Feeding support funding set to end

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A succesful breastfeeding support group is being scrapped.

Funding for the Mum to Mum Peer Supporters group, which has helped 5,858 people during the past year, will end in April and is not being renewed by NHS Northamptonshire.

The group has 60 volunteers trained to help new mums feed their babies.

Supporters are based at Kettering General Hospital and in the community, where they phone new mums and visit them at home if needed. They also run the breastfeeding drop-in at the Ronald Tree Sure Start Centre, Kettering, which will also end.

Group leaders have now started Twitter and Facebook campaigns.

Rebecca Smith from Abbots Way, Kettering, said: “It’s terrible. We’ve had such positive reaction but we cannot continue without funding.

“I speak to between five and 10 mums every week. It’s just about having someone supportive to talk to.”

An NHS Northamptonshire spokesman said: “The peer supporter service was commissioned as a fixed term two-year pilot. This was part-funded by a Department of Health grant to address health inequalities. NHS budgets are under continued pressure but please be reassured that NHS Northamptonshire are not reducing our present recurrent budget for breastfeeding in the county in 2012-13.

“We are working closely with other organisations, both statutory and in the third sector to ensure high standards of breastfeeding support are maintained in the county and that rates continue to rise.”

Visit the group’s Facebook page by searching for Save Northamptonshire’s Breastfeeding Support Services.