A new memory aide to remember principles of attachment for effective breastfeeding

Lynette Shotton, Cheryl Elliott, Roslyn Nunn, Kathryn Lane

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Aim of paper
Aligned with the overall theme of the conference and particularly Quality Improvement and Innovation, this presentation aims to provide an overview of the process and outcomes of a university funded research project conducted in collaboration between university academics with a nursing and midwifery background and Infant Feeding Leads in NHS practice.

The project involved selecting one of two memory aides designed to help remember and recall key principles of attachment for effective breastfeeding and piloting it across the Northeast and Cumbria in order to refine it before sharing more widely with breastfeeding educators and practitioners.

UK Breastfeeding rates remain low and as such are an important public health priority (PHE, 2021). Alongside UNICEF Baby Friendly training, there is an ongoing need to ensure practitioners are equipped with the requisite knowledge and skills to promote and support breastfeeding (UNICEF, 2023). In 2010 the applicant developed an innovative first letter mnemonic (CHINS) to help educators and practitioners retain and recall key principles of positioning for effective breastfeeding. It has since been embedded in UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative training across the UK and beyond and the practice of the breastfeeding workforce. A UK evaluation of CHINS funded by the Burdett Trust for Nursing showed demand for a complimentary mnemonic for attachment. Many of the challenges associated with breastfeeding are linked to positioning and attachment, and therefore, this presentation will be relevant to nurses, midwives and practitioners involved in supporting breastfeeding.

Securing university research funding, a participatory research project was conducted in partnership with university midwifery academics and breastfeeding leads in the NHS to select one of two mnemonics for attachment and pilot it across the Northeast and Cumbria. This presentation provides an overview of the pilot, and the outcomes.

Value to the conference
Aligning to aims of the conference, the presentation shows the value of collaboration between universities and NHS partners to conduct research which produces innovations, such as the new mnemonic, that can be embedded widely across education and practice for the breastfeeding workforce.

Learning Outcomes
To understand how the research pilot was conducted and participant (n-57) feedback helped improve the memory aide.
Showcase a short film produced as an output of the pilot, which introduces and explains the innovative mnemonic developed in collaboration with academics, practitioners and service users.
Provide a link to the film and digital resources showing the applicants mnemonics for positioning and attachment for future reference/ use/ sharing.

Recommended Reading Titles
Harland, L. (2011) Remember CHIN. Community Practitioner, 84 (1), p. 18
UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative (2023) Breastfeeding Resources. Available at:
Breastfeeding resources - Baby Friendly Initiative (unicef.org.uk)

Presenter Biographies
Lynette Shotton
Dr Lynette Shotton is an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing at Northumbria University. She has a professional background in adult nursing and health visiting and much of her academic work has focused on the development and delivery of high quality curricula to educate and train the nursing and health visiting workforce. Her research interests are varied but she has a sustained interest in breastfeeding as an important public health priority. The memory aide CHINS she developed has been used in UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative training since 2010 and current work focuses on evaluating the impact of this and using it as a platform to conduct research and introduce innovative approaches to education and practice in this area.

Cheryl Elliott
Cheryl Elliott is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Nursing, Midwifery and Health at Northumbria University. Cheryl is an adult nurse with experience of working in the UK and in Australia. She returned to the UK in 2012 and qualified as a midwife in 2014. Cheryl has been working at Northumbria University since 2018 where she is passionate about developing high quality midwifery curricula for UK students and those studying in Malta as well as delivering lectures focused on simulation to learners in Thailand.
Cheryl is currently conducting doctoral research: "An exploration of the expectations and realities of pregnancy and motherhood for nulliparous women aged 40 years and over".

Roslyn Nunn
Roslyn is the Infant Feeding Co-ordinator with the North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care System. Roslyn is responsible for leading on the regional strategy for infant feeding.
Previously, Roslyn has been an Infant Feeding Lead in Maternity, Health Visiting and Children's Centre Settings and has played a key role in managing UNICEF Baby Friendly Accreditation working collaboratively with key stakeholders in health and education.
Roslyn is involved in the National Infant Feeding Network, a network of around 800 infant feeding specialists and is the co-ordinator for the North East region.

Kathryn Lane
Kathryn is a Specialist Health Visitor - Infant Feeding Lead with Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust. Kathryn is an experienced practitioner who is passionate about developing the breastfeeding workforce through collaborative work with key agencies in health and local authority settings, as well as working closely with educational institutions across the region to enhance their breastfeeding curricula and support UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative accreditation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRCN Education Forum National Conference & Exhibition 2024
Subtitle of host publicationFuture Insights: Enabling professional practice in health and social care nursing education: Conference abstracts
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherRoyal College of Nursing
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Apr 2024
EventRCN Education Forum National Conference and Exhibition 2024: Future Insights: Enabling professional practice in health and social care nursing education - York Racecourse, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Apr 202424 Apr 2024


ConferenceRCN Education Forum National Conference and Exhibition 2024
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

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