University Hospitals Plymouth’s Maternity Service has developed a kit to support mothers and breastfeeding parents. The kits encourage mothers to collect colostrum – the Magic Drops – the first type of breastmilk which is full of nutrients and high in antibodies and antioxidants that help build a new born baby’s immune system. The charity provided a grant to help bring the kit to parents in attractive cotton bags.
Aimee Miller, Infant Feeding Lead explains “For those who choose to and are able to breastfeed their baby, it is a truly emotive and special time, so we want to provide as much support as we can to families and help meet their breastfeeding journey expectations. The bags are an innovative idea that serve to provide practical, environmentally friendly storage for milk expressing equipment, as well as encouraging both our colleagues and patients alike to value this important equipment. We hope that not only will they help to evoke a culture change, in improving support for those wishing to breastfeed, but it will also help to support our journey towards the well-recognised UNICEF Baby Friendly initiative accreditation.”
The drawstring cotton bags replace unsustainable plastic bags that were previously used for storing expressing equipment. Replacements such as these support the Trust’s Sustainable Development Plan by phasing out single use plastics. Their attractiveness will not only help by being recognisable, but also act as a prompt to colleagues to support hand expressing.
Aimee adds ‘As a Maternity service we are using the bags to support mothers and breastfeeding parents across both inpatient and community services, so we are using them in pregnancy for mothers who wish to collect their colostrum antenatally. We’re also using them in the diabetic clinic, as early feeding is particularly important for babies of diabetic mothers, and we’re using them to support the 400 premature babies a year who are born here in Plymouth. Anytime that we need to collect those all-important magic drops of colostrum.'