The number of new mums in the city choosing to breastfeed has been steadily rising for the last six years and the latest statistics show that eight out of ten newborns in the Lothians are breast fed.
Lothian Breastfeeding Buddies’ first session was held in Toots Pay Cafe at Inch Park community sports club and saw mums of different ages and backgrounds share experiences.
Project coordinator and mother-of-three Zoe Brown, 37, a former intensive care nurse at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, said: “Lots of women still feel nervous or uncomfortable breastfeeding, especially in public, and it’s important to find a space where mums can build up their confidence and get help from other mums.”
The project has also launched a peer-support group which will see mums with experience of breastfeeding volunteer their time to help new mums in the Royal Infirmary’s neonatal unit learn to breastfeed.
Ms Brown said: “The first few weeks can be tough for new mums and one of the things they may need help with is breastfeeding, which is a skill in itself.
“The peer supporters will all be local mums who have experienced breastfeeding, they can provide a kind, friendly support for the new mums.
“The Royal have great services and the idea of the peer-support is to complement existing services, everyone has a different breastfeeding journey and everyone needs different support.”
Nicola Tait of NHS Lothian, said: “This group is a wonderful example of partnership working with NCT being funded to provide drop-in breastfeeding groups by the Scottish Government and working with NHS Lothian to identify an area of need.”
The project was created through a combined effort of the National Childbirth Trust and NHS Lothian.