Breastfeeding has been proven to benefit both mother and baby; having some of the most-reaching and long lasting effects on a baby’s health and development.
Research by Unicef shows, moderate increases in breastfeeding would translate into cost savings for the NHS of £40 million and tens of thousands of fewer hospital admissions and GP consultations.
In addition, research into three conditions; cognitive ability, childhood obesity and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), indicates modest improvements in breastfeeding rates could save millions of pounds and even children’s lives.
Although 81% of women start off breastfeeding, the NHS Information Centre found only one in 100 new mothers manage the full recommended six months.
The Royal College of Midwives is concerned that due to staff shortages women may not be getting the postnatal support they need from midwives whilst they establish breastfeeding in the early days after birth.
Florence has already successfully supported, engaged and motivated mums once discharged to continue with breastfeeding and has previously been used successfully for gestational diabetes and mild pregnancy-induced hypertension pathways.
There are currently over 100 patients using Florence’s “Breastfeeding Support” protocol on Florence. The protocol helps to encourage mums to continue breastfeeding for at least 6 weeks after being discharged from hospital.
Gillian Lund, Public Health Midwife at City Hospital in Sunderland told Simple Shared Healthcare Ltd (SSHC) about their experience with Florence. They integrated Florence into their hospital to compliment the support already offered by their maternity team for 6 weeks’ post-discharge. Gillian said that, “When breastfeeding is initiated, Mums are already seen by one of our Maternity Care Assistants who provide education and guidance to support the early stages of breastfeeding. Now Flo is also offered at this point to Mums whilst in hospital to extend this early impact and to increase the motivation to carry on once back at home”.
Florence’s messages are designed to be helpful and timely. They are sent at key points in a baby’s development where challenges can often occur which can cause problems with feeding.
Gillian confirmed that feedback from new mums using Florence “has been overwhelmingly positive, reinforced by a significant increase in our breastfeeding rates at 6 weeks”.