New mums can get free advice about breastfeeding and meet other young mothers who are at similar stages in their postnatal journey at a new drop-in clinic run by student midwives and tutors in Leicester.
DMU students Saara Sam and Zoe Richards with lecturer Rachel Wells (centre)
Midwifery students from De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) are offering guidance and support to mums in the wider community at a weekly breastfeeding clinic on Monday afternoons.
The two-hour session takes place at the Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living's West End Centre in Andrewes Street, above the Chef and Spice restaurant in Hinckley Road, between 1pm and 3pm.
Rachel Wells, senior lecturer in the School of Midwifery, says the sessions aim to tackle some of the challenges common to new mothers in the early days and weeks of feeding in a bid to increase the number of mums who persevere with it.
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"Research shows that around 74 per cent of mothers begin to breastfeed their new baby but that figures falls to about 45 per cent after six weeks," Mrs Wells explains. "Our aim is to support women who want to breastfeed and may struggle with soreness or concerns about milk supply. These are things that can easily be rectified with plenty of support in the early days."
The sessions are also a useful addition to the Midwifery students' community and hospital and birthing centres placements, which already amount to around half of the time spent on the course, she added.
The second and third-year Midwifery students plan and run the sessions themselves - helping their organisation skills - with supervision from a qualified midwife from DMU's Midwifery course leaders.
Tea and coffee is available during the sessions, with the idea of creating a relaxed and comfortable space for new mums to share their experiences.
A brand new initiative this year, the clinic started five weeks ago with the intention of this continuing every Monday throughout the year during term times. The clinics will return in January 2017 once the students are back from the winter break.
"This is an extra service which we think can be very useful and informative to the wider community and we just need to spread the word now to let as many new mums as possible know about the sessions," Mrs Wells said.
The clinic is being supported by the #DMUlocal team, part of the university's Square Mile scheme which involves student volunteers in various off-campus projects in the city.
To find out more about the sessions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0116 201 3823.
Posted on Thursday 22nd December 2016