Publish date: 20 May 2024

Colette_ (002).jpgCollette Palin is an Infant feeding Co-ordinator who recently acted as a principal investigator in the study ‘The effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of Assets-based feeding help Before and After birth (ABA-feed) for improving breastfeeding initiation and continuation. A multicentre randomised controlled trial with internal pilot.’  

Colette and the Breastfeeding Support Sefton Ambassadors were really keen to get involved with the study because anecdotal evidence pointed to the model being most likely to achieve increases in breastfeeding initiation and maintenance rates and from a personal perspective Colette was keen to become actively involved in research.  

The team’s participation in the study, which has now closed, was also useful in terms of adding to its portfolio for UNICEF accreditation. 

Colette said: 

“This is the first piece of research I have been involved in. I felt quite daunted at the prospect of being principal investigator and embarked on the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) training with some trepidation. From the initial learning and the meetings with research teams, study team and peers taking part I felt supported and inspired to learn more about research. 

“I now have an appreciation of the whole process and the mammoth task a quality piece of research is. This particular study will be of huge value to the speciality of infant feeding and the provision of skilled peer support for mothers nationally. Being involved in the study will be highly beneficial for Mersey Care as we seek Gold accreditation with the Unicef Baby friendly initiative standards next year, the workstream will be evidence within our progression and culture themes of the assessment. 

“I am seeing a real enthusiasm from the volunteers recruited and who have mentioned feeling a great sense of worth and that their input now could protect vital breastfeeding resource for the future generations. I remain really excited to see the outcomes published and am keen to be involved in future research and have actually started looking at research positions for my own future employment.” 

If Colette’s story has inspired you to get involved in research, you can visit the National Institute for Health and Care Research website for a range of useful information and resources about where to get started.