E-newsletter for Dorset Real Baby Milk Peer Supporters
Real Baby Milk CIC


Peer Support OCN Accredited training began on 22nd April at Dorchester Children's Centre. 
The Dorchester course has been so popular we decided that the next training will also be at Dorchester CC on Monday afternoons from 12.30-2.30pm, running on 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th June and 7th and 14th July.
If you are interested in training or know someone who may be please contact  
We will be running 3 more training sessions across Dorset up to march 2015.

‘The success of Sherborne’

In September 2013 a new breastfeeding support group came to Sherborne, Dorset. There hadn’t really been a well attended group in the town for quite some time and peer supporters Rachel, mother of four, and Hollie, mother of two were determined to make that change…

Once we had made contact with the local Children’s Centre and found a convenient time and place that we could run the group, Rachel and I started to get to work on the planning of the ‘big launch.’ We got busy creating flyers and distributing them around to local doctors surgeries, hospitals, shops and playcentres, making contacts with Midwives and Health Visitors at Yeovil Hospital, and also set up a Facebook page for the group and began sharing it within groups and with friends.

I sent out a press release, and arranged for a photographer from two local papers to come and document the event. The launch brought fifteen breastfeeding mothers, two expectant mothers, two Real Baby Milk representatives and two Midwives from the local hospital, all welcomed with a cup of tea and a ‘boobie’ inspired cupcake!

Seven months on, and the group has gone from strength to strength. Two of the mums that originally came to the group seeking support and information have now gone on to train as peer supporters and are regular attendees at the group. On average we have around eight mums each week with new mums coming regularly. We are very humbled by the great feedback we have received and pleased that we have managed to support so many mothers through a range of different issues, from reoccurring tongue ties, to food intolerances and returning to work.

We have had specialist visits from Sarah ‘the bra lady’, offering mums the opportunity to have a bra fitting, and also have visits from Anita, a cranial osteopath and Carol, a baby-wearing consultant in the pipeline. The NCT breastfeeding counsellor, Nicky Adolphe also attends regularly. We also have plans to give short presentations in antenatal classes and pregnancy workshops and continue to promote the group as much as we can via social media and with posters and flyers.

Rachel, co-founder of the group says “Making a good link between the Health Visitors and Midwives is key to establishing a well-known and successful group. We set up a meeting with the Health Visitors a couple of months ago and we have found the new faces that we are seeing since then have been signposted to us from the Health Visitors in particular. It’s nice that we are all in touch with each other and working together to give mums the support they need”

We have also just received the exciting news that some community funding that we applied for last month has been awarded, and we will soon have a little money to go towards publicity material, books and leaflets, group resources and of course, tea and biscuits!

We feel that we’ve created a welcoming and friendly environment that can only get better, with huge thanks to all at The Children’s Centre, Yeovil Hospital and Emma and Jane at Real Baby Milk for supporting us.

The ‘tips’, for a successful group, (if we have any!) are good promotion, good communication between peer supporters and health professionals, and also a good meeting space with lots of resources for children of all ages.


If your group would like to apply for funding from the Dorset Breastfriends bank account, please send an email to, outlining what you would like the funding for and some fundraising ideas for your group in the future. 
Also, if your group needs to have more stickers printed for the front of the 'red books' please let me know.
This was posted on Beaminster Baby & Me Facebook!

Combination/formula feeding – Guidelines for Peer Supporters

Some mums may raise the question of either switching to formula feeding or combination feeding and these conversations can be challenging to deal with as Peer Supporters.  However, if you use the listening skills that you have learned and practiced to ensure that the mums does not feel judged or threatened by your questions (and allow some silence for the mum to gather her thoughts), she is more likely to feel listened to and you may have a chance to help her through a sticky patch with your knowledge and experience as a breastfeeding mum, or to support her with her decision whatever that may be.
Using open questions like - "ok, so you're thinking about using some formula, how are you feeling about that?" or "talk to me about what your thoughts are about using some formula/ switching to formula feeding"
You will need to know how to safely make up formula, should the mum decide that is what she wants to do, and support her in that decision.  The following is a guideline and includes some suggestions to help ease that decision - as it may be a very difficult one for the mum to have made.  You may also have a chance to let her know that just having some formula doesn't mean that breastfeeding is finished completely and that a combination of breastfeeding and formula is perfectly achievable should that be her decision, having understood her thought process.  By using this mum (and baby) centred approach, there is more chance that she will view the support she has received positively and will be more likely to turn to peer support with any future babies, when her decision(s) may well be very different. By using a person-centred approach you are helping to support mums and babies and 'future proof' Bf Peer Support'.
Preparing Infant Formula
  1. For the safe preparation of formula from powder:  water should be fresh for each feed and at 70-90 degrees so leave kettle for no more than 30 minutes after boiling, put water in the bottle before the powder, cool to feeding temperature (body temperature) by using cold running water if possible – care should be taken to cover the teat effectively and checking the temperature on inner part of your wrist where you should not be able to feel it.
  2. Any milk which states that it is suitable from birth is suitable for whole of first year, there is no need for follow-on milk, hungry baby milk, comfort milk etc. etc.
  3. Hold the baby so baby can tilt head back while bottle feeding and give eye contact, talk to baby, smile etc. while giving bottle
  4. Allow baby time to suck and pause, aim to feed little and often, this may mean that the baby may want larger or smaller amounts at different times as pauses will give their brains time to adjust to the fullness of their stomach.
  5. Try to limit the number of people who feed baby, so baby creates a close loving relationship with just one or two people
  6. Ideas for other things to do if baby unsettled (apart from offering more formula): offering a breastfeed if mixed feeding, having skin to skin, cuddling and winding, carrying in sling, baby massage, tiger in a tree (holding baby across arm with head near elbow end and tummy resting on forearm), taking baby for a walk in pram etc.  – all of these may avoid baby being overfed inappropriately

Littlemoor Breastfriends Funding

We were recently lucky enough to secure some funding from the Weymouth & Portland Borough Council's 'Working With You' fund for the Littlemoor Breastfriends group. We received £400 to be utilised for advertising and raising awareness of the group in the local area, in the hope that we can encourage mums within the Littlemoor locality to attend.

As you know, breastfeeding rates have been dropping all over Dorset and WPBC had earmarked some funding specifically for the purpose of encouraging breastfeeding in under-priviledged areas. The Council has acknowledged that support groups are a key factor in maintaining good breastfeeding rates and we are pleased that they are giving some financial backing to enable us to make more people aware of our groups and what we have to offer.

We hope to be advertising in the local area soon, so please look out for posters and leaflets and keep spreading the word!


To be volunteering as a peer supporter you MUST have an up to date DBS (formally CRB), details of which need to be held by RBM staff and/or CC Volunteer Managers. Emma and Jane are currently updating the database - please can you respond to their queries ASAP or alternatively get in touch with them if you have any concerns about your DBS.  You should not be practicing as a peer supporter without one.  Many thanks
If you would like to add anything to Real Baby Milk's Dorset Newsletter please let me know
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