Since May 2018, Derbyshire County Council and Derbyshire Community Health Services have been working with The Breastfeeding Network to give breastfeeding mums the best possible chance of reaching their own breastfeeding goals.
A network of breastfeeding support groups already existed across the county, allowing the BfN to provide support, training, and supervision to lots of enthusiastic and experienced volunteers. The support provided is mother-centred, so that women are enabled to make their own informed infant feeding decisions without pressure or judgement.
You might see our volunteers working alongside paid peer supporters at antenatal breastfeeding classes or weaning sessions for 3-4 month old babies. They may also be hosting drop-in sessions around the county, answering breastfeeding questions online in the middle of the night, sharing the latest breastfeeding news on social media, and will even be at the end of a phone if you need help outside of your group’s regular hours!
All breastfeeding is valued, even if just for one feed or one day, so that women are supported to appreciate what they have achieved. At the same time, the Derbyshire breastfeeding volunteers, having breastfed themselves, provide role models for breastfeeding in an area where the culture is entrenched bottle-feeding. Regular reflection on their work with a trained supervisor helps ensure the volunteers’ continual development of skills and recognition of boundaries. As well as a huge sense of reward from helping mums to breastfeed happily and comfortably, volunteers gain work experience doing something they’re passionate about, and are offered many opportunities to further their learning.
If you live in Derbyshire and are interested in training as a breastfeeding volunteer, have a look at our training page, and please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We run two courses per year, covering the whole of the county.
If you are looking for local breastfeeding support, visit this site for a list of groups near you. Please make contact with the group before you go to check that all the information is up-to-date. You can also call Supporterline on 0300 100 0210 for breastfeeding help 9.30am – 9.30 pm every day of the week.