I still remember when I first trying to fully breastfeed Lynn about 6 years ago, it was not easy at all. Despite I have read a lot about breastfeeding during pregnancy, even attended the prenatal class and fully prepared myself for it, I never expect it's such a challenging task. Luckily I had a colleague who breastfeed her first child exclusively gave me tips and some guidance, plus my own determination and supports from hb and family, finally I was able to breastfeed Lynn exclusively. So I totally understand it's not easy for most mothers when come to breastfeeding journey. 6 years ago, breastfeeding was just started getting more common. Without this colleague of mine who the only person that I know was breastfeeding during that time, I don't think I could breastfeed Lynn exclusively. It shows how important to get supports from another mommy who has experience on this matter. That time also I don't know about this The Breastfeeding Advocates Network (TBAN) yet. So there were lots of trial and error for me during that time.
I know there are mommies out there especially first time mommies, who wish to breastfeed their child but not successful due to lack of supports and guidance. I wish I was there to help them and support them. When I know about there's this Malaysian Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Training Program through TBAN, I did not hesitate to register myself for it. It was a 3 days program. All participants must attended full 3 days to get the certificate which would be given at the end of the training.
The training was held at a very interactive way. Lots of group discussion and presentation. Most of the participants are mommies and are still actively breastfeeding their child. So babies below 1 year old are allowed. Mommies feel free to nurse the baby, carry them or pump if the baby is not with them.
Everyone seems so relax. :)
Presentation after group discussion.
Some mommies pumping at the side by just cover themselves with the shawl.
The correct way to bottle feed a breastfed baby. Not in lying down position, but in sitting position with support.
Ryle's tube - One of the lactation aid for mother that wish to re-lactate or adoption mother that wish to breastfeed the baby.
With some help from nurse or family members to place the baby on the chest, mommy who has gone through c-section can breastfeed the baby right away.
Breast models made by us. :)
The role of a peer counselors.
Though I have just weaned Hao from the breast for about a year ago, I feel that I have forgotten so much on breastfeeding! This program not only refresh my memory, I have also made lots of new friends with other mommies there, who are also passionate on breastfeeding, and also learn a lot of new things from the sharing of other mommies. We also learn about the 3-steps communication, the important of listening, and the dangers of giving advice. Why is it dangerous to give advice? Because people maybe skeptical; if they follow the advice and success they may become dependent on you; if they follow the advice and fail they may blame you etc. And also we are not expert. Sometimes the mother may just want to be heard and not asking for advice. We as peer counselor, is important to make sure the mother feels good about herself at the end of the session. And most important, we cannot judge.
Whether the baby is exclusively breastfeeding, or mix with formula milk, as long as the baby is getting some breast milk from the mother is better than no breast milk at all. But still we have to respect other mothers who choose not to breast feed their children. They may have their reasons for doing so. We should not judge them. I believe all mothers want the best to their children. :)