Overcoming language barriers to provide breastfeeding support

Read how our breastfeeding peer supporters are using their skills to support parents using different languages.

Lockdown created many different challenges for new parents. We’re hearing of reduced access to healthcare professionals, increased isolation and loneliness, as family contact has reduced and parents of babies have found support more difficult to access.

We expanded the range of languages we can offer breastfeeding support in to reach more parents.

We’ve been working hard to continue to support parents and focused our efforts on digital technology like zoom – an easy way for families to access support.

But what about those families who have English as a second or even third language? Finding support has been even more challenging for them. We’ve recognised this and actively looked into ways to address this and reduce this health inequality.

Our most recent round of breastfeeding peer support training, which pulled together our five breastfeeding peer support projects across the country, trained peers from a variety of different backgrounds. You can see some of our lovely breastfeeding peer supporters below (L-R: Sabina, Sadia and Audrey).

We expanded the range of languages we can offer breastfeeding support in to reach, digitally at first, more parents.

Range of languages

As the five projects worked together more, the peer supporters and managers realised we could create a database of languages spoken by our supporters. And that any peer supporter from any project could support a mum in another project. This has been applauded by the commissioners we work alongside. We can now offer peer support in Catalan/Spanish, Dutch, German, Mandarin, Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi, French, Korean, Gujarati and Polish.

Find out more about NCT’s breastfeeding peer support training

Find a Baby Café near you

Read about the Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme