Lynsey McLuckie, Peer Support Coordinator – BfN Ayrshire & Arran
Bump Buddies Ayrshire
Bump Buddies began as a pilot scheme in 2021 and takes the form of antenatal classes delivered to expectant families across Ayrshire and Arran. Initially, COVID-19 restrictions meant all antenatal classes in Ayrshire were stopped. To tackle this, BfN Ayrshire and Arran received funding from the Queens Nursing Institute Scotland (QNIS) and worked in partnership with the NHS to develop and deliver online antenatal sessions for parents to be and their wider support network.
These sessions have grown and adapted to meet the needs of the women and families we support and we are extremely thankful to have continued funding from NHS Ayrshire and Arran, allowing us to deliver these sessions until March 2023.
The Importance of Antenatal Support
Research shows how vital a strong support network is in the early days and weeks for families who are breastfeeding. Our sessions include parents but also their support network. This can be anyone from siblings, grandparents, friends – anyone that will be there for families once their baby arrives. Our sessions are run over three sessions, taking place once a week. We aim to give attendees the information to empower them to make their own infant feeding decisions by offering independent, evidence based information and support. It is important to us that our families know where to access the support they require following the birth of their baby. We recognise that after having a baby things can be a bit of blur and we hope that by having these discussions and providing information antenatally, families will know where to access support during this time.
The Success of Bump Buddies
Families are at the heart of what we do and we use feedback from our attendees to continually develop our sessions. As well as supporting families with evidence based information, we love being able to create an community where women can support each other. Feedback from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, with 95% of responses indicating that information provided during sessions was useful to them. 95% of expectant mothers reported that the sessions helped them increase their knowledge of breastfeeding and make informed choices regarding infant feeding.
We are so proud to receive such positive feedback, particularly for a relatively new project, and are excited to see what the future holds!
I would like to take a moment to show my gratitude to all our volunteers here in Ayrshire and Arran as without them, we would not be able to make this happen. Thank you!