Prosthetics/Anatomy | United Kingdom

How You Can Help New Mums in UK Learn to Breastfeed

Baby Lifeline UK

Baby Lifeline in the UK is seeking knitted or crocheted breasts for their midwives and breastfeeding volunteers to use for attachment education. Can you help?

My kiddos are, as of this writing, 18 and 12. My breastfeeding days are thus LONG behind me. However… I still remember my anxious early days of attempting to breastfeed my younger daughter.

While pregnant, I read all the literature. I was convinced that breastfeeding was the best way to nurture my newborn. (Also, it was the cheapest. Formula ain’t cheap, folks!) So I wanted very much to breastfeed until my sweeties hit the 12-month mark.

But it wasn’t easy. (Possible TMI alert!)

For some reason, my younger wasn’t able to latch on correctly. She had a “shallow” latch, and as a result, breastfeeding became very painful. I was in agony, and I was also in despair.

I also couldn’t figure out why I was having so much trouble when I hadn’t had any major issues nursing my older daughter!

Finally I decided to call a lactation consultant. She was a nursing-savior! She figured out the problems I was having and showed me how to solve them. If it hadn’t been for her, I probably would have given up on nursing.

newborn

Don’t get me wrong! I’m not hyper-fanatic about nursing. I know that bottle feeding can be a perfectly viable option. And I also know that many women have been made to feel like failures because they weren’t able to nurse. But my issue was quite minor; I just didn’t know how to fix the problem.

I do think it’s likely that more women would breastfeed for longer periods of time if they were armed with the right knowledge, like I was.

So when Hayley McCaffery of Baby Lifeline (based in the UK) contacted me, asking for knitted breasts to help midwives teach new mothers about attachment, I was intrigued!

Baby Lifeline: Helping New Parents and Newborns with Best Possible Outcomes

Baby Lifeline is a UK charity that works to take care of the needs of pregnant women, new mothers, and newborns. They do this in a variety of ways, from helping hospitals get the best and most updated equipment needed for maternity departments, to offering training for many different kinds of obstetric professionals.

One particular task they have taken on is providing the best possible outcome with deliveries outside the hospital, both planned and unplanned. Baby Lifeline has been offering training to community midwives, paramedics, and obstetricians.

Baby Lifeline midwife bag
Community Midwife Bag
Photo: Baby Lifeline

And in particular they have taken to assembly Community Midwife Bags. These are rucksack-style bags with compartments and color codes, equipped with adjustable straps and (optional) wheels. They hold anything from scissors to cut the cord to hats and towels to dry and warm newborn babies. The bags also hold emergency equipment just in case.

Knitters and Crocheters to the Rescue!

These bags lead us to why Hayley reached out to me. Baby Lifeline would like to include knitted or crocheted breasts to these bags. The idea is to use these breasts as visual aids to help new mothers learn about attachment for breastfeeding. As I discovered with my daughter, this isn’t always as simple a process as one would like it to be!

Baby Lifeline knitted breasts
Knitted breasts example
Photo: Baby Lifeline

If you’re interested in knitting or crocheting “breasts” for this venture, you can find the patterns on this page. Just scroll down until you see the “Download Knitting [or Crochet] Pattern” heading, then click to access.

This page will also show you where you can send your donations to. Or, if you live near their Balsall Common office, you can drop your donations off there instead (and save on postage!).

I’m so excited to share this initiative and help new mothers in the UK get their babies off to the best possible start with breastfeeding education. If you feel led to help, I hope you will! It’s such a fantastic way to help both new mothers and new babies.

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