Sanjima DeZoysa, NCT’s Parent Content Manager, tells us why she’s so proud of her local NCT branch and the re-opening of an invaluable breastfeeding drop-in service for parents.
‘I was delighted and incredibly proud to join my local NCT branch, Twickenham, Hounslow and District, at the end of September for the re-opening of a local breastfeeding drop-in service.
An average of eight women attend each week and the drop-in has helped over 370 families in the past year.
The drop-in is open to all parents (whether NCT members or not) and offers one-to-one, non-judgmental breastfeeding support, over a cup of tea.This lifeline service for parents closed in August due to a lack of funding.
It re-opened thanks to the hard work and determination of volunteers from the branch and NCT breastfeeding counsellors, Liz Lambourn and Geraldine Chew, who run the weekly drop-in service.
Together they secured a £10,000 National Lottery grant from the Big Lottery Fund.
The importance of the re-opening was emphasised by MP for Twickenham, Rt Hon Sir Vince Cable’s support and presence on the day (pictured with Liz Lambourn and Geraldine Chew).
“I firmly believe that this is a service that every mother and baby should be able to access, whether they need breastfeeding support or simply a place to meet and be reassured by other mums,” he said.
“I’m delighted to re-open the Twickenham Green breastfeeding drop-in and wish the branch the very best as they continue to provide valuable support and guidance over the coming year.”
I know personally how valuable a service like this can be. I struggled to breastfeed my daughter and hit an all time low when her weight kept dropping and I experienced terrible pain whenever I tried to feed her.
I remember the exact moment sitting in our old flat, feeding her, wincing in pain with tears streaming down my face knowing that I couldn’t go on like this.
The memory – now almost seven years old – can still stir up emotions for me today.
I will never forget my feeling of despair and the look of concern on my husband’s face as he watched me. He encouraged me to find out about local feeding support services. The next day I went to a local breastfeeding drop-in service where I met Liz.
She watched me feeding and used her knowledge and experience to help me figure out what was going wrong. If it wasn’t for her support and understanding, my breastfeeding journey would have ended there.
The drop-in allowed me to find a way to feed my daughter that suited us both – emotionally and physically
I ended up mixed feeding my daughter and I know that the drop-in made a huge difference to my early months as a parent.
I met Liz again recently at Twickenham and Hounslow branch’s AGM and I told her about how we first met. I actually wanted to hug her!
Her amazing work has continued since I first met her, as she was highly commended in the category ‘Practitioner of the year’ in our national NCT Stars Awards.
I couldn’t be happier that my local branch has secured funding to re-open the breastfeeding drop-in and that other parents will have feeding support when they need it the most.’
We’ve got lots of support and information about feeding on our website.
You can also watch our video on finding support with breastfeeding by clicking here.
If you have questions or concerns, whether you’re exclusively breastfeeding, using formula milk or both, call our feeding helpline on 0300 330 0700.