A new Nursing Mother & Baby Bay at Medway Maritime Hospital’s Outpatients Area, has been designed to give mothers a quiet space where they can peacefully breastfeed their little ones. Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti and Councillor David Brake joined Chairman of the Trust Shena Winning to officially open the new bay.
New mothers often say that they are nervous about feeding their new born baby for the first time in public and need a little time to build their confidence. Older babies can also become easily distracted by being out and about in public. As a result, mothers are often not able to achieve a full feed. The new bay is designed to help mothers in both cases ensure their children can gain the advantages of breast milk.
Mother, Katie Taenas, said ‘The Nursing Mother & Baby Bay is brilliant. It will help new mums to gain that extra bit of confidence to feed in public. I can also remember when my son was six months old; he would get very distracted and often not have a full feed. Having a quiet space like this would have been very helpful for me then’.
The initiative supports Medway Council’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy to promote maternal, physical and emotional health in pregnancy and in the early months of life. The strategy focusses on increasing the levels of breastfeeding in mothers across Medway and to also reduce the levels of expectant mums smoking during pregnancy.
Councillor David Brake, Chairman of Medway’s Health and Wellbeing Board, said ‘I would like to congratulate the hospital on the opening of the Nursing Mother & Baby Bay to benefit the mums who come to the hospital. All those involved in the project are to be commended for their drive to make this happen’.
Rehman Chishti MP was on hand to cut the ribbon and said, ‘I was delighted to join parents, staff and volunteers to the opening of this terrific unit providing a quiet space for mothers to feed. I would love to see more of these bays across the Medway Towns.’
Beverly Hunt, Infant Feeding Project Officer for Medway Breastfeeding Network, also came along to the opening and said, ‘Women are legally entitled to breastfeed in any public space but this room shows how much Medway Maritime Hospital values breastfeeding by helping mothers feel comfortable feeding their babies in private if they prefer’.
Senior Sister, Sandra Crump, said ‘We listened to the needs of our mothers and set about the task of giving mothers a quiet and calm space to feed. Both staff and volunteers worked together and raised donations for the Nursing Mother & Baby Bay through our tea-trolley rounds. It feels like a great achievement and importantly shows our ongoing commitment in supporting mum’s to breast feed’.