemented at University Hospital Southampton as part of a national project to improve the outcomes and experiences of both mother and baby. The Initiative will ensure our services are well equipped to support families with feeding and developing close and loving relationships so that all babies get the best possible start in life.

Images: Before, during and after!

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