Peer supporters are mums who have breastfed for at least 3 months, have completed a GBSN peer supporters’ training course and provide support to other breastfeeding mums.
They agree to attend a group regularly for 6 months following their training – some groups work on a rota basis, others are more informal and whoever gets there first helps to set up.
Peer supporters are volunteers and do not receive any pay although if they purchase tea and biscuits for their group or do photocopying their expenses will of course be reimbursed.
- Help set up the room – put out the books, bras, toys, chairs etc
- Welcome mothers, particularly new mums
- Help new mums complete the new mum attendance sheet
- Make sure everyone has a drink and a biscuit
- Talk to mums – this is very important. It could just be a social chat or the mum may have a breastfeeding issue which becomes apparent during conversation. Not all mums will say they are having difficulties on the new mum sheet but will open up when someone takes an interest and talks with them.
- A mum may be looking for information that can help her to think through issues that might be within the wide range of normal or she may need the assistance of the breastfeeding counsellor. Either way, peer supporters play a vital role in the work of the charity.
- Support the breastfeeding counsellor
- Clear up at the end of a session
- Fill in forms for returning mums, collate attendance data and forward to GBSN
- Bank money from the sale of bras and notify the treasurer of the details
Peer supporters are the backbone of GBSN and without them the charity would not exist. GBSN is in essence “owned” by the Peer Supporters.
If you would like to become a peer supporter, please get in touch to enquire about our training programme.
Peer supporter training is open to all Gloucestershire mothers who have breastfed their own baby for at least three months.
Training is free-of-charge. It takes place once a week over a seven-week period.
There are no prior educational requirements – if you have special learning needs, please discuss this with your Trainer before the course starts.
The training course covers the following areas:
- The role of a breastfeeding peer supporter
- How to communicate as a breastfeeding peer supporter
- The health benefits of breastfeeding
- Breastfeeding in the context of UNICEF Baby Friendly minimum standards of care
- Expressing and storing breastmilk
- How to support challenges to breastfeeding
For further information on training to be a GBSN Peer Supporter, please pop along to your local group to discuss it with the Specialist Worker.
Or you can contact GBSN on [email protected]