Expert thoughts on the Star Buddies Service

Expert Voices

“I have seen the difference peer supporters make to new mums. This is a vital service that should not be cut in any locality, but in Blackpool where breastfeeding rates are so poor it is absolutely vital.”  – Professor Helen Ball, University of Durham Anthropology Dept

“As a former midwife I know how this service is desperately needed in Blackpool.” ET – Blackpool

“Supporting women to breastfeed saves money in both the short and long term – fewer hospital admissions and GP visits for breastfed babies and a 4% reduction in breast cancer rates in women who breastfeed for one year.” – Mindy Noble – Chair of Hampshire Maternity Services Liaison Committee

“Breastfeeding support contributes to maternal mental and physical health and helps provide a healthy start for babies. I believe Blackpool’s families should not be denied this quality service, and cuts will put pressure on the Health Visiting and Primary Care service.” – Dr Louise Santhaman, GP

“So “Blackpool Council insists support will continue but funding will be directed towards its health visitor service” but how does this help the brand new ladies and babies on the ward? Those with vulnerable sick babies in the neonatal unit? How does it help in the first 10 days of a baby’s life before the HV is involved? Are we just hoping it will go well til then? I also doubt that the money spent on this amazing and valuable peer support service run by the voluntary sector will go nearly so far when paying NHS staff. And who is to provide the additional training for these health visiting staff who will no longer have the experienced Star Buddies to call upon? Such a sad and bad decision, in my opinion. Totally shocking.” – SB, ex- Blackpool Star Buddy and local IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

‘After my discussion with the Blackpool paediatricians last year I was more convinced than ever of the need for exactly such a service as this provides. These low-cost initiatives by women who understand breastfeeding save taxpayers and ratepayers money as well as improving the health of families and babies in this generation and those to come. Any town lucky enough to have such a service should cherish it. So many women fail to breastfeed because they do not get the support they need when they need it.’ – Author and Health Historian  Maureen Minchin, (titles: Milk Matters 2015, Breastfeeding Matters 1985, Food for Thought 1982)

“Star Buddies has been a beacon example of how to support new mothers on the post natal wards and in their homes. Breastfeeding matters to mothers, to babies and to the greater health economy – we know this from research. To add more pressure to an already stretched NHS service means that greater gaps will appear so that mothers and babies will slip through. This decision makes no sense economically, socially or for the long term health of the area. Please reconsider this decision urgently. Mothers deserve evidence based support focused on their needs.”
Dr Wendy Jones, Pharmacist

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