Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots

Part of Petitions – in the House of Commons at 6:17 pm on 21st July 2015.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Helen Hayes Helen Hayes Labour, Dulwich and West Norwood 6:17 pm, 21st July 2015

I wish to present a petition on behalf of my constituents, which has been signed by 4,000 residents. It raises the important issue of milk spots cafés in Lambeth and Southwark, which exist to support new mothers who are breastfeeding their babies. They are staffed by expert midwives from King’s College Hospital, and provide a gold standard for post-natal breastfeeding support in the community, being free, accessible and held daily, and allowing continuity of care from skilled health professionals. King’s College Hospital has recently announced that it intends to recall those specialist midwives to perform general midwifery, with the aim of skills-sharing, and to replace them with midwives who have been given basic training, with no obvious expert support.

The health benefits of breastfeeding for mothers and babies are proven, but women, particularly in deprived areas, need support to establish it, and to overcome the initial pain and challenges which are common, and which lead many women to give up in the early weeks. It is not clear that the replacement support will be sufficient for babies with complications such as tongue-tie. The petition protests against the proposed end of the current staffing arrangements.

The petition states:

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons require the Department of Health to urge King's College Hospital to preserve the existing staffing arrangements of the Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots, and to investigate other means of sharing skills amongst its midwives.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.

Following is the full text of the petition:

[The Petition of residents of Dulwich and West Norwood,

Declares that the Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots cafes staffed by expert midwives from King's College Hospital provide a gold standard of postnatal breastfeeding support in the community, being free, accessible, held daily, and allowing continuity of care from skilled health professionals; and further declares that King's College Hospital has announced that it intends to recall these specialist midwives with basic training, without any obvious expert support, and this will leave women with complicated needs without adequate support, advice or referral to hospital services; and that around 4,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to protest against the proposed end of current staffing arrangements.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons require the Department of Health to urge King's College Hospital to preserve the existing staffing arrangements of the Lambeth and Southwark Milkspots, and to investigate other means of sharing skills amongst its midwives.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.]

[P001540]