Community Breastfeeding Support
Tel: 020 8714 2985
How we can support you with feeding your baby
We support the right of all parents to make informed choices about how to feed your baby and we will support you in your decision. Breastfeeding is the healthiest way to feed your baby. There are important benefits which breastfeeding provides for both you and your baby and we therefore encourage you to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding Baby Cafes
A Baby Cafe is a breastfeeding drop-in which provides help and support from skilled professionals. Baby Cafes are run by a lactation consultant and/or a health professional with support from volunteer peer supporters and, at some groups, from NCT or BfN breastfeeding counsellors.
All breastfeeding groups are free, provided by the NHS. You do not need to be referred or to make an appointment. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the end of the session and bring your baby’s red book with you.
All our Baby Cafes welcome pregnant as well as new mums and dads.
If you are having problems breastfeeding a baby of any age, we can offer expert, practical support and information in a relaxed, unhurried atmosphere.
We are not just here to help with breastfeeding problems, we can also help if you are:
• deciding how you will feed your baby
• just getting started
• wanting to meet other breastfeeding mums
• apprehensive about breastfeeding in public
• returning to work and unsure how to continue breastfeeding
• in need of help with expressing breast milk
• interested in ‘baby-led weaning’
• introducing solids
• breastfeeding an older baby or toddler
• ready to stop breastfeeding
A baby with a tongue-tie can cause breastfeeding difficulties for some mothers and babies.
If you think your baby may have a tongue-tie and you are experiencing some problems with breastfeeding (e.g. sore nipples, baby coming on and off, reduced milk supply) please visit any Baby Café or alternatively you can visit the breastfeeding clinic at Croydon University Hospital.
Breast pumps are available to use on a short term basis, free of charge, for babies in Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU), after discussion with a member of the Croydon Breastfeeding Support Team at Parkway Health Centre: 020 8714 2985
Hire of hospital grade breast pumps
Kate Manvatkar 01883 370 860
Medela Lactina or Symphony Pump Hire 0870 950 5994
Ardo Elite Pump Hire 01823 336 362
Beatriz’s Story - A mums view of having tongue-tie division
"For 2 weeks breastfeeding was sore, my baby did not stay on the breast for very long, he fed very frequently and never seemed satisfied. His tongue tie was diagnosed, and we were offered an appointment for it to be cut. I discussed the whole thing with my family, I was afraid to get it done, I was unsure whether it was necessary or safe to do.
"Having talked with my family, my mother had experience of tongue tie in Angola, she reassured me that it was a straight forward procedure. I was referred to Kings College Hospital, the following week I received an appointment. The baby was not allowed to feed 3 hours prior to the operation.
"Dr Patel came in and explained everything, why it happens and what the procedure entails, he informed us that the tongue tie operation was not to do with speech but to do with feeding.
" I went in with my baby while the doctor examined the tongue tie, he said it definitely was a tongue tie, so I signed the consent form for him to have the operation. I left him with Doctor Patel, I felt awful and guilty.
"I was taken to the next room to wait for him so I could feed him straight away, it felt like it was less than a minute, and he was back with me. There was a cotton roll bud under his tongue (like the one’s at the dentist), they took it out and put him straight to the breast. A breastfeeding specialist was there to help me attach him to the breast. He was fed straight away as this would calm him and stop any bleeding. He did not cry as he was hungry and went straight onto the breast.
"I felt such relief that it was over, and that he was alright. I could feel the difference straight away, I fed him for a good 45 minutes, much longer than he had ever done before. We had to wait for an hour, then we were checked that the bleeding had stopped, although I did not notice any myself.
"The feeding became more comfortable straight away, he stays on for longer is much more settled in between feeds, he is now 4 months old and weighs 8.5kgs (17.12lbs), just on breastmilk!
"I definitely recommend getting this done, I am very pleased that I had this done even though I was quite anxious to start with."
There is still a very busy clinic at Kings college Hospital that performs frenulotomies (the medical term for tongue tie division. For parents in the Croydon area it is usually quicker and easier if the baby is seen at the Breastfeeding Clinic at Croydon University Hospital, held on Friday mornings 10-12 a.m. in the Parentcraft room.
If a tongue tie is confirmed to be causing a problem with breastfeeding, baby will be referred for surgery as soon as possible afterwards, often the following Monday. The same procedure takes place and baby is taken from the parents for a short time during which he or she will be held securely whilst the tongue is lifted up and the tight ligament underneath snipped and stretched out to release it and allow the tongue to extend and move more freely. It is very important that baby continues to breastfeed frequently afterwards to minimise the risk of the tongue-tie healing back together again.
Client's story (anonymous) - Lucy's support
"I am the mother of 5 children aged 16, 10, 9, 7 and 5 months. I did not even think about breastfeeding my first 4 children as it just wasn’t right at the time. With my 5th child I decided to give it a go because things were different this time. I gave my baby formula in hospital and then when it was quiet and the curtains were around me I put the baby to the breast and she started to suckle. Gradually I started to offer the breast more and more to my baby. Soon I was exclusively breastfeeding but my nipples were starting to get sore. The Breastfeeding Peer Support team Team didn’t contact me at the time, because they thought I was formula feeding my baby.
"By 4 weeks I found every breastfeed painful and then went on to get mastitis. I went to her Doctor who prescribed antibiotics, which helped the mastitis but breastfeeding was still sore. My friend who breastfed suggested that this was not a normal breastfeeding experience and that I should get help.
"I found a leaflet that had been given to me at the hospital and contacted the team. Karen (from the Mum2mum Breastfeeding Peer Support Team) came and helped me get my baby on the breast more comfortably and breastfeeding started to get more comfortable. Karen put me in touch with my Peer Supporter Lucy who had also 5 children and had breastfed her two last children.
"Lucy texted me to start with initially and then I was constantly asking her questions. , I also started going to the drop- in at Castle Hill Children’s Centre and met Lucy there. This gave the opportunity for me to get out of the house, breastfeed in a positive breastfeeding environment, get looked after with a cup of tea and an opportunity to ask any questions.
"I am still breastfeeding at 5 months and this would not have been possible without Lucy’s help and support."