I would really like to train to help in some kind of peer support programme, but can't seem to find any info in my local area. Are they very local arrangements? If my local PCT doesn't do anything, can I perhaps do something through the NCT? How do I find out?
At a tangent, I actually had very few problems feeding myself as I got such good support in hospital. Does that actually make me a bad candidate to help others, or could I still be useful?
I had had no problems when I trained as a perr supporter. I found this a help as some of the ladies I trained with were really hung up on what went wrong with them and weren't as able to listen and let the person they were working with tell their story.
I asked at my local Children's Centre and they got me onto the next course they were running. (Supposed to start this week but they are a bit disorganised!) You could also ask your HV, they should know what is going on locally. I wanted to do it locally because I felt that was more involved with the community IYSWIM. But you can also train with the NCT, ABM, BfN, or LLL. (All links to info on training courses)
HTH I'm really looking forward to it! It's such a worthwhile thing to do. I'm sure the fact you had no problems will be fine - I haven't really had any problems either, but have read enough on here that I feel familiar with some of the common problems. The key is empathy
I trained through my Primary Care Trust. Definitely ask your HV if there's anything in the area. If not, I have also just finished the first stage of the ABM training which is more theoretical.
It's so rewarding being a breastfeeding peer supporter. I feel like we make a real difference in our area. I deal with all the twins, wish we'd been around when I had mine! Luckily the lady that ran our twins club was a foutain of knowledge having bfed her 3 singletons and then twins!
I had plenty of problems with bf and worked thru those with the tutor before being "let loose" on mothers. Different organisations have a different focus. I did a PCT/NCT one which was mother-centred i.e. you find out how the mother is feeling. Peer supporters who bring their own agenda to the work have not been well-trained.
Any course worth its salt will give you some basic counselling skills and train you how to listen and not impose your own experience. It can be hard not to jump in with "when I had my baby...".
On the other hand, if you had problems then I think you could be a fantastic peer supporter. You just need to remember the feelings of misery/pain/frustration and how damn hard it all was. That's your motivation for helping someone else.
I find it really rewarding (and it's not bad on a presently barren CV either).