Facebook has reminded that nine years ago today I did my breastfeeding training with the NHS for my role at a Sure Start children's centre. It was one of the best trainings I have done.
I then spent six years supporting the breastfeeding drop in, the antenatal classes, and doing home visits. And then a year as a breastfeeding peer supporter volunteer, after going independent. And of course running bf workshops & supporting Chilled Mama clients since then too.
Supported lots of amazing families. Amazing women trying their best for their babies. Supportive partners and grandparents. Most of the time a small tweak was all that was needed. Sometimes I couldn't help and called in more experienced help, or a team to give more intensive support. Sometimes it was too late. Too little correct support and info in the first week undermining confidence and supply.
As a breastfeeding supporter I also supported mums when they wanted to stop feeding, bottle feeding mums with types of milk, preparing feeds and supporting their feeding relationship. Expressing mums. Mums with breast surgery. Mums about to have surgery. And starting solids.
Every breastfeeding supporter/worker will tell you it is not just about breastfeeding. And they will also tell you that we respect everyone's journey, breastfeeding or not. Our job is to support them to get to where they want to be.
Did I help you? I'd love to hear. Did you get support from someone else that you'd like to share/thank?
If you would like to do this very rewarding role there are a number if different routes - see this article I wrote. The more women have the knowledge and skills to support their sisters the better.
I am a doula and antenatal teacher near Luton in Bedfordshire.