Local breastfeeding counsellors Liz Lambourn and Geraldine Chew have been running infant feeding support drop-ins in their local area for over two decades, and have been busier than ever during the pandemic.
Seven years ago, Liz and Geraldine set up the weekly NCT branch-funded Twickenham Green breastfeeding and infant feeding drop-in to support local parents. In January they were thrilled that a further grant from Awards for All National Lottery will secure this vital service for a further year.
Additionally they continue to run four NCT Baby Cafés, commissioned by Hounslow Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which provide dedicated, professional infant feeding support across Hounslow.
Since the first lockdown in March last year, Liz and Geraldine have provided remote support to over 900 mums
Since the first lockdown in March last year, Liz and Geraldine have provided remote support to over 900 mums. This has been at all hours of the day, taking referrals from Health Visitors and via the branch. They have been checking in with parents via phone, video, Zoom Q&A sessions, texts and emails.
What’s more, the NCT contract with Hounslow CCG to provide infant feeding support for new mums has been renewed for a further year, in no small part due to Liz and Geraldines’ hard work and commitment.
Liz and Geraldine say their job is immensely rewarding, and they would not be able to carry out such valuable support without a dedicated team of local NCT branch volunteers and the rest of the NCT team.
Here are just a few of the things mums who they’ve helped have said:
‘I would just like to thank you for the support provided for me over the phone by Liz and Geraldine. Having someone who I could relate to was so helpful. I will definitely call back with more questions to do with breastfeeding if and when needed. After the phone calls I felt happier, especially with this year. Just having someone to laugh a little with was great.’
‘As a first time mum during lockdown I have been able to get advice and reassurance from Liz at short notice on a range of issues which has given me the confidence and skills to establish and maintain a successful breastfeeding relationship with my son. You’ve been amazing by constantly following up with texts and phone calls, and didn’t think I was just another paranoid mum.’
‘I have been suffering from recurrent mastitis. Geraldine helped me to improve my condition and we even had two video calls to check how my baby was latching. I want to thank Geraldine for her great support and advice in these last few weeks. She has great experience and is always available to help. It’s nice to know you have someone to rely on especially during this difficult Covid period.’
‘Liz was truly excellent from the outset. She regularly checked up on me and sought to provide support in meaningful ways – which I particularly appreciated as everything was remote. She talked through the various options with me, and explored my wishes and feelings around feeding. Liz was able to leverage on her considerable experience to then provide extremely useful guidance that I was able to explore further in my own time.’
Thank you so much Liz and Geraldine, from everyone at NCT!
If you have any questions, concerns or need support – however you’re feeding your baby – you can speak to our friendly breastfeeding counsellors free of charge by calling our support line on 0300 330 0700. The line is open every day from 8am to midnight, including bank holidays.