Advice at the touch of your mobile telephone

NEW ADDITIONS: Some of the latest wave of volunteers who have qualified as breastfeeding peer supporters

NEW ADDITIONS: Some of the latest wave of volunteers who have qualified as breastfeeding peer supporters

First published in News Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Photograph of the Author by , Dorchester reporter

COUNTY: A new smart phone app is being launched in Dorset to mark World Breastfeeding Week.

Dorset HealthCare has unveiled its new Breast Start app, which offers local mothers and pregnant women a 24-hour resource for breastfeeding advice.

The trust’s breastfeeding support team hope the tool will become a means of sharing information with young mums and hard to reach individuals who may otherwise feel isolated after having a baby.

The Breast Start app gives information about the benefits of breastfeeding, how to breastfeed and express milk, safe sleeping and details of local breastfeeding support groups at the touch of a button.

As well as launching the new app, the breastfeeding support team is also celebrating the second wave of volunteers to qualify as Breastfeeding Peer Supporters following a seven-week Open College Network training course. Caroline Baddiley, Dorset HealthCare’s breastfeeding educator, explained: “We have 17 volunteers who have successfully completed their training, bringing the total number of volunteer peer supporters at the trust to 25.”

The training course is proving to be very popular and the mothers recruited are keen to support and promote breastfeeding locally, with the aim of improving breastfeeding rates in the area.

All the peer volunteers are subject to robust regulation, supervision and support from the trust and not only do they gain a nationally recognised qualification, but they also benefit from various opportunities for further volunteer work and employment.

Caroline added: “We offer at least four places per training intake specifically to teenage mothers, as this age group is known to have lower breastfeeding uptake and poorer health outcomes for both mother and child.” Dorset HealthCare’s breastfeeding training courses run twice a year, with the next course set to start in September at the Southbourne Children’s Centre.

For details email claire. wakefield@dhuft.nhs.uk or visit dorsethealthcare.nhs.uk/breastfeeding.

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