Birth Health Life


Thursday, 7 July 2016

What's in my Breastfeeding Peer Support bag?

Doing the photos for this blog post made me realise that my bag has put in three years of hard work, being slung into my car and chucked onto clinic needed a bit of a wash.  I gave it a nice hot soapy wash and it now doesn't look very well at all.  Ah well, I'm sure it will stretch back out in its own time!

When we graduated from peer support class, all of us were given these bags to put our folders in, along with these sweet and very useful knitted breasts.
We were also given a copy of the La Leche League book 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding'  which was a lovely gift to receive, and really useful in clinic to refer to.  I love it because although packed with useful information and facts, it doesn't come across like a text book, it's more like talking to a knowledgeable mum who is a friend, who understands the kind of pressures and life that an mum leads.

It has sections pertaining to the age of the baby, also a Tech support section, where you can look up various challenges mums come across.  There will be a 'back story' describing what scenarios surround various hitches in breastfeeding, and how they can be resolved. If I'm ever asked for a book recommendation for troubleshooting or simply accompanying the breastfeeding journey, this one is it!

So over the years I've gathered other bits and bobs in the bag.  There are leaflets from our local 'Milk' clinics, with venues, days and times for each drop-in, as well as updates that we receive regularly to make sure that our knowledge is current.

I carry 'My Child Won't Eat' by Carlos Gonzalez, because complementary feeding also comes up in questions in the clinic.  Carlos' approach is scientific; he is a paediatrician, but he's also a father of three who has a responsive, attachment parenting style approach, which I think is so important when supporting issues around food in the early days.  The most common worry mothers seem to have is that their children aren't eating enough, or enough of the 'right' foods.  Carlos highlights how children are very good at regulating exactly the amount they need to eat, like all animals in the world...they know exactly what they need.

These helplines are available if you need to speak to a breastfeeding counsellor in the UK:

ABM 0300 330 5453
NBFH 0300 100 0212 
NCT  0300 3300 771
LLL 0845 120 2918

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