The bf counsellor at the group I have been going to for 6 months has asked me to consider becoming a peer supporter. This is something that had crossed my mind as I have received so much help and support that I would like to give back in some way.
At the moment DS is 6m and I have no plans to return to work so I think I will have the time to dedicate but what does being a peer supporter really involve? BF Counsellor has said I would need to complete an 8 week course and that maybe with other peers and some HV's we could start a new group in my end of the city. There are no peers at the group I go to so don't have anyone to quiz!
It's really just sitting and listening to and supporting Mums. Obv you can't give out any medical advice, but you can give women suggestions for other people to speak to (GP, HV etc) if they need this. Most of the time it is about letting women know that their experience of bfing is normal - things such as cluster feeding and the baby that won't go in to the moses basket.
Do you know who will run the course, it is NHS or another bfing org? hth
I did a course with the local NHS/Sure Start. It was interesting but they hadn't really worked out how they wanted to use peer supporters afterwards and it felt a bit disorganised. With hindsight I think I'd have been better doing the ABM course Minnie mentioned.
Ask who will be providing the training and what the commitments afterwards are. It's probably less stressful if the NHS are providing the training - in my area, it's all BfN for peer supporter training and - while they do an amazing job - it's very political (e.g. you cannot do any work for the NCT EVER and stay a BfN peer supporter) and needs commitment (attending clinics or the hospital at least twice a month after training). The local NCT branch looked into doing a course, but it's ridiculously expensive for just 1 small class, especially given not many Mums would volunteer long term.