Mum-to-mum (peer) support - talking to other mothers

Islington peer supporters are local mothers who have experience of breastfeeding and have been trained by the Breastfeeding Network charity, commissioned by the NHS in Islington, to support other mothers. They offer information and support freely at breastfeeding drop-in sessions and are at some antenatal and baby clinics. They also visit the postnatal wards of the Whittington and UCLH hospitals each morning to give information and support to all Islington mothers. They phone every Islington mother who leaves hospital breastfeeding about 3-4 days after their baby is born (unless they have asked us not to do so) to offer support over the phone, invite to the drop-ins and, in certain cases, arrange a home visit.
Training as a peer (mum-to-mum) breastfeeding supporter

Islington funds the Breastfeeding Network to train local mothers to support other Islington mothers with breastfeeding.

The training has Open College Network accreditation and takes place over 14 weeks for two hours per week. Once trained, peer supporters and helpers attend on-going supervision sessions to ensure they have the opportunity to continue to develop knowledge and skills.

The training is free and a crèche is provided for small children. We ask only that those being trained commit to giving a minimum of 2 hours a week as a breastfeeding support volunteer for at least a year after they finish the training. New volunteers are placed alongside more experienced supporters as they gain experience. Trained supporters attend breastfeeding drop in sessions and other groups on a voluntary basis and can be trained to work on telephone support lines. Expenses such as childcare and travel are reimbursed.

The peer supporters represent a variety of ethnic backgrounds and languages, as well as different breastfeeding and parenting experiences. Any mother who has breastfed can apply for this training and should contact the Peer Support Coordinator on 020 3316 8439 or see The Breast Feeding Network website.

Working on it!