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District provides virtual breastfeeding support

New virtual breastfeeding support and information sessions available from home. 

New mother receiving virtual breastfeeding support from a midwife.
SydneyConnect Image: Clinical Nurse Educator Wendy Smith

Families in Sydney Local Health District now have enhanced support, with a new virtual breastfeeding education program for those with newborn babies available from the comfort of home.

Mum Kimberly had no issues breastfeeding her first child, but signed up for a Virtual Breastfeeding Support and Information Session when she realised the experience would be different with baby number two.

“Each baby has so many individual differences. The session was very reassuring and really helped me to focus on this baby,” she said.

The interactive sessions offer early breastfeeding information and support for parents, mothers or carers with newborns up to two-months-old. They are run by Child and Family Health Nurses from the District’s Child and Family Health Clinics.

“We know that new mums can be exhausted and it can be hard for them to make their appointments. They can be physically sore, have other children to look after and not be able to drive,” Wendy Smith, a Clinical Nurse Educator who oversees the program, said.

“The advantages of the clients attending this session is that they can learn and ask questions virtually, without having to leave the home – especially in winter or rain, and with the risk of COVID-19 and influenza,” she said.

Attending a virtual session helped new mum Nadine gain the knowledge she needed to breastfeed her two-week-old daughter.

“I was hesitant at first, but I walked away with so many skills and didn’t have to stress about not looking decent. There was so much to learn from the comfort of my own home,” she said.

The topics discussed during each session include breastfeeding position and attachment, baby’s feeding and other cues, how to tell if a baby is getting enough milk and maternal self-care and nutrition. It’s also an opportunity for participants to share their experiences, challenges and successes.

“We have received feedback that these sessions increase a client’s confidence in their feeding and understanding their baby’s behaviour and needs. Not all babies are the same age and everyone is supportive of each other. We answer lots of questions and direct people to further supports or resources and participants learn it’s okay to have these challenges,” Wendy said.

The District is highlighting the program as it marks World Breastfeeding Week for 2022. This year’s theme is “Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support. The week focuses on strengthening the capacity of people and institutions to protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of society

“The Virtual Breastfeeding Support and Information Session is wonderful initiative that gives greater access to supports for clients. We are looking forward to offering more nursing education and support options online, in more languages, to help our clients get the support long term that they need,” Kim Dunlop, Nursing Unit Manager Canterbury Child and Family Health Nursing, said.

To book a Virtual Breastfeeding Support and Information Session, please call the Child Health Information Link on (02) 9562 5400 from 830am – 4pm Monday to Friday.