On 5 December 2017, Burstow Babies, an infant feeding drop-in clinic that runs daily at East Surrey Hospital celebrated its first birthday. Held in the dining room on Burstow Ward, Burstow Babies provides infant feeding advice and support for parents. In their first year, the Burstow Babies team have helped 568 parents and their babies.
Parents can attend Burstow Babies, by appointment, from six hours after leaving hospital, and the team offer support to parents of babies born at East Surrey Hospital as well as babies born at other hospitals, if they live in the local area, or have had a homebirth.
Sam Rush, Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) project and infant feeding lead midwife, who, along with two infant feeding support workers runs Burstow Babies, said: “The Burstow Babies specialist feeding service is part of our baby friendly initiative and we are delighted how much we have been able to do so far.
“Any parent who experiences feeding difficulties when they go home with their baby simply needs to call and arrange an appointment to meet with the team.
“We provide support for up to 28 days after they have given birth – some parents attend five or six times and we also offer support over the phone. On average we see nearly 60 women a month.”
To celebrate their first birthday the Burstow Babies team invited parents past and present who have benefited from the support to a special party and get together over tea and cake.
Sam added: “It is great to see how popular Burstow Babies has become – providing support and encouraging parents to build a friendship network of other new parents around them when infant feeding.
Janice Blythman, midwife and tongue-tie specialist, who runs a weekly tongue-tie clinic, said: “If needed, parents who visit the Burstow Babies team can be referred to the tongue tie clinic if, for example, positioning attachment when breastfeeding is difficult, it could be that their baby may have a tongue tie.
Thea Mason, 28, from Caterham, who used the Burstow Babies support after the birth of her daughter Winifred, said: “I had my heart set on breastfeeding. However, my daughter, Winifred, was born by emergency caesarean and was tiny.
”My midwife recommended Burstow Babies. Without the support from the team I wouldn’t have been able to breastfeed for the first month and I can’t thank them enough.
“I could not have done it without them. They are priceless and made a big difference.”
Maggie Doherty, 32, from Crawley, who attended the birthday celebrations with her baby Johnny Mulji, who is just four weeks old, also thanked the team: “The success of my baby’s weight gain is down to the support of the team with feeding. I wanted to breastfeed exclusively. I came into the hospital after a home birth and Burstow Babies was recommended to me – Johnny weighed 10lbs 2oz at birth and now weighs 11lb 8oz.
“They gave me practical and simple advice and this empowered me. It’s a great way to meet other mums.”
New parents can contact Burstow Babies to make an appointment on 01737 768 511 x6316/ x6317/ x1653.