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

Merry Christmas

Everyone at Real Baby Milk would like to wish all Cornwall Peer Supporters a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year - thank you all for your hard work and commitment to supporting mums and babies throughout Cornwall this year.  This is possibly the last newsletter for a while but fingers crossed we will be able to share more updates and news from across the lovely network of peer supporters again in the new year… so watch this space.
Lesley, Mary, Karen, Lisa and volunteers Naomi, Beth & Cynthia.

Peer Support Training

Next course with limited number of spare places starts :
Fri 16 January Malabar Children's Centre in Truro:10.30- 12.30 - 7 weeks with a break for half term - finishes 6 March 2015 please contact if you are interested so that an application form can be forwarded to you.

Breastfeeding Peer Support in Hospital

Last confirmed Training Course
Wednesday 25 February & Friday 27 February - for details of pre-course work and commitment please email for details an an application form

Great Expectations

Peer support element - training sessions

Helen Shanahan will be running 2 Training sessions for Peer Supporters wishing to get involved in the Great Expectations Antenatal parenting courses.  These sessions will be run on the following dates:

Tuesday 13 January 2015 - Launceston Children's Centre, Coronation Park, PL15 9DQ.
Time 11.30-2pm
Tuesday 10 February 2015 - Treloweth Children's Centre, Higher Broad Lane Redruth TR15 3JL
Time 12.45-3.15pm

Please email to book your place as soon as possible.

What is weaning? 

Is it the introduction of solids or is it the introduction of anything other than breast milk, or maybe something in between?
Remember that the WHO recommendations are:-
Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months with introduction of complementary foods and continued breastfeeding thereafter, at least until the child’s first birthday, or for as long as mum and baby wish to continue..
Complementary foods are defined as additional foods or liquids to complement not displace breast milk.
How to tell when a baby is ready for weaning
  • Baby’s anatomy needs to develop - lower jaw needs to grow, oral space (mouth) to increase
  • Tongue action changes from in-out (tongue extrusion reflex) to up-down motion between 6-9 months
  • Increase in stability of trunk, neck and shoulders (baby can sit up unsupported)
  • Baby showing an active interest in what you are eating and trying to grab food that you are eating
What are not indications of readiness for weaning
  • Being 4 months old
  • Your perception of baby’s hunger?
  • Not sleeping through the night
  • Feeding more frequently
  • Advice/pressure from family and friends
  • Adverts and receiving freebies
  • Fists in mouth, dribbling
  • Mimicking you
  • Stealing food from your plate
  • Watching your every mouthful
  • Not gaining weight
Baby’s development
  • Before 4-6 months, the baby’s digestive and immune systems are still immature.
  • Human milk contains gut growth factors, enzymes and other protective elements that aid gut development and act as a defence mechanism against potential infections and allergic factors until the system is more mature.
  • Breast milk alone can meet all the baby’s nutritional needs during the first 6 months.
  • Complementary foods may displace breast milk.
  • Breastfeeding infants can self-regulate their intake in a way that formula-fed babies can’t.
Babies at risk  (may need to be
weaned earlier)
  • Preterm or small for gestational age
  • Lack of sunlight in baby and/or mother
  • Baby who receives no breast milk or formula
  • Mother severely underweight
  • Mother has an eating disorder
  • Mother is depressed or isolated
Maternal health considerations
  • Reduced fertility (lactational amenorrhea)
  • Reduced cancer risk
  • Better weight loss
  • Mental health
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • and many more .............
Babies are all different, and there may be special circumstances, but as a guide, it is best for the health of the baby and the mum if the baby is breastfed on demand for about the first 6 months, and that the mum is sure her particular baby is ready for solids and that she is not being pushed into giving them for some combination of the above reasons.

My daughter - the breastfeeding militant!

"Went to Abigail's school Christmas concert (no "proper" Nativity this year). Each class did a little something followed by a song or 2. Anyway, Ab's class did a Nativity scene, with Ab as Mary (How proud was I?). A few mins into their bit Ab promptly lifted her dress & shoved baby Jesus up it. The script then wandered away from what they'd learnt & goes as follows....

Joseph: "What are you doing?"
Mary: "I'm feeding our baby"
Shepherd: "Have you got a bottle up there then?"
Mary: "Don't be silly he's having milk from my booby"
Joseph: "That's disgusting"
Mary: "No, that baby milk they have in Tescos is disgusting. My baby's having proper milk"
Shepherd: "What's a booby?"
Mary: "Those sticky out bits ladies have"
Shepherd: "They're not boobies, they're nipples"
Mary: "No they're not, they're boobies"
Joseph: "So why can't Jesus have milk from a bottle then?"
Mary: "Because I haven't got a breast pump with me - you forgot to put it on the donkey"
Shepherd: "Can't you ask the teacher for a bottle to feed Jesus with?"
Mary: "No because this is the best way to feed Jesus. Anyway bottles haven't been invented yet & even if they were I've just had a baby so if you think I'm faffing about round Tescos to buy baby milk when I make proper milk in my boobies you can think again"

I felt a teeny bit sorry for their class teacher - she did try her best to steer them back towards their proper lines but she was laughing so much she didn't really stand a chance. The line about Joseph forgetting the breast pump finished her off - she slid to the floor & couldn't get up for laughing...."

From a community forum

Important update

Be amongst the first to see this! - Ethos & aims, supervision arrangements and much moreclick here to access the final draft - a lot of which is the result of the consultation at your conference and feedback!

Yours views needed

The question of peer supporters keeping updated with current good practice and knowledge is something which is being discussed by Public Health and the Children's Centres and is something which has come about through the Unicef re-accreditation process which you were all a massive part of achieving.  Real Baby Milk are collecting your views on this proposal.  

It is proposed that  if you trained 12 or more months ago and are still actively volunteering, you would be offered a mix of ways to keep your practice up to date and enable you to continue to practice as a peer supporter.  Children's Centres would then keep a track of those peer supporters who had received updates with those who had not been updated would not be able to practice as a peer supporter until they had.

the thinking is that there will be options for peer supporters to achieve their updates and these may be: an opportunity to attend the in-house Unicef one day course run by our lovely Infant Feeding Co-ordinators or signed up to the Unicef research update notifications and evidence that you've read our wonderful newsletters (!) and attended a conference or local update or or completed an online training module - (yet to be developed) or undertaken the hospital bf peer support training to volunteer in this project.

What are your views on this?  Are these options flexible enough for you to take up?  Do you have any different suggestions for keeping up to date?

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Real Baby Milk a project of Pollenn CIC
5 Riverside House, Heron Way, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2XN
01872 260429