Specialist health visitor Marian Judd is used to giving mums and dads advice on breast feeding face to face.
But the coronavirus pandemic has made that difficult, so Marian has turned to technology, some props and some ingenuity to get the message across.
Due to social distancing, Marian, who works for Wiltshire Children’s Community Services provided by Virgin Care, now uses a video link to talk to parents who have been referred into the specialist infant feeding service from their health visitor.
She said: ”Using my laptop I was able to show one family how to get breastfeeding off to a good start using a doll and knitted breast as if we were in a consultation room and the parents were able to ask questions. They contacted me for a follow up video link call after a couple of days because they had made so much progress in breastfeeding. I saw them again to discuss the progress, provide support and offer encouragement.
“Other consultations have been equally valuable. One mum who has had a lot of problems with feeding welcomed the opportunity to talk about her feeding journey face to face in a safe way during this social distancing period.
“The advantage of using a video link is I can see and talk to both parents whereas if I just called on the phone I would only be able to talk to mum and of course not be able to demonstrate anything.
“The response has been really positive and parents have told me that this has been really helpful and supportive. It is professional and enables us as health visitors to offer help and support with infant feeding in a timely way and enable families to remain in the safety of their homes.
“It is not a substitute for a face to face contact where we are able to fully assess and examine a baby, but we are able to observe a feed and support parents in a new and innovative way.”
Virgin Care provide Wiltshire Children’s Community Services in partnership with Wiltshire Council and the NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
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