I'm hopefully going on a course in the new year but since I don't know anyone who does this I'm starting to have doubts about how useful I can actually be. Isn't it better for people to contact a bfc rather than a peer supporter as they have more training?
I'm one (only recently trained) and from time to time I go to a bf group and chat to mums who need help. If the problem is beyond me I'll pass them on to someone better trained, but sometimes just providing some information can be really helpful to people. I had problems feeding DS at first and a couple of (admittedly very experienced) peer supporters really helped me by watching DS feed and talking me through how to get him latched on better. And the emotional support was great too.
Peer supporters are usually women who have breastfed their own children, who are trained in 'active listening skills' and how to show mums ways improve the positioning and attachment of their babies at the breast. They're usually local to the area in which they volunteer so have some basic things in common with the mum seeking help/support. They help to make b/f support groups less medicalised and like a clinic for problems but more friendly and socialble thus helping the essential normalising of breastfeeding.
I've just read that back, can you tell how much I like my peer supporters?
I run a couple of b/f support groups at work and really appreciate my volunteers. I'm also a peer supporter when not at work and would like to think I was similarly appreciated by the HCPs I volunteer for!
You won't regret doing the course, it's well worth the time.