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Maternity unit thanks volunteers

Royal Free London Maternity Unit thanks volunteers with celebration

The Midwives, Matrons and Managers at the Royal Free London Hospital invited their volunteers for a Celebration to say thank you for all their support over the last year. The staff and patients on the ward are supported by a group of dedicated volunteers through two main initiatives.

Breastfeeding support volunteers - all qualified, and specially trained by the Royal Free infant feeding team - come in every week to offer mothers help, encouragement, and support. It can be a very stressful and daunting experience for new mothers and the volunteers offer a friendly face and sensitively listen to each mother’s experiences and worries, while teaching how to hold and feed their babies.

The ward also enlisted the Royal Free Charity knitting volunteers and also volunteers from the wider community when they launched an appeal for knitted orange baby hats. Volunteers from far and wide came to the rescue and the Royal Free Charity office became the recipient of many bags of lovingly knitted orange baby hats. In total over 1000 baby hats were donated.

Some babies need extra monitoring and support after birth. As part of the 'Keeping mothers & babies together' initiative, they came up with the idea of providing knitted orange hats for these more vulnerable babies. The orange hats help the team easily identify which babies need extra care; allowing them to take timely observations, blood sugar tests and extra support to establish feeding so that mothers and babies can stay together.

“Big thanks to our wonderful and dedicated Breastfeeding/Infant Feeding Volunteers who come in their own time to give their support and expert skills in supporting our mothers and babies, you are so appreciated! And a huge Thank You to all those lovely ladies out there who have responded to our appeal for orange hats, each hat is made with love and we are so grateful for the work you have done - we are already seeing more babies kept with their mothers when safe to do so. These hats really do make a difference"  Jenny Woods Labour Ward Matron and Jenny Whelehan, Jenny Marshall and our dedicated cross-site Infant Feeding Team.

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