Breastfeeding mums celebrate 'Baby Friendly' Evelina London

Posted on Tuesday 21st November 2017
Breastfeeding accreditation certificate ceremony

Left to right: Breastfeeding coordinator, Clarissa Georgestone, Councillor Maisie Anderson, breastfeeding coordinator, Jane Love and health visiting nurse manager, Irene Addo display the Certificate for Stage 1 Accreditation from UNICEF UK.

Evelina London community health visitors held an afternoon of celebrations this month to mark achievements by the team over the past year.

Breastfeeding mums in Southwark celebrated with community health visitors and children’s centre staff at a graduation ceremony for new and retrained breastfeeding peer helpers. Breastfeeding peer helpers are women who have breastfed their children and have been trained by the Breastfeeding Network to provide practical information and emotional support to other mums who want to breastfeed their babies. 

Councillor Maisie Anderson, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Social Regeneration, attended the ceremony on Thursday 9 November, to present certificates to women who support other breastfeeding mums.

Councillor Anderson said: "It's really important that we support women who want to give breastfeeding a go. The health visiting team, with the support of local children’s centres, have worked really hard to make sure that new mums and babies across Southwark receive the highest standards of care. As a new mum myself, I know first-hand how important it is to be offered expert advice and support when you have a new baby.”

Dorcas Titilola Adesanya, a volunteer breastfeeding peer helper, has supported women to breastfeed since 2005 when she attended a breastfeeding café in Peckham with her child. Dorcas re-graduated from the programme at the recent celebration, having undertaken more training. She said: “When I went to the breastfeeding café as a new mum I realised that I wanted to help other mums to achieve their breastfeeding goals so I signed up to become a volunteer peer helper and I haven’t looked back!

“I give nutritional advice as well as helping mums with techniques to help them breastfeed. Mums often come to me and are frustrated that they are not able to breastfeed as well as they would like so I try to make sure they are happy when they leave.”

Celebrations were also held to mark Evelina London’s health visiting service in Southwark receiving Stage 1 Accreditation of UNICEF’s (United Nations Children’s Fund) Baby Friendly Initiative. The award is given to health visiting services, with the support of children’s centres, for promoting and supporting breastfeeding and training staff to support women to breastfeed successfully.

Jane Love, a breastfeeding coordinator for Evelina London Community Services based at the Aylesbury Health Centre, said: “We’re here to help and support women so they can successfully breastfeed for six months and beyond, if they want to. All of our health visitors and child development staff are being trained to the highest standards in order to give mums the one-to-one support they need.”

Evelina London's breastfeeding support cafés are open every day of the week across Southwark in Bermondsey and Rotherhithe, Camberwell, Peckham and Dulwich. All pregnant women and new mothers are welcome.