Specialist Breastfeeding Support
For families facing more complex feeding challenges, a dedicated Specialist Breastfeeding Support Service is accessible via referral from health professionals such as Health Visitors, Midwives, SureStart leads, GP’s and Paediatricians.
This specialist support service is provided by Infant Feeding Leads within Maternity and Health Visiting services, who are are also International Board Certified lactation Consultants (IBCLC’s).
Tongue Tie Assessment Service/Breastfeeding Assessment Clinic
Some babies are born with a tight piece of skin between the underside of their tongue and the bottom of their mouth (lingual frenulum), this is known as a tongue-tie. The presence of a tongue-tie may not affect your baby at all, however, some babies may have difficulty feeding.
Tongue tie assessments are provided by Infant Feeding Leads in the Maternity Service at Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital. Referrals to these clinics are made via Health Visitors and Midwives following the completion of a detailed breastfeeding assessment with implementation of appropriate feeding support.
Not all babies with a tongue tie require treatment, and help with positioning and attachment can resolve feeding issues in many cases. If you have concerns regarding feeding and a potential tongue tie, please speak to your Midwife/Health Visitor for further assessment and support.
Breast Pump Loan Services
TinyLife offers breast pump loans to support the feeding of premature or unwell babies in NHSCT.
If your baby fits this criteria, you can access a pump loan from TinyLife by speaking to the Neonatal Unit staff or by completing the referral form available at: https://www.tinylife.org.uk/services-for-families/breast-pump-loan-service/
NHSCT is also in the process of establishing a community based breast pump loan scheme for families facing feeding challenges where a breast pump has been indicated as being required as part of a feeding plan. Loans are accessible through Health Visitors, Midwives and Infant Feeding Leads as part of an ongoing feeding plan.