Fantastic action day !

July 29, 2010

Just to say thank you very, very much to all those who came to the breastfeeding action day yesterday.

It was great to see so many of you and so many cute babies and children. I was really surprised how many people turned up who we hadn’t met before but who felt equally passionate about breastfeeding. One lady even came with her baby who was only three weeks old !

Keep Haringey Breastfeeding protest

It was a beautiful day and we gathered outside St. Ann’s hospital with our banner, our baby-sized lollipop “Keep Haringey breastfeeding” placards and the fabulous “Boobie cup cakes”. Thanks a million to Jaye and Jude for their creative baking and painting efforts !

After posing for the press to take pictures and trying some of the boobie cakes ourselves we went to the board meeting of Haringey Primary Care Trust. We filled all the seats allocated for the public and there was standing room only. I’m sure it was the largest number of babies the board had ever seen in their meeting.

The boobie cakes

We handed the board our boobie cakes and – more importantly – our petition asking for more specialist breastfeeding support in Haringey, which has been signed by over 400 people. We then outlined our four main demands:

  • Establish the post of specialist breastfeeding midwife in Haringey on a permanent basis
  • Commit further resources to ensure that all mothers in Haringey can access the breastfeeding support they need on a regular basis including establishing a breastfeeding support group in Wood Green N22 in addition to existing support groups
  • Make all future plans to improve (or reduce) the breastfeeding support in Haringey publicly available
  • Widely and publicly consult service users regarding a significant change to breastfeeding support service provisions in Haringey.

Last week the Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust, Tracey Baldwin, wrote us a letter and promised to review the spread of provision of breastfeeding support across Haringey, including a support group in Wood Green.

Oi Haringey! Don't be a boob ! Save our Breastfeeding Support !

We told her in no uncertain terms that a review needs to include the establishment of the post of the Breastfeeding Specialist Midwife. We also explained why it is simply not good enough to only train health visitors. We need the support of specialists – not just generalists health visitors who had a day or two breastfeeding support training.

The babies were amazingly quiet throughout as if they knew we were discussing the support for their mummies to feed them their yummy milk :).

We weren’t given time to ask the questions we had but we have submitted them in writing and are waiting for the answers. We all felt we had made our point sufficiently clear. It’s really time for Haringey PCT to take our concerns seriously. In particular as we found out that the post of the Infant Feeding Coordinator is funded through a Sure Start Grant. That really makes you wonder if Haringey PCT is putting any money at all into breastfeeding support. ..we’ve submitted a question on this and are waiting to find out.

Keep Haringey breastfeeding Lollipop

In the evening some of us went along to the Haringey Council Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Health.  The PCT’s Director of Finance was there and said he had the best board meeting ever because of the lovely cup cakes. I am glad we made his day – now he can make ours and make sure the PCT allocates enough resources for breastfeeding support.

Councillor David Winskill had tabled questions about breastfeeding support but he handed over to us to ask our questions to the representatives of the PCT. It soon became apparent that we had far too many and too specific questions for the PCT representatives to answer them and they had to repeatedly refer to having to answer them in writing. Well – we are waiting. ..

David Winskill then made the excellent suggestion to organise a round table to be able to look into the issue in more detail. What a brilliant idea. The Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee asked us to keep them informed and come back to the Committee if we had still concerns after the round table.

Keep Haringey Breastfeeding banner

All in all a great outcome for us. I am really proud of everyone. Looking after a small baby is really hard work and many of us do not get a lot of sleep – it’s really not that easy traipsing round board and committee meetings with a small baby in tow. But we did it and we got our voices heard and we certainly won’t go away now.  Brilliant effort everyone !


2 Responses to “Fantastic action day !”

  1. […] Many of us have received a letter from her which included a copy of the letter she had sent to Tracey Baldwin, Chief Executive of Haringey Primary Care Trust on our action day. […]

  2. Anne Gray Says:

    Well done, amazing protest!

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