1,000 signatures reached
To: Kent County Council
Save Kent's Breastfeeding Services
Keep dedicated breastfeeding services available for families who need support.
Ensure that all breastfeeding families who need to see a breastfeeding specialist can access this service in a location close to their home and within a short time frame.
Why is this important?
Kent County Council are cutting funding to breastfeeding support services in the community. Because their new plans involve severely cutting the number of specialist clinics, these plans will most likely significantly affect the quality of the support that women can expect to receive. In addition, this will mean that fewer women will be able to attend appointments and receive the support they need. Specialist clinics are being cut from 17 to 4. Last year the clinics had 5593 visits.
The quicker a breastfeeding family sees a breastfeeding specialist, the more chance they have of continuing to breastfeed.
After withdrawing the original consultation in August 2017, Kent County Council Have now released a revised proposal and consultation document and questionnaire. Please visit the following website to have your say on the new consultation. https://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/InfantFeeding
Unfortunately, despite saying that they would listen and respond to the concerns of the public, there is very little that is different in the new proposal. The number of specialist clinics remains at 4 for the whole of Kent, offering a total of 100 appointments a month, which is not enough to meet the needs of parents who need specialist support. We urge Kent County Council to provide a service that is local, frequent, open access and specialised so that breastfeeding families continue to get the good quality support they need.
Find all the latest on the campaign at www.keepkentbreastfeeding.org
You can read the experiences of women who have benefited from the service here:
"My daughter had severe colic at birth and a midwife at the hospital pressured me to top her up with formula. I felt uncomfortable with it and went to the group for help in determining the best way forward. By 5 weeks she was completely off formula and I continued to go to the groups weekly. Through frequent bouts of mastitis, a posterior tongue tie that we chose not to have snipped, plus multiple massive emotional upheavals in my life, with the support of the group I breastfed my daughter to the age of 2. I could not have done so without this group in fact I wouldn't have made it to 3 months.
To take this away would be to take away a desperately needed support to mothers and babies for all kinds of issues".
- Emma, Deal
"The fact that I had access to such support meant I could feed my babies for as much as I could for a whole year (my family norm was 3 months). A delay in seeing a LC would have meant that I would not have been aware of our problems, what to look out for and how to change it".
- Stacey, Ramsgate
"I would not have been able to continue breastfeeding without the peer support groups. My son's latch was never quite right so he badly damaged my nipples from the beginning. Every feed was torture and I would dread when he would be hungry again. I saw health visitors and midwives who all said his latch was fine and because he was getting milk and putting on weight there wasn't much more advice they could give. They didn't have time with everything else they needed to check with each visit. With the peer support groups, you have the opportunity to meet women who understand exactly what you are going through. The mothers I met through the groups gave me advice and hope. It takes away the loneliness and isolation that can come with breastfeeding. The peer supporters themselves were welcoming, knowledgeable and so helpful. In the group situation, there is time for them to talk to you, to get to know you, to build up a relationship with you week after week which is so vitally important when dealing with something so intimate and so personal. I still breastfeed my son today and he is 2 years old. This is directly because of the wonderful support of the breastfeeding peer support groups. The thought of having another child one day without the support of these group fills me with dread and sadness".
- Victoria, Thanet