Testimonials

We are privileged to have been able to support so many women and families through the early days and months of their baby's life. Sometimes women visit us once and others regularly. Often women come back for our support with their second, third or even fourth baby. Here are some of the stories that our clients have chosen to share about how Babybar supported them throughout their journey.

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Feeding postions

Going to Babybar really has made such a difference and made

breastfeeding a truly positive experience for both me and my baby.

My daughter was 2 weeks old when I first went to Babybar. Having

spent several nights in tears as I didn’t seem to be having much

success with feeding her and dealing with painful feeds, I remembered

a colleague of mine mentioning Babybar. So we went along and were

greeted by lots of friendly faces who immediately offered us coffee

and cake and put us at ease.

We received support with positioning to make breast feeding easier and advice on how to manage the soreness. I was also reassured that there was no evidence of tongue tie and that her oral mechanics were fine.  I popped back a couple of weeks later to check in and refresh the advice I’d been given previously and to see if there was anything else I could do to deal with the pain I was still experiencing.  Simple suggestions such as using ultra balm and switching to half moon nipple shields made all the difference and a few weeks later I was feeding my baby pain free and eventually without nipple shields.

I continued to pop along to baby bar periodically for the social side and a reassuring chat on down days and then I sought advice again prior to my needing surgery when my baby was 16 weeks old. It was incredibly useful to sit and chat through how my baby would cope with my being absent during surgery and how I could plan for expressing and storing my milk. We also discussed alternatives to bottles as my baby was refusing bottles of expressed milk. I went into theatre confident my baby would be ok and I had an idea of how to manage feeding her in a different position following surgery as I couldn’t lay her across me.

I have met some amazing people and made some lovely friends through baby bar and I have continued to pop along when I can. It’s so useful to listen to others and to share our experiences and feeding journeys. It’s so important to know you’re not alone, it’s not just you finding it tough and that it will get better. I’m so grateful for their help and support in establishing breast feeding successfully.

Charlotte

Mother Breastfeeding Baby

Nursing Strike

In October 2015 my then 8-9 month old baby, who had been breastfed to that point, suddenly went on a nursing strike. I didn't feel ready to stop feeding yet and it felt too sudden for it to be a positive thing for her. Noone had mentioned nursing strikes to me, so I felt surprised and shocked. I continued to pump and offer feeds to her for over a week, following advice on-line but feeling lost and struggling with what to do. I went to the Babybar for help and was given the support and reassurance to continue to try skin-to-skin alongside pumping and she did return to feeding. We continued to feed to 13 months, which I was delighted with. I knew to go to the Babybar as they had helped me in early weeks with different holds and checking the latch when feeding was painful at first. It was great to have somewhere I knew I could turn to at that point who wouldn't judge or pass comment on feeding an "older" baby or just tell me to stop trying to nurse and just wean her.

 

When my second baby was born with a severe tongue tie in August 2017, which caused problems with his latch and a great deal of pain to me, again I went to the Babybar who talked through options with me and were sympathetic and supportive that I could feed my baby. We had his tongue tie cut at 2 weeks old and I was able to continue feeding successfully to 18 months. Again it was brilliant to have somewhere to go who would understand the difficulties and challenges but give neutral support.

 

The Babybar is a wonderful local resource who helps mums to breastfeed

their babies for as long as they want. It is unfortunately so rare to have that

presence these days - I have a number of mum friends in other locations

around the UK who didn't have such a group and felt unsupported and

unable to tackle feeding issues.

Name withheld

 

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Ongoing Support

Sleeping Baby

I first visited WBB when my baby Benjamin was 10 days old, as it had been recommended to me by a friend. I was having a lot of pain whilst breast feeding and had had to start using nipple shields and had also been told by a midwife that he had a potential tongue tie. The Babybar team were amazing from the moment we arrived, offering us tea and homemade cake and listening to the problems we’d been having. The feeding specialist Karen then came over to speak to us and she was brilliant, so calm and reassuring. She helped with some feeding positions and then assessed his tongue tie, concluding that he had a very big one which would benefit from being cut and recommended some practitioners. 

 

I’ve been back to the Babybar every week since Benjamin was born (he’s now 9 weeks) as breast feeding has remained challenging but I’ve been very keen to persevere. Every week all the volunteers are so friendly and welcoming, providing advice and a sympathetic ear. Karen has been incredible and makes time every week to come and speak to me to offer help and reassurance. 

 

Breast feeding has been and still is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and if it weren’t for the Babybar I would have given up long before now! I also know that if I do decide to switch to bottles down the line, Babybar will also be able to provide advice and support on that too. It’s an incredible resource which we are very lucky to have in Oxfordshire and I have already recommended it to many friends.

Jen

Support after Caesarean

My husband and I first visited babybar when our son was about 10 days old, I'd had an emergency c section and I don't think he or I were ready for him to be born. I was worried I wouldn't be able to breastfeed due to the c section and him having spent some time on scbu after his birth. The team at baby bar were so helpful and encouraging, they were a great support network for both me and my husband. They were particularly helpful with making sure baby was weighed correctly (his weight gain was being closely monitored by the midwifes). 

 

Since our initial visit I have been back to babybar loads with a variety of questions or just to drop in and socialise. It's a great way of getting personal advice or to talk things through (I find you can be easily scared or bombarded with information if you rely on Google!). The team also encourage you to talk to other mums who are/have recently been through the same thing. I always encourage friends to go to baby bar and will always offer to go with them! 

 

The environment is calm, the team are great and there are amazing parents there who are inspirational! No question is judged and as its drop in it doesn't matter if your late! 

 

We now have a happy, healthy 8 month old who is growing and moving very fast! Thank you for the support babybar. 

 

Sarah

Tongue-tie

I first visited the Babybar back in 2017 when my first born was 7.5 weeks old. We’d been exclusively breastfeeding and his weight gain was slow... having seen the HV weekly for advice we’d ended up topping up with formula and I had reached a point where I felt dejected and like a failure.

From the moment we walked in to the Ridgeway Centre that feeling began to lift - offered a beanbag and a slice of cake, but more than that, it was a welcoming smile and a community of support. If that wasn’t enough the level of expertise was life changing for us... for the first time an expert looked inside his mouth and identified a noticeable labial frenulum with a raised palette and retracted chin. What really spoke volumes was the speed and ease that this information was given, Rachel spoke to me as an equal and imparted knowledge without judgement in an environment designed to make me feel safe and secure. I was shown practical feeding techniques but also given the knowledge about how a baby feeds to help me understand how natural and easy it should be. But it wasn’t just advice I was given the contact details of specialists who could perform a frenulotomy and left empowered to go to my GP and get a referral back to the RBH.

Just over a week later we had the freulotomy at the RBH and began to see an improvement in weight gain and found a new confidence in feeding and knowing that I was providing my son with a fantastic start in life. But that wasn’t the end, I’d found a welcoming, comforting space where I could meet other mums to feed in comfort and build a friendship group that would continue, to this day, to provide support. I’d also tapped into a network of experts who I felt comfortable turning to again and again throughout our feeding and weaning journey.

I’m often in Wallingford attending toddler classes when the Babybar is on and often glance in and smile at the memories as I see the next group of nervous mums with their tiny babies gathered on the bean bags with shared looks of relief as they accept a coffee and a slice of cake. Really the timing of this testimonial couldn’t be better - I’m reflecting on those early days with my first born as I’m about to embark on a new adventure with twins! And my first port of call? This time before they even arrive is the Babybar... it was randomly bumping into Rachel and getting chatting when she suggested coming along to discuss feeding tips and how I could prepare I was reminded of what a invaluable resource we are privileged to have access to. I can’t begin to tell you the amount of people that I personally know who have benefitted from this service - it’s really testament to the dedication and hard work of the organisers that it continues to flourish and support the community.

Name Witheld

Baby

Fourth Baby

I gave birth to my 4th baby back in September and was prepared for feeding issues as I’d had lots of problems with my 3rd baby. The service was recommended to me by a friend, I attended for the 1st time when my baby was a week old. The environment felt safe and welcoming which is unbelievably important when you are at your most vulnerable. After lots of information sharing and help with feeding positions my baby was diagnosed with posterior tongue tie. I was feeling really down about the whole situation and the pain I was in was really challenging me. Had I not have received the excellent individual support I did I may not have been able to continue breastfeeding. It’s certainly not “a one size fits all” and Rachel was able to see the whole picture and understand my family’s dynamics and that I wasn’t able to sit for hours in a particular position because I had 3 other children to care for. This really demonstrated her knowledge as well as the other lady’s running the group. Rachel showed me hands free feeding which I now use a lot and also how to feed laying down. I’m pleased to report after having the baby’s tongue snipped, using the positions and techniques Rachel supported me with he has now been exclusively breastfed for nearly 17 weeks! I also recommend the service to all new breastfeeding mums as it’s unique and why I was happy to travel from Newbury to attend.

Sarah

Baby Siblings