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A new dawn for burgeoning breastfeeding support group in Haverhill

Haverhill Breastfeeding Friends at its launch party in the 'Haverhill Fire Station Community Room.'Picture by Mark Westley
Haverhill Breastfeeding Friends at its launch party in the 'Haverhill Fire Station Community Room.'Picture by Mark Westley

A Haverhill support group for breastfeeding mums has held its first meeting at its own venue less than five months after its two founders first met.

Haverhill Breastfeeding Friends met from 10am to midday yesterday at the Haverhill Fire Station Community Room, where it will continue to meet every Wednesday at the same time from now on.

The Facebook group - #HBfFriends - already hosts over 140 active members and attracts between 10-20 mothers each week at its meet ups.

To coincide with moving to its own venue, the group will now offer state of the art, parent-centred support via a rotation of professionally trained breastfeeding counsellors, paid for by various community funding projects.

This means both the group and this exceptional service are completely free; a totally unique offering for the town.

Borne of a shared passion to support breastfeeding mothers, #HBfFriends started when Laura Brennan-Kersey and Virginia Sullivan met online just before Christmas.

Virginia had been touring the country with husband, artist Benjamin Sullivan’s portrait of her nursing their daughter, ‘Breech!’, which won the 2017 BP Portrait Awards,.

Through this she met many nursing mothers, group volunteers and professional lactation consultants.

“Seeing these examples of great breastfeeding communities and meeting such inspiring people, I knew that with the right team we could make something work here,” she said.

Meanwhile, frustrated by a lack of local breastfeeding activity, Laura posted online reaching out for another like-minded mother to start a group with.

“I only knew two other breastfeeding mothers in Haverhill before we started this group,” she said, “and it’s crucial for breastfeeding mothers to have that peer support.

“It’s the sharing of information, the chance conversations and being around other mothers who have this as their norm that keeps you going. Especially in the early days.” If you are pregnant and considering breastfeeding, are already nursing or work in the field of breastfeeding support,

#HBfFriends invites you along to their weekly group meet-ups. If you would like to offer help with funding, you can contact Laura Brennan-Kersey, Virginia Sullivan or Harriet Lowe via the Facebook page.

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