Local Talk

Experiences of breastfeeding in Enfield

(10 Posts)
rhubarbcustard Thu 02-Jun-11 22:19:13

Hello,

I'm a trainee Breastfeeding Counsellor in Enfield and I'm working on two assignments about the services and range of people that influence mothers' experiences of breastfeeding. I'd be really interested to hear from Mumsnet Mums in the borough about the the things that influenced their decisions about baby feeding. It would also be good to know which shops, cafes and leisure facilities you think are particularly breastfeeding friendly.

Any thoughts on this would be very gratefully received. If you'd be happy to be quoted in an essay (anonymously, of course) then please indicate this. Many thanks!

Halfbaked Wed 15-Jun-11 09:47:34

Hi
I have a DD aged 9 mo and gave birth at Chase farm. I am breastfeeding and found that I got good support at Chase Farm, but I was on the Ridgeway Midwife led unit. I had 1:2:1 help and they wouldn't discharge me until she was feeding. I had a fairly easy birth and from anecdotal experience I think this helped. I visited the breastfeeding clinic a couple of times in the beginning to sort out latch etc. the staff there were Very helpful. I did get the impression it was just for newborn babies. It's more advice, than a social group.
The visiting Midwife was great and very supportive, she continued her visits longer than ordinary as we got thrush in the second week.
I had generally good advice from health visitors at St Michaels when I got my DD weighed but didn't feel they had enough knowledge to support me. One health visitor gave me wrong advice, which as well as being upsetting could have detrimentally affected my supply. I phoned the breastfeeding helpline and used MN as I didn't believe what she had told me.
The lack of support in the Enfield borough comes after the initial few weeks, I found it impossible to find any support groups and no other mums who were feeding after 6 months or so. I ended up travelling to Edmonton to join a group to get support when I was trying to sort out expressing and returning to work. I only wish I'd found them 8 months earlier!
I haven't had any problems feeding out and about in Enfield.
Hope this helps, happy to be quoted or contacted if need anything else.

Jcee Sun 19-Jun-11 14:29:40

I have a DD who is 18mo. I was booked into the midwife led unit at chase farm and attended a breastfeeding workshop about a month before I gave birth, which to be honest was disappointing. The session was very theory based and we had to do lots of group work writing pros and cons on flip charts rather than practcal advice and signposting to potential support post birth and as a first time mother I left feeling none the wiser.

I was later told the session i attended was not run by the usual lady and a replacement found at the last minute so i suspect maybe that was why it wasnt up to the usual standard.

Despite being booked into the ridgeway centre, for a variety of reasons I ended up having DD by EMCS just before Christmas, which I think affected my experience massively.

Breasting feeding support on the post natal ward was mixed - it depended massively on the midwives and they were very very busy and rushed. Some were hugely helpful and supportive, others less so even when I was asking for help. Breastfeeding was encouraged but you were pretty much left to your own devices, which was scary as a new mum, in discomfort from an emcs and not sure what I was supposed to be doing

I was discharged on Christmas eve and the midwives who visited me at home were supportive and helpful, although outside of those visits getting support over the Christmas period proved difficult.

Whilst I did breastfeed initially, i moved onto formula after a week. All in all I felt totally unprepared for how difficult it would be and i was in pain and i found it hard to get support and advice and was panicking about what to do. I also hadn't discovered mumsnet at that time smile

I'd echo the comments from half-baked about the HVs at st michaels - whilst knowledgable on lots of issues they didnt seem to be fully supportive of breastfeeding and I was encouraged to formula feed to maintain DDs weight.

I've seen lots of women feeding in Enfield so I don't think there is an issue with availability of breastfeeding Friendly facilities.

Hope this is useful, am happy to be quoted.

rhubarbcustard Mon 20-Jun-11 22:17:55

Thank you both very much for sharing your experiences - I really appreciate this and it's useful to hear what you thought about the antenatal and postnatal support available. It's also interesting that you both mention the ways in which you found your experiences of the birth of your babies affected your experiences of breastfeeding.

Would be great to hear the thoughts of other Enfield Mums out there as well. Thanks again for your help.

MagnusCat Sat 25-Jun-11 23:09:11

I had a daughter in July 2010. She's my second child, and had a bad experience of breastfeeding with first child, a hungry boy. With him (born 2008), I was in Barnet hospital and didn't get any help after the very first feed. I asked the midwives who visited in the first week, as he was crying all the time because wasn't getting enough milk, and they all said he was latching on fine. I kept asking because it didn't feel comfortable. After enduring agony feeding him, I went to the breastfeeding clinic at the hospital, and was told he wasn't getting enough breast when latching on, although he was getting milk, so I was advised how to correct it. I did this, but I was so miserable with the pain that I just wanted to stop, so I did at 6 weeks. My life improved dramatically and baby and I were much happier as he wasn't so hungry all the time.

So with daughter, didn't want a repeat. She was born in Chase Farm on the maternity ward and didn't get any help there at all. I went to the breastfeeding clinic there when she was 3 days old, and was told she latched on very fast, which surprised me as it seemed slower than my son! Very helpful at the clinic, showed me what to do and watched me try. Went back when she was two weeks old to check it was still ok, and was slightly corrected. Over the following weeks, I had some advice from a woman at a playgroup who was a fanatical advocate of breastfeeding. While this seemed helpful at first, it wasn't really as she gave the impression she thought that any pain was due to me and i should be able to easily correct it. Also, when I asked about expressing, she thought this was a bad idea and that I should breast feed exclusively for at least 6 months as it wasn't really that long a time. Didn't help, but I tried expressing when she was about 3 months old. She took the bottle, but I got blisters next time she breastfed, so it put me off trying. Then when I tried a bottle again, aged about 5 months, she wouldn't take it. I had a few periods of pain after the initial few weeks, especially just before weaning as she was so hungry. But am still feeding her at 11 months and haven't had any problems since weaning at 5 months. Just hoping now that she will drop breastfeeding in the next few months, so may be seeking more help about that!

Haven't had any problems feeding when out. I have only fed her in cafes, libraries, parks, and playgroups. Equally no place has gone out of its way to encourage it.

Happy to be quoted or contacted for any more.

MagnusCat Sat 25-Jun-11 23:17:35

Just remembered that before son was born, we had a session at antenatal classes by an NCT breastfeeding councellor. She made it sound easy, and that as long as the baby latched on properly, there would be no pain and it would all be perfect. Everyone in the group wanted to breastfeed, but most didn't last long. The impression she gave was different to most people's experience, and certainly to mine. I called her when son a few days old, but she wouldn't come round (despite saying in the class that she would do this), so she couldn't really help over the phone. Was very disappointed by help I got with son from professionals as they didn't seem to know what they were talking about, ie that baby was latching on correctly when he wasn't. Only the breastfeeding clinic was any help.

Mum2PandT Thu 30-Jun-11 18:55:01

Both children born at Chase Farm. Did the breastfeeding workshop while pregnant with child number 1 in 2006. I now look back on the workshop as brainwashing. I was all for breastfeeding. However, I was not particularly well after an unexpected c-section birth and was discharged after a whole day waiting around Hertford Ward after giving up my bed on day 4 with a baby who had slept all day and not fed. When I had asked for advice from a midwife, I was told "just let her sleep" and "don't worry". Did not have a good supply and desperately tried to continue, which was not working well. I felt bullied and guilt-tripped (if that's a word) by the mixture of the breastfeeding workshop and midwives I met. I think everyone should try, even for a few days, but if it doesn't work and is distressing the mother, then support for bottle feeding should be offered. Breast feeding was a little better with baby number 2 in 2008 and I felt confident as a second time mum on when to start mixed feeding and when to switch to the bottle.

Mollcat Mon 22-Aug-11 19:14:46

In terms of breastfeeding services, I attended the antenatal breastfeeding workshop at Chase Farm and really wanted to breastfeed. I had difficulties when my baby was born. I sought help from 3 midwives on Hertford Ward, two members of the infant feeding team/BFCs at Chase Farm, 3 community midwives and my health visitor, and attended the breastfeeding support group at Chase Farm/Barnet 4 times. Despite us having classic and obvious symptoms, no-one spotted he was tongue-tied. Pretty rubbish really.

At nearly 14 weeks I am still trying to establish breastfeeding with him but it's only the fact that I thought to express as much as I could and have paid for help that means I have any chance of even partially breastfeeding him (directly) at some stage.

rhubarbcustard Sun 04-Sep-11 13:30:51

Just wanted to thank you all very much for your helpful contributions. I am in the process of writing this up and have managed to collect views from lots of local mothers, which is invaluable.

Sending lots of good wishes to you and your babies.

missmimi Sat 14-Jan-12 03:09:09

I am trying to find breastfeeding support in Enfield/Wichmore Hill area for a friend and have drawn a blank, any ideas? am skeptical of the Chase Farm unit as in my experience midwives and health visitors are often ill informed, although it is obviously dangerous to generalize.

I live in Bournemouth and we are lucky enough to have several trained breastfeeding support councilors in the area and groups running through the week. I have trained as a peer support worker for our local group and feel they are a wonderful resource in terms of practical information and support and advice from other mums.

I think that its a disgrace that the NHS pushes breastfeeding but will not roll out this kind of government funded support nationwide, especially when long term the effects of breastfeeding save the nation health millions. I certainly could not have carried on feeding for so long without it.
its not just a service mums can benefit from initially but through all stages of feeding (growth spurts/sleeping/weaning/teething/return to work/expressing etc etc)

I had huge problems in the beginning-a baby who wouldn't feed, latch problems and searing pain. The hospital, my midwife and HV all missed the fact that my baby had oral thrush and tongue tie which was quickly sorted on one visit to my breastfeeding councilor, who diagnosed and referred me to the appropriate help-even making the appointments for me.

I was also told that my baby wasn't feeding for long enough by HVs and so was scared that my milk was inefficient, a common misconception, but was reassured by my councilor that some babys just drain the breast fast and that low milk supply is incredibly rare all of which my very bonny baby is testament to!

more than anything I think it is so useful to meet other mums going through a similar situation- I was terrified of feeding in public until I went out for a coffee with some more experienced mums from my BF group.
I now go regularly to help out and socialize more than anything else.

breastfeeding is hard at times, especially in the first 6 weeks... but it is also very rewarding and I am glad to have stuck with it, especially for those all important first 6 months. And now we are weaning I am glad we dont have the hassle of sorting out and preparing bottles along with everything else!

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