Saturday, 16 June 2012

Peer Supporters Rock !


When I began my breastfeeding journey over fourteen years ago, the level of information and support was very limited. I attended a breastfeeding workshop, which was a two hour group session with my midwife, who happened to be the breastfeeding expert in our area.

I knew that I wanted to breastfeed and was adamant that I would, regardless, I never bought any bottles, or a steriliser. I am one of those people that needs to know as much information as I can about a subject beforehand, so I went to the local library and found as many books as I could about childbirth and breastfeeding, and spent the pregnancy reading them all.

Many things have changed over the past fourteen years, and the level of support and information about breastfeeding has increased quite significantly.
When Tyrus was born last June I was offered a telephone call from the local breastfeeding team, however I felt quite well equipped to deal with my sixth, but it was nice to know if I did have any problems that someone was at the end of a telephone.

The breastfeeding team consists of a group of trained nurses and midwives who are always on hand to answer any questions or queries, they arrange visits to see new breastfeeding mums and their babies, if ever there is a problem someone is always available to help. They also have a  number of voluntary peer supporters who work alongside them.

As the months went by, I made the decision that I had been very fortunate with my breastfeeding journey, although I knew many that hadn't and as it is something I am very passionate about, I enquired about using my knowledge and experience to help others.
In March 2012 I undertook a two day UNICEF training course to become a Breastfeeding Peer Supporter.

The area that I am in is Great Yarmouth & Waveney, and the group of supporters that we have are just fab.

Below is a little bit about us :

Breast Friends are a dedicated group of peer supporters, trained in Breastfeeding Management by the UNICEF trained NHS East Coast Community Healthcare Breastfeeding Team.

We are all mothers with personal experience of breastfeeding who come from a variety of backgrounds with very different experiences of our breastfeeding journey.

We are always available at the local Baby Cafes to support mums before and during their breastfeeding experience.

You will also find us offering help and advice at the local hospital, on the maternity ward, delivery suite and Special Care Baby unit.

I love visiting the Baby Cafe and spending time with the new mums and their bundles of joy, and love helping in any way I can. In the future I would like to help pregnant mums with their feeding decisions and possibly go into high schools and give the teenage girls the correct information about feeding before they even begin on their parenting journey. I remember a mum coming to talk to our Nursery Nursing course and that stuck with me, throughout my late teens.

Who did you go to for support and how did they help you with your breastfeeding ?.

If you have enjoyed reading, you will find more articles about breastfeeding at these locations.






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6 comments:

  1. my health visitor ruth has been fantastic and deserves a medal for all the support she has given me

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  2. Haven't come across a peer supporter, but an LLL volunteer helped us immensely - diagnosed the posterior tongue tie everyone else had missed.

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  3. My biggest supporter has been my mum and she regularly gives me a pep talk and lots of encouraging words which I am truly thankful for. My husband is also very much in support too which is great and it makes a huge difference when you have a great supporting team behind you!

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  4. my husband has been a great breastfeeding supporter. he supports me feeding in public and encourages me to feed for as long as i want to, hopefully beyond a year.

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  5. My husband is amazing support! He always knows just what to say to me and is always there to help me whenever and however he can! I feel realy blessed to have him :)

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