The first week of August saw the return of Breast Feeding week, with events happening all around the world to celebrate the wonderful natural nurture women bring to their children. The Skelmersdale and Ormskirk Breastfeeding Support group ran an event to celebrate this.
We caught up with Sophie Skilling, Mum of 3, and the person who runs the group, to find out more about the Skelmersdale and Ormskirk Breastfeeding Support group and the event itself.
Sophie set up the group in 2017 after having her third child. She said “I looked about for baby group local to me in Skelmersdale and soon came to realise that unless you had money to pay for 6 week block sessions of baby classes , there wasn’t anything. Skelmersdale used to have 3 beautiful children’s centres with wonderful fun filled time tables and support groups for families. But all the funding had been lost, there was nothing.”
This made her think! Sophie continued “Being a breastfeeding mum of three children I felt I could help in some way .Knowing how lonely being it can be in those early months after giving birth I knew how essential baby groups where. They were a saving grace for me.”
Sophie contacted Helen Watson, Senior Practitioner at the Children & Family Wellbeing Centre, Barnes Road, Skelmersdale and after a few conversations, decided to set up a Skelmersdale and Ormskirk breastfeeding support group. She says “Helen fully support me and said I could use the facility at Barnes Road free of charge every week and a member of her team would be on hand to assist me.”
Inviting the local Health visitors and community midwifes to a consultation meeting, Sophie let them know what she was planning and get their support.FAB (family and babies ) offered to support the group also and gave Sophie the breastfeeding peer support training she would need to support other Mums .
Reflecting on the success of the group, Sophie modestly says “The groups been a huge success, with 10-15+ Mums every week and more Mums doing their peer support training so they can support breastfeeding Mums too. Health visitors and Midwifes regularly attend, guest speakers attend to talk about all baby related topics, all with a cup of tea and slice of cake. And it’s all free! It’s a much bigger success than I could ever believe but that just shows me how needed it was.”
Sophie has been justly rewarded for her huge accomplishment and has landed a paid role in the infant feeding team for St Helens council as a breastfeeding support worker. She started that role 4 weeks ago and has just been blown away with the difference this group has made to her individually and all involved and the Big Latch on event is just a part of this success.
Talking about the event, Sophie says “The big latch event takes place every year. At a certain time, across the world, breastfeeding Mums get together and latch their babies and there’s a global count.
I was asked by FAB and the infant feeding team for West Lancashire if I would be interested in holding a big latch at my Friday group and I was honoured. So on the 3rd August after lots of advising and promoting, the event was a huge success with 25 Mums latching at 10.30 and 39 people attending the event.”
Bumps2Boob breastfeeding support runs every Friday 10.30am-12.30pm at Barnes Road Families and Wellbeing Centre. “We’ve got lovely play areas and a sensory room for Mums to use and the group is open to all the family and children of all ages” says Sophie, so if you are interested in getting support with breast feeding, why not go along this week?