Tea for Two 2016

 

Last year Vicki Leaver – a newly qualified breastfeeding peer support worker launched ‘Tea for Two’ – an initiative to promote breastfeeding in public. She got a number of local Perth businesses involved and it proved so popular she is organising it again for 2016. Here Vicki talks about her plans for Tea for Two taking place during National Breastfeeding Week.

Tea for Two week launched last year, was hugely popular with nursing mums and made such a difference to positively promoting breastfeeding in public.

sign editedThe idea came from seeing a photograph on social media of the Brasserie Blanc restaurant in Cheltenham. They were displaying a sign inviting breastfeeding mums to come in for a pit stop, and enjoy a free cuppa.
As Perth is somewhat infamous for its numerous and fantastic independent cafés, I thought this would suit Perth breastfeeders down to a tee (if you pardon the pun…)

I had recently completed my breastfeeding peer support training and was just desperate to make a difference at the exact same time and Tea for Two was created.

Tea for Two week runs during National breastfeeding week. This is the 20th – 26th June. The main aim of national breastfeeding week is to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, their infants and the long term public health for everyone.  It is also concentrating on how ‘everyone in local communities can support mothers to breastfeed, whenever and wherever they are’. Perfect for Tea for Two.

To get the ball rolling,  I have been in touch with last year’s participating venues and am pleased to see most of them joining back in. We also have some new cafés and coffee lounges coming on board which is so exciting.

picture editedParticipating businesses include Sub Rosa patisserie and coffee lounge , Café Biba and Willows and the full list of venues will be detailed on the Tea for Two Facebook and Twitter pages.

Last year this initiative was also adopted by other NHS breastfeeding groups and the same has happened this year. I’m very pleased to be joined by Vicky Stepien, a fellow breastfeeding support worker. She is helping spread the Tea for Two idea to Tayside.

I’m hugely passionate about breastfeeding, it’s something that I want to see normalised. I want new mums in Tayside to be aware that help is on hand with breastfeeding. No one needs to struggle with it or feel awkward or lost with feeding decisions.
There are 4 breastfeeding support groups running weekly in Perth and more in Crieff , Pitlochry and  Kinross. The groups are so welcoming and friendly. The support workers are always on hand with a mug of tea, buttery toast and an ear to listen to any worries. We also have an online support group on Facebook.  There is always someone online to give advice, 24 hours a day.  My daughter Lily is yet to sleep a night through so Facebook browsing helps to wile away a few moments when she’s up.

And yes,  Lily is still breastfeeding. I’m in completely new and unknown territory now as she is 2 (and a bit) years old. I breastfeed in cafés, restaurants,  anywhere she asks for milk.  I’m exceptionally proud that I’ve hit the World Health Organisations recommended 2 year milestone

“Breastfeeding is an unequaled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Review of evidence has shown that, on a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. beThereafter infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.” – WHO. (World Health Organisation)

There are “boobie” awards that circulate around Facebook and the 2 year award is platinum – I keep dropping hints about this to my other half but he’s not taking them up just yet.

Last year’s Tea for Two week was filled with nightly giveaways of gifts that had been donated by various local and national companies.  I also gave away gifts to mums who posted up “brelfies”. Brelfies are breastfeeding selfies.  It was another way of getting the normalising breastfeeding message across.

This year , I’m pleased to say will be another week of giveaways.  I’ve been emailing, begging and charming some fabulous gifts from companies.  We have a variety of gifts to give away from lactation cookies  (yes these are an actual thing),  nursing bras,  massages, to homeblended coffees.

To get involved with Tea for Two or for further information contact

Vicki Leaver on 07527200312 or vickileaver@googlemail.com