Real Baby Milk CIC
Fond Farewells...
Emma Barrett has been a committed peer supporter at Dorchester group for nearly 7 years – she will be leaving in September to start midwifery training at Bournemouth University. We wish her every success in her new venture.
Elizabeth Carter, Infant Feeding Coordinator is leaving at the end of August to enjoy being a grandmother.
We will miss her wonderful calm manner and infinite knowledge and wisdom enormously. Elizabeth will continue to do private lactation support work and for at least the next year will do tongue ties privately.
On 6 August The Royal Oak in Dorchester hosted a tea party, with delicious cake, for over 25 mums and health professionals to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and to receive their Breastfeeding Friendly award. 
Pub Manager Michelle O’Neil is extremely supportive of the scheme, having breastfed all four of her children.
The event was so successful that local mums are looking to meet there weekly in the family room. 
[click here for the full story]
Below is Shift Manager Rixa Meyer being presented with a Breastfeeding Welcome Certificate from Elizabeth Carter. 

Training Update/ List of Interest
Eight more Peer Supporters completed their training in July.  Congratulations to Holly Broadhead, Trucie Mitchell, Abi Morris, Lilly Dyke, Rachel Hancock, Jasmin Barkham and Emily Case.  It was an inspiration, as ever, to work with a group of such enthusiastic mothers keen to give back some of the support they themselves received.  They will be peer supporting in Dorchester, Bridport, Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton and Weymouth.
If you know of any breastfeeding mums who attend your groups or who you think might be interested in becoming Peer Supporters could you please ask them to email me so that I can add their details to our List of Interest.  We are particularly interested in hearing from young mums (24 and below).
New Training will be beginning on Wednesday 10th September in Swanage 10.30-12.30pm and on Tuesday mornings starting October 21st in Somerford CC. If you know anyone who may be interested please ask them to email me, and also fill out an online form by following this link - [click here]
Meet and Greet Volunteers
For mums who are interested in training and while waiting to access a course near them, we are considering the possibility of introducing Meet and Greet Volunteers. They will require a current DBS and will be able to help set up and provide refreshments at their local group but will not be providing peer support or information until they have finished a training course. Let Jane know if you have any mums in your group who you think would be interested.


Peer Support Update:
Alcohol & Breastfeeding/giving Breastmilk (expressed).
Alcohol passes freely from the mother’s blood into breastmilk.  Breastfeeding mothers can have occasional, small amounts of alcohol, eg no more than 1-2 units per week, and can continue to breastfeed normally, but should take care not to drink regularly or heavily (e.g. binge drinking – more than 6 units!) without considering how to limit the baby’s exposure.  Excessive alcohol intake can also make it difficult for any parent to safely care for a baby so if parents anticipate drinking more than a small amount of alcohol, it is best to arrange in advance for another caregiver for the baby.  Mothers may also want to express breastmilk in advance of such an occasion. Parents who have been drinking alcohol should never share a bed, sofa or chair with a baby, and these circumstances, they should ALWAYS be very careful to ensure the baby is put down to sleep in their own crib by the bed.  See for more information.
Extract from Real Baby Milk's recently updated Peer Support Training Course written by Helen Shanahan & Stephanie Heard, Infant Feeding Co-ordinators for Cornwall.

Always Good to Reflect
by Elizabeth Carter
Life throws many experiences, both good and bad our way and we have the opportunity to grow from them if we choose to reflect.
Reflection is the most valuable skill you can bring to peer supporting because as you reflect you learn and then next time you are better able to help, more empathetic, know where to direct a mum etc.
In my time as Infant Feeding Lead the role has changed greatly  but one of my greatest excitements has been watching the number or groups grow across the county like ripples spreading out to affect everyone. It is thanks to all of you that the groups can exist and each week loads of mums come into groups and go out blessed by your care, attention and support.
I am often amazed at the wealth of knowledge in peer supporters and used to love doing the training and learning from those who attended. But the training is only the beginning because every week there is something new you can learn from the women or from research. I have learnt most by reflecting on situations I encounter in practice and trying to consider whether I could have done anything better or differently.
A recent  situation required some careful reflection.
What were the facts?
My niece had a baby and then went to ITU. She was not given breastfeeding support and switched to formula feeding.
How did I feel about it?
I was angry with the care she received and felt let down by the organization I work for (she actually lives the other end of the country so I am branding the whole NHS together).
What could I do?
Tell her how angry I was?
Try to persuade her to start breastfeeding again?
Tell her that is was great her baby had breast milk to start with ( could be read as now not getting the best!).
Tell her about ways to put in skin to skin and closeness while formula feeding.
My Reflection?
Being angry was not going to help her as she was resigned and not angry. This was my emotion to deal with.
I needed to be very careful to listen to what She wanted and not put my agenda on to her.
I needed to be positive about her current situation as it is the one she found herself in and match my response to the change to hers.
What was she missing out on by not breastfeeding? What could I say to help her get more out of her bottle feeding experience that might also build the relationship between her and her baby and not undermine it.
My Action?
To  focus on lots of positives about her baby, and how she had done so well in very difficult circumstances. To offer her ideas about holding the baby differently and feeding responsively, showing her how the babies natural instincts were working.
The Outcome.
At her baptism two months later three people came and said how much my support had meant to her and how they had learnt so much useful information via my niece from me about attachment. I felt this was a success and was thrilled to see her enjoying her baby so much.
New opportunities are coming my way as I move to being a grandparent and I am anxious to keep up those skills of reflecting on the situations I encounter so that perhaps by the time the 10th grandchild arrives I have perfected the role!!
Thank you for the great job you do.
Elizabeth Carter

Website additions....
Yes! Apart from our Baby T-shirt range (early Christmas presents?) we have recently been looking at the Group Resource section of the Real Baby Milk Website and have uploaded a page on Re-launching/setting up a group - it includes a simple template for a poster which could be used to advertise the group and/or need for new Trainees.  There is also now a page on Partnership Working which has lots of helpful links to organisations/bodies which can be useful for Groups to know about and contact.
Closed Facebook Group for Dorset Peer Supporters
This group [click here] will be solely for peer supporters and is intended to be a space to share best practice, information and support. Please email me and request to join.
If you would like to add anything to Real Baby Milk's Dorset Newsletter please let me know
Peer Support & Mums Survey 2014
We are just about to start on gathering information about how things are going and will be posting out some Mums Survey forms to each Group for you to encourage your mums to complete.
We will also be asking Peer Supporters to complete an on-line survey - this is a really important part of finding out how the Peer Support Service is working for mums and what difference you are all making as such dedicated volunteers.
We have decided to start the process a little earlier this year but, as usual, there will be a yummy prize for the Group which returns the most Mums' survey forms and the winning Group will be announced and receive accolades at the annual Conference which brightens up the sometimes dismal month of February! (See below)

Save the Date 7/2/15 – Peer Supporter Conference
We will be hosting our 4th Annual RBM conference on Saturday 7th February 2015 at The Dorford Centre in Dorchester – so please make a note of it in your diary. More details and invitations will be given out nearer the time. 
We are delighted to announce that Kate Evans author of The Food Of Love [click here] will be speaking on the difficulties of contemporary motherhood, putting breastfeeding and birth in a historical context, and will include all the funniest bits of her book.
Dorset Breastfriends have agreed to supply each group with their own copy of The Food Of Love – hopefully reaching a group near you very soon!