A better Medway
Published: Monday, 16th October 2023

Our A Better Medway team has launched a new website packed full of information which offers enhanced advice to families about breastfeeding babies.

We launched Beside You in 2016. This initiative was specifically designed to support and empower women to breastfeed for as long as they want to. Working closely with NHS partners, the free service signposted mothers to support and advice in the early weeks and months after their babies were born. Having the right information can make all the difference in someone’s breastfeeding journey.

Now, we are relaunching the service to continue to help to normalise breastfeeding amongst the wider community, promote the benefits to parents, their partners, children, grandparents and wider support networks. Everyone has a vital role to play in empowering and encouraging mums should they need assistance as well as helping those who are unable to breastfeed to make the best choices. Helping mums is a key ambition in our newly refreshed Infant Feeding Strategy.

From information on pregnancy, packing your hospital bag, having an early baby or any of the physical challenges along the way – Beside You is here to help. It’s not just for mums-to-be either, partners, friends and even businesses can also get lots of useful information on how to support someone who is breastfeeding. There is also videos from mums talking about their own journeys of feeding their babies.

Businesses including cafes and restaurants can also show their support by putting a free sticker in their window to show parents that they encourage, and support, mothers to breastfeed in their premises. Breastfeeding-friendly businesses will also be showcased on the new website, on an interactive map.

Beside You is here to help every step of the way

Cllr Teresa Murray, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, said: “No matter what stage of the breastfeeding journey you’re on, Beside You is here to help and offer expert support every step of the way. We want to help continue to normalise breastfeeding and make sure families have the best experience possible by having access to a wide range of support and information. I would encourage mums, partners and families to visit the new Beside You website.”

Sarah, from Rochester, attended the Beside You Hello Baby session, which is a free antenatal infant feeding session, when she was around 37 weeks pregnant and said that she learnt a lot more about the benefits of breastfeeding for both herself and her son.

She is three months into exclusively breastfeeding her son Elliot and says she is so grateful and happy with her breastfeeding journey so far.

Information at my fingertips

Sarah said: “Beside You has been helpful and supportive to me so far. I remember in the whirlwind first week of becoming a parent that my baby was cluster feeding all through the night which felt really hard. Being sleep deprived and healing from birth I was desperately searching for some answers online in the early hours to see if this was normal and when it would get easier! The Beside You Instagram account had so much helpful and reassuring information and pointed me in the direction of further resources to look at. I feel like for any eventuality I have all of the information at my fingertips and could easily contact the team if I needed to.”

She added: “Everyone I have met and spoken to from Beside You has been really friendly, knowledgeable and approachable and I feel so lucky that our breastfeeding journey has been so positive and well supported.”

You can watch Sarah’s story on YouTube.

Find out more 

Follow @BesideYouMedway on social media.

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