It is widely accepted that breast milk is the best form of nutrition for babies. This is especially important for premature babies as, amongst other benefits, it can help to protect them against life threatening infections.
Between 2010 and 2012, Tiny Lives funded an 18 month project aimed at increasing the number of babies receiving breast milk on the unit. Central to the project was the employment of an Infant Feeding Support Lead Nurse who reviewed current practice and implemented a new support system which led to major improvements in the provision of breast milk for babies.
“Within a few weeks, there was a sharp rise in the number of babies receiving breast milk and this was maintained throughout the intervention period. Over 90% of our babies now receive their mother’s milk and twice as many now go home breast feeding.”
Prior to, and during the course of, this project Tiny Lives funded a number of pieces of vital equipment including specialist breast pumps that are particularly suited for mums of premature babies.
“Tiny Lives funding has helped us have the best breast feeding success in the region, and by demonstrating the importance of the role of an Infant Feeding Support Lead has enabled to secure permanent NHS funding for the post. None of that would have been possible without Tiny Lives support.”
As a result of the success of the project, the role of Infant Feeding Support Lead Nurse became mainstreamed in April 2012 and is now funded by the NHS. The project was also recognised by a High Commendation Award from the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Maternity (APPGM) in 2011.