NHS staff need your knitted breasts!

Just Regional
Mar 31, 2014 3 mins read

Staff from Norfolk’s community NHS Trust have issued an unusual request to people across the county, but it is no April Fool; they really do need people to break out their knitting needles and get making some knitted breasts.

The appeal is being made by teams at Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust (NCH&C), who use the props to support their work with expectant parents and families across Norfolk.

The knitted accessories are used by NCH&C’s health visitors, nursery nurses, community midwives, and family nurses to help explain and demonstrate breastfeeding to new and soon-to-be parents. They also help to engage families so they feel more comfortable about discussing other aspects of caring for a young child.

Amanda Wagg, NCH&C’s Infant Feeding Lead and a health visitor, said: “The knitted breasts act as a great ice breaker when talking about breastfeeding or looking after their baby. They play a vital role in demonstrating hand expression of breast milk, giving mums confidence in their abilities and skills.

“We’ve used knitted breasts with families for years and they have always served us well, but our existing stock is now running low and looking a bit worse for wear. They are really simple to make so I hope some of Norfolk’s knitters will take on this unusual request and send in their knitted creations in whatever colour or type of wool people have to hand. We are always very grateful to our local knitters for their donations!”

The knitted breasts will help NCH&C’s staff to continue offering the best support to local families. The help on hand has also recently been boosted by a further rise in health visitor numbers. NCH&C’s Health Visiting Service currently has 145 health visitors in post, after an additional 36 health visitors completed their extensive training at the end of 2013.

The number of staff is set to rise still further, with 25 new student health visitors already undertaking a one year training course and four more on a part-time, two year course.

The Trust’s health visitors work with other health and care staff, including GPs and teams at local Sure Start Children’s Centres, to support families with children aged up to five. In addition to giving advice on breastfeeding, they can also offer parental support, advise on family health and minor illnesses, and carrying out developmental checks.

For more information about NCH&C’s Health Visiting Service, go to: www.norfolkcommunityhealthandcare.nhs.uk/health-visiting.htm

A knitted breast pattern can be downloaded from: bit.ly/1iUjUIQ

Knitted donations should be sent to:
Amanda Wagg
Norfolk Community Health and Care NHS Trust
St James’
Exton’s Road
King’s Lynn
PE30 5NU

Knitted Breasts

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