Train To Be A Registered Volunteer

BfN training is open to all women who have breastfed their babies and is open to mothers of all ages from many backgrounds; to enable them to widen their knowledge, skills and experience to support breastfeeding within their communities.
There are two stages of training:

BfN Helper Course (Peer Supporter)Ask my mum

By completing the course you can hope to achieve:

  • The knowledge to support other new mums with breastfeeding.
  • A nationally recognised, Open College Network accredited qualification.
  • Work experience and up-to-date references to apply for a job in the future.
  • Opportunity to continue training to become BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporter.

Funding permitting, training should be free to trainees and may include a crèche facility.
BfN Registered Breastfeeding Helpers (peer supporters) and can volunteer in a variety of different ways: in BfN Breastfeeding drop-in groups, in hospitals, schools and in antenatal classes. You may be able to visit mums who live near you.

BfN Supporter Course

BfN Registered Breastfeeding Helpers may go on to do a second stage of training. On completion you become a BfN Registered Breastfeeding Supporter gaining skills to work independently and offer phone support on Supporterline and on the National Breastfeeding Helpline. All BfN volunteers receive regular supervision and ongoing training to maintain the quality of their work.

What People Say About our Courses

This feedback comes from people who completed our training including mums training to be volunteers, Health Visitors and Midwifery Care Assistants.

“Training to be a Breastfeeding Supporter was one of my best decisions ever. It’s been incredibly rewarding and moving to support other mums who choose to breastfeed their babies. A side effect of the thorough and interesting training is the feeling of achievement and value I’ve experienced.”
“I found the course as a whole really interesting, I found the group work and one-to-one sessions interesting as I was able to see other points of view and got to understand and appreciate other mothers experiences.”

There is full information about our courses for mothers in our Training Leaflet.

If you have other questions you should find the answers in our Breastfeeding Training Frequently Asked Questions.  You may also find it useful to take a look at our Code of Conduct and the Questions about Avoiding Conflicts of Interest to find out if you would be eligible to train with us.

Availability of Training

Currently the funding available for us to provide training courses is very limited. The details of all current training opportunities will be posted here, so please keep checking.

If there are no courses currently running in your area and you would like us to let you know about any new courses that may be of interest to you, please complete the form below with your contact details. Your details will be added to a secure electronic database for future use.

Commissioning our Training

It is also possible to commission a course for up to 12 trainees. This can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your group, for example in the past we have run half day Breastfeeding Awareness courses for Primary Care Trusts and have delivered commissioned courses for GP practices.

To discuss this in more detail please email peer-support-training@breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk or call us on 0844 412 0995.

Finding Alternative Training

In areas where BfN is not able to offer training you may be interested in the following:

  • Our partners on the National Breastfeeding Helpline, also offer training. To find out more see Association of Breastfeeding Mothers.
  • Your nearest maternity unit may have an infant feeding coordinator, who has information on what training is being offered locally. If you live in England you can find your nearest maternity unit here.
  • If there are several other mums in your area, who also want to train, it can be worth finding out if there is some local funding available to “buy in” BfN training. Please contact us on peer-support-training@breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk if you want to discuss this idea in more detail.

Other organisations who provide training include

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