New Year's Honours: Waterlooville woman says passion to help new mothers ledÂ to award
'˜I WAS only following my passion,' a Waterlooville woman has said.
Dr Wendy Jones is due to be awarded an MBE for her work supporting breastfeeding mothers, a voluntary role she has taken on for more than 20 years.
The 64-year-old who has a PhD in pharmacy founded the Breastfeeding Network and the Drugs in Breast Milk Service to provide free advice on what medications a breastfeeeding mother can safely use.
Currently she personally responds to around 40 mothers every day through online platforms such as email, Facebook and Twitter, allowing her reach to grow from her initial phone service.
But for Wendy the hours she has dedicated to mothers across the world have been a privilege.
'I was very surprised when I heard I was getting the award. It was absolutely amazing,' she said.
'It really took my breath away.
'I just didn't think these sorts of thing happened to normal people. I feel incredibly privileged to have followed something that is my passion and it has led to this.'
Wendy first became involved in sharing her knowledge on drugs and breastfeeding in 1995.
She said: 'I was asked to update an information pack about the safety of drugs in breast milk. It was two pages originally but when I had finished it was 35 pages long.
'In 1997 I started taking phone calls about it. Anybody who wanted to phone me up.
'The volume of calls was increasing and increasing and was too difficult to manage so I moved it over to social media platforms two years ago.
She added: 'We know about all the advantages of breastfeeding now. It is being used more and more. I even get healthcare professionals asking for my advice because it is so trusted now.
'It's so important that mums know what drugs are safe to take while breastfeeding. They could need to take medication for something simple like a cold or it could be for cancer or a disease. It's so vital we provide them with the information and resources to see if a mother does have to stop taking the medication or not.'
In 2018 Wendy's voluntary work was recognised by the Prime Minister with a Points of Light award.