Manisha Sheth, Mum of three says: “support for breastfeeding mums has decreased” since her first child 11 years ago.
National breast pumping day, celebrated on the 27th of January every year, was created to celebrate the time, effort and dedication it requires to pump breast milk.
Breast feeding can be a very turbulent experience for new mums, leaving many women feeling isolated and in need of a support network.
Manisha Sheth, mum of three boys aged 11, nine and six, was amongst the many women who struggled at the start of her breastfeeding journey.
She says: “I suffered post-natal depression after the birth of my third son.
“This effected my ability to breast feed, and when I asked for help and advice from the NHS, they said there were no services available.”
Fortunately, Manisha had the support from her mum who lived close by, but this is not the case for all new mothers.
Manisha said: “there are a lot of people who come here from abroad and have language barriers and lack of support from family.
“There needs to be more support for women like this, but support for breast feeding mums has decreased since my first child.”
Since the birth of her third child, Maisha has become an anti-natal teacher, and has started a training course to become a councillor and set up her own community group that recognises mothers from all different backgrounds.
The community set up by Manisha and her business partner in 2021, provides drop-in sessions run by volunteers and safe spaces for women to come and seek advice on their breastfeeding journey.
It is aimed at women in ethnic minority groups who feel “abandoned” by the NHS, but women from all backgrounds are welcome.
“Nottingham is such a diverse place, full of different cultures,” says Mrs Sheth, “post-natal support is not a one size fits all, and health providers need to recognise this.”
The Healthy Family Teams, part of the Healthy Families Program set up by the NHS, brings together care provided by the Specialist Public Health Practitioners and their teams.
They work closely with local GP practices, early years settings, schools, midwives, children’s centres, social care, and other services in each area.
David Godsall, media officer for NHS’s Healthy Family Team said: “we recognise that parenthood is not easy, so we are dedicated to easing the burden on parents as much as we can.
“Our team can support breast feeding mums from home, health centres or in children’s centres.”
Mr Godsall urges women to seek help and support from NHS care providers and says they are “committed” to improving and expanding post-natal support across the county for people from all backgrounds.
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