Infant feeding peer support group formed

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A group of UNICEF-accredited infant feeding peer support workers has formed to help Kintyre’s parents and expectant parents.

Karine Irvine, Lea Watson, Isla Hales, Katherine Macpherson, Catherine McTaggart, Carol McEachran and Laura Watson are all trained to support breastfeeding mothers.

They have joined forces and created an informal group, which meets every Thursday, and all parents are welcome, whether they are breastfeeding or bottle feeding their infants.

A Kintyre Health and Wellbeing Network grant of £500 helped get the group, which held its first meeting last month, off the ground.

Karine, who is mother to Grace, eight, Andrew, four, and two-year-old George, explained: ‘We are all volunteers trained to the same standard. If we think there may be any underlying health issues, we can advise parents to seek medical advice.

‘We are always here to support people but it is very informal, often we just sit and have a cup of tea. I don’t just want people to come along if they have an issue with feeding.’

Isla Hales, mum to Anna, seven, Charlotte, four, and 18-month-old Joseph, said: ‘It’s a really good way of getting together to encourage other mums and is not about bottle versus breast. It’s just about supporting each other and being there for each other, in a safe place to talk.

‘I find it really helpful listening to other people who have been through it.’

Katherine Macpherson, whose daughters Cara and Aimee are now in primary school, agreed and said: ‘I was a bit of an older mum and I found it really helpful chatting to other parents. It’s nice to be there if people do need support.’

Isla added: ‘Family members are welcome too, to find out how to support someone who may be expecting. I think attitudes may be a lot to do with people’s decisions on how to feed their babies.’

Susanna Fee was at the group’s meeting last week and said her sons, Saul, three, Angus, two, and Milo, two months, enjoy playing with their friends as much as she enjoys catching up with other parents.

She added: ‘If you haven’t spoken to an adult all day, it can be nice to come and chat about anything.’

The group meets every Thursday in the Community Education Centre from 2-3pm and all new members are welcome.