About Breastfeeding Mum Meets

Breastfeeding Mum Meets is a registered charity run by a team of dedicated volunteers. We host weekly meets all over the county at specially selected venues providing support for mums and opportunities to socialise with other like minded women in a comfortable and encouraging environment.

Our goals are to raise awareness and promote the benefits of breastfeeding whilst helping Norfolk County UK mums on their journey, celebrating the highs and working through the lows.

We have 24hr peer support for members on our closed Facebook group and lots of info and fun on our public Twitter, Instagram and Facebook Charity page. We signpost to further support, provide information with links from reputable sites and give peer support using our personal experiences. Most importantly we provide a listening ear at an incredibly difficult and vulnerable time for a mum.

Our meets are very relaxed and informal. We love to see mums bring their bigger ones and the majority of our meets have some form of entertainment for babies up to preschool age.

We strongly believe it is vital to give mums an opportunity to vent and connect with individuals on a similar path.

Your breastfeeding journey should NEVER be a lonely one.

From humble beginnings!

We started off as a Facebook group in July 2017 and had our first meet on 25th August. That was hosted by Georgina (Founder and Charity Chair) and had 3 attendees including the now Charity Vice-Chair Jemma Jermy and previous Charity Treasurer Debz Chaplin!

A team of 4 covered the admin duties for a year with Georgina hosting in different areas over Norfolk every week until the decision was made to recruit other hosts. We grew and grew, covering more and more of Norfolk. We had big introductory meets in Gorleston introducing the amazing Jayne and in the West welcoming Milli, Lillie and Rose! Host by host we were able to support more mums and break more of the stigma surrounding public feeding.

We hosted our first Global Big Latch On, August 2018 in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich. It was an amazing morning but seemed to go so quickly due to the time restraints of the latch having to be at 10.30am. So, the following year we decided to make a huge family event of it to allow mums to relax, enjoy themselves and socialise. There was soft play, face painting, free fresh fruit, donuts and jelly, information stalls from local support services and our favourite local business who makes the most incredible empowering breastfeeding related items and liquid gold clothing. It was an amazing day; the oxytocin was flowing, and we were loving every second!

In January 2019 we got the email we were hoping for, from the Charity Commission . . . “We are satisfied that BREASTFEEDING MUM MEETS is a charity and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1181548. The decision to register was based on our assessment of the information supplied during the application process and the declarations given in the trustee declaration form and we are satisfied that BREASTFEEDING MUM MEETS is established for charitable purposes only for the public benefit.” WOHOO! That day was a huge achievement for the whole team and every single member on our page. Since then our team of trustee’s and officials has run the charity dealing with all sorts of things, many of which we never imagined we would ever have to!

So that leads us to where we are now, around 30 hosts, a full trustee team and regular meets all over the county. We are enormously proud of all we have achieved and never imagined that we would get to this incredible position. But… there is always more we can do!

Our trustees

Cat Forsyth

Cat ForsythBoard member, Host, Norwich and Outskirts

Name and Role – Cat, Charity Trustee and mums-only-nights-out host

Bio – Hi I’m Cat, mum to Oliver (5) step-mum to Ella (13).

My personal experience to breastfeeding is limited but have learnt so much from helping at meets and on the page that I have been able to give peer support for many years. I help with big events such as the Big Latch On and at meets I’m there to help everyone in any way I can. From a listening ear, sharing information, holding babies so mum can have a bit of hands free time, engaging with older siblings to take the pressure of the mums, anything to make it easier for our members! I have also been assisting with various behind the scenes things such as arranging and making donation boxes, linking with several businesses for contributions and advertising and helping with the planning of each years Global Big Latch On (the biggest event in the breastfeeding calendar!).

I am planning to host mum-nights-out which will hopefully be happening towards the end of the year.

 

Elle Crouch

Elle CrouchBoard member, Host, West

Name and role – Elle, host, social media programmer and Charity Trustee

Location – West Norfolk

Length of time breastfeeding – 2 years and still going

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – guilt free snacks and midnight cuddles!

Bio – Hi, I’m Elle! I live in Downham Market, I’m a stay at home mum for my 2 year old George who is a crazy little wild child, my partner, my dog and two guinea pigs. My partner has two older children also, so come the weekends our house gets very busy! George is still breastfeeding and I love being part of BMM. When I was pregnant, I didn’t attend any classes and if I’m honest I jumped into the labour/baby being here feet first into the dark! I did a lot of googling about breastfeeding when pregnant though and decided I would ‘give it a try’. From having a new born, I went through all the doubts every new mum does – do I have enough milk? Is he fussy because he’s hungry? Should I be topping up with formula? Should I wean at a point, so I don’t create a bad habit? All these questions were answered, and doubts squashed by the amazing host team for BMM and it was that support which made me want to give back to others with them. I am now confident in giving support with all those doubts I once felt and completely understand where they come from! The lack of support in the area is sad, and it’s a shame more mums aren’t informed from the start about the importance of not just breastfeeding the first few weeks but also in long term feeding too! Regardless of the lack of support for feeding in our more rural villages and towns, it’s lovely to feel our group is that little ray of sunshine in rural west Norfolk!

Jemma Jermy

Jemma JermyBoard member, Host, Norwich and Outskirts

Name and Role – Jemma, Co-Chair and host

Location – Norwich and Outskirts

Length of time breastfeeding – 2.5yrs and counting

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – solves all problems. Hungry-boob hurt-boob tired-boob.

Bio – I am Jemma. I am Vice Chair of Breastfeeding Mum Meets, as well as host for the Norwich area. I help run our social media with a few of our wonderful hosts.

My breastfeeding monster is nearly three years old. I never had a target when I started feeding, I just knew I wanted to breastfeed. It has not always been an easy journey. As he had gotten older and able to access the breast himself, it can get a little much. Touched out.

I wanted to breastfeed for many reasons. I knew it was the best for my child, but it was also a lot more convenient. No bottles, no making formula and no extra washing up. Breastfeeding also makes going on holiday or traveling, so much easier. No need to pack anything extra or worry about where you will buy it from when you get to your destination.

Being the only one to be able to sooth or feed Nathan has had its difficulties, but I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. Nothing worth doing is easy, and the bond we have is amazing. Our breastfeeding journey has been a wonderful experience.

Nathan makes me proud every day.

I joined breastfeeding mum meets because I have a passion for breastfeeding, and I want to help as many people as possible with their journey. Help them to overcome obstacles, make informed choices and most of all cherish every moment.

I want society to teach young girls the power of their bodies, what is normal and what they are capable of. The more they see people breastfeeding the more normal it will become. Society needs to respect a women’s bodies and what they are capable of, but more than that society need to respect what a woman chooses to do with her body.

Breast is not best. Fed is a necessity. Informed is best.

And it is about time women were informed.

Katie Makepeace

Katie MakepeaceBoard member, East, Host

Name and Role – Katie, host

Location – East Norfolk

Length of time breastfeeding – 3 yrs 3 months (so far!)

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – The closeness, knowing I’m giving my children the best start in life and it literally solves all problems (hungry, tired, upset etc)

Bio – Hi I’m Katie. I have 2 beautiful daughters, Willow who is 3 years old and Poppy who is 7 months old.
When we’re not at playgroups we like doing arts and crafts at home and playing in the garden.
When I get 5 mins to myself I enjoy reading, sketching and eating
I had a lot of issues in the early weeks with Willow, such as bad latch, sore blistered nipples and due to lack of knowledge about cluster feeding we got caught in the top up trap for a while. If it hadn’t been for both face to face and online support then I wouldn’t still be feeding, so I understand the huge impact this support has on people’s breastfeeding journeys.
I am currently tandem feeding both girls, something I never thought I would do. I fed through pregnancy and battled through aversion.
I’m so passionate about breastfeeding and I’m looking forward to meeting mums and hope to help anyone who is experiencing issues and offer guidance and support. You’ll find me at meets in the East of Norfolk covering Great Yarmouth and the surrounding villages. Hope to see you soon

Lara Morris-Hatch

Lara Morris-HatchBoard member, Host, North

Name and role – Lara. Charity Treasurer and host

Location – North Norfolk

Length of time breastfeeding – 1 year with first and about to have my second

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – excuse to do literally nothing but put your feet up and watch TV whilst feeding!

Bio – Hi I’m Lara mum to Felix and currently pregnant with my second child. I breastfed Felix until his first birthday and am hoping to feed this one at least as long if not more! I am one of the charity trustees and host in north Norfolk. If I ever get a free moment I enjoy taking part in my local pantomime group and watching rubbish TV! I joined breastfeeding mum meets back when my son was 4 months old so nearly 2 and half years ago! I mainly did it to meet other like minded women and to get out the house! Oh and to have an excuse to eat lots of cake. Looking forward to meeting some of you at meets in the future!

Milli Hesketh

Milli HeskethBoard member, Host, West

Name and Role – Milli, Co-Chair and host

Location and role – West Norfolk

Length of time breastfeeding – 3.25 years

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – Convenience (it’s ready anytime anywhere, at the perfect temperature and consistency, with no special equipment needed👌🏻). That, and that fact that it’s just magic!!

Bio – I’m Milli, I’m currently breastfeeding my second baby after feeding my son for over three years. I am a doctor, and also teach Anatomy to medical students. When my first was born I was disappointed by the complete lack of breastfeeding support in my area, so I am very glad to have the opportunity to help other women through Breastfeeding Mum Meets. My favourite thing about breastfeeding is how convenient it is – it’s ready any time anywhere, at the perfect temperature and consistency, with no special equipment needed! That, and the fact that it’s just magic, and has so many benefits for mothers and their babies, as well as for wider society and for the environment. My main hobbies are coffee, going to the park, and finding out how little sleep I need to function – often all three together! When I have time, I also enjoy gardening, sewing and playing the piano. I’m based in Downham Market and am head BMM host for the West Norfolk area. I currently host regular BMM meets in Downham and Wereham, as well as supporting online via the BMM Facebook group. I have completed the ABM Mother Supporter course, and also the UNICEF Management of Breastfeeding training.

Natalie Marczewski

Natalie MarczewskiBoard member, Host, North

Name and Role – Natalie, host

Location – North Norfolk

Length of time breastfeeding – I feed Fred for 10 months, Mabel 18 months and still feeding Edith who is 10 weeks.

Favourite thing about breastfeeding – the closeness and it’s something only I can do for my children/babies!

Bio – Hi my names Natalie, I have 3 children. Fred is 7 and I fed him for 10 months, we had a tricky start due to tongue tie and reflux, Mabel is 4 and I fed her for 18 months when she self weaned . Mabel was a dream to feed and was very matter of fact about it. Our newest edition is Edith she is 10 weeks and has been exclusive breastfed and I plan to let her self wean, she would happily be attached to me all day and night! All my children have been such different feeders but I suspect that’s because all have very different personalities!
When I started my journey with Fred I found I got very conflicting advice and had little faith in myself, I want to help people not to feel that way. There seems to be such a limited amount of breastfeeding groups around which I feel is such a shame as I feel any breastfeeding support is worth its weight in gold! Breastfeeding is often not the journey we planned.

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