In the run up to Mother’s Day on 11 March we are focusing on staff who support new mums and parents in their role at Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough City Hospitals.
Debbie Abbott is an Infant Feeding Specialist Midwife at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.
“I started working as a midwife in 1984 and joined the team at Hinchingbrooke in 1989. My role is to support new mums and parents both antenatally and postnatally with breastfeeding, mixed and formula feeding support until their baby is 28 days old.
“I work closely with all of the midwives and maternity care assistants to enable them to provide support for infant feeding and I also run three weekly breastfeeding workshops for mums-to-be and their partners, so that they can find out more about what to expect when it comes to breastfeeding.
“We have an 80% initiation rate for breastfeeding at Hinchingbrooke and we have recently been awarded the Baby Friendly award by Unicef, which I am very proud of.
“I really enjoy supporting mums through their journeys to help to empower them. They have so much willpower and determination during what can be an exhausting and difficult time. It is a real privilege to be a midwife. I love the challenge and supporting mums through that challenge, even if they decide to stop breastfeeding. Sometimes they just need that reassurance that they did the best they could and that they had the support that they needed at that time.
“It is good to see that dads are also now playing more of an active role in supporting their partners during breastfeeding and bottle feeding. Even if they are able to help with the small things, it makes a big difference, especially in those first few weeks.
“I am not sure what I will be doing for Mother’s Day yet, but I have three boys, aged 24, 30 and 33 and two grandchildren aged three and 20 months. I don’t think there has ever been a year where I haven’t been spoilt. Every year they never fail to surprise me and they write such lovely things, which I keep and cherish.”
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