Reaching out in World Breastfeeding Week

Carolyn ready to give support

by Carolyn Neal, Breastfeeding Counsellor, Selby Branch

Mothercare invited me to come into their new store in York to promote World Breastfeeding Week. They were very keen and welcoming, so I agreed to come in for a few hours on the Saturday afternoon to speak to their shoppers and also take the opportunity to promote NCT’s antenatal courses and feeding support. One of my local colleagues and fellow Breastfeeding Counsellor (BFC), Elaine Antcliffe, came too.

I hadn’t done this sort of work before with Mothercare so wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Having a good working relationship with Tessa Kipping, in our Partnerships Team, I contacted her beforehand to check that this was OK to do and fell within our existing contract with Mothercare. I was pleased to find out too that NCT would pay me £87 plus expenses through their Mothercare contract – I am used to doing my BFC work on a voluntary basis so this was an added bonus!

On the day, I was warmly greeted by Mothercare staff and invited to sit at a table and chairs they had set up for me in a good position by their antenatal clothing. Unfortunately though in front of their promotional display for a well-known brand’s formula preparation machine… They had also put out a number of goody bags for us to give away to shoppers.

Several of their staff came to share their breastfeeding hopes, fears and issues so we had the chance to do a little counselling work. We also had some interest from pregnant shoppers who had either already booked their NCT antenatal course or accepted a leaflet about it.

We are all hoping this will lead into a bigger partnership with Mothercare and provide opportunity for our newly-qualified Breastfeeding Counsellors and Postnatal Leaders to get paid work within Mothercare stores. Although I had a great day unfortunately their sale was too good to resist and I ended up spending my earnings on the grandchildren!

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