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

RBM Annual Peer Supporter Conference and Launch of 2015 Essential Guide

Thank you to everyone who made it to the conference this year, I know there were many who were thwarted by the dreaded lurgy at the last minute – which was a shame.  As ever, it was heart warming to see so many volunteers from the support groups across Dorset, along with Breastfeeding Maternity Support Workers, NCT breastfeeding counsellors and Children Centre Staff, giving up their time on a Saturday to learn, network and share experiences of supporting women to breastfeed.
We were delighted to have Kate Evans sharing some of her cartoons and stories from The Food of Love and her latest book Bump – How to Make, Grow and Birth a Baby.  Kate also sat with Elizabeth Carter and Ellen Simon to answer questions that had been put to the Expert Panel. This proved to be a very useful way of addressing the issues that arose with the varying background and experiences of each panellist. A common concern was around the consistency and accuracy of information given to mothers and how as peer supporters, we might deal with this. This was later developed by Ellen Simon during the the group activity ‘Dealing with difficult situations’. Ellen came up with an ingenious way for participants to let her know they had completed the task set…..using bamboo shoots!

The subject of Peer Supporters on maternity wards was also discussed and Lesley Ibbotson from Real Baby Milk was able to share information about The Hospital Project in Cornwall. Lesley also gave feedback from the recent Mums and Peer Supporter surveys – which enables RBM to review the service it is providing.

Elizabeth Carter gave a very interesting and useful talk about Tongue Ties, looking at the diagnosis and effects of a restricted tongue rather than simply focusing on a visible frenulum.  A clear referral pathway for babies with a tongue that was affecting feeding was made available to all attendees – an issue that had been brought up during the panel discussion.

It was encouraging to observe some useful networking over lunch time as everyone was invited to sit at tables with representatives from different groups and specialities. Thank you for taking the plunge out of your comfort zone for this! This led nicely into Ellen’s talk on Confidence and Commitment.

The conference ended with two personal breastfeeding stories from Lucy Ruddle and Esther Culy. It was the perfect, uplifting way to end the day – even though there was not a dry eye in the house!

Thank you to Kate, Ellen, Elizabeth, Lesley, Lucy and Esther for sharing their words of wisdom with us all.

We are also very grateful to Breastfriends Dorset who kindly donated a copy of The Food of Love to each support group and to RBM for donating some wonderful knitted boobies!

Purbeck Peer Supporter Reunion January 2015

NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor, Piata Womald organised a wonderful lunch and get together for all Peer Supporters, past and present that have volunteered at Swanage, Wareham and Bovington groups over the years.

It was a lovely occasion and a wonderful way to catch up with present and past peer supporters and their growing babes, and also to meet peer supporters who had given their time and energy for many years to the groups before Real Baby Milk’s time. It was so inspiring to hear them all talk together with such passion and commitment for mothers and breastfeeding.

The food was pretty great too! Thank you, Piata.

Focus on Weymouth and Portland

The Dorset Breastfeeding Strategy group are prioritising Weymouth and Portland due to the low rates identified in this area. They are keen to ask a few simple questions of mums from the area about their views on breastfeeding.

  1. What made you decide to breastfeed or bottle feed?
  2. (if bottle feeding) What would have helped you to choose to breastfeed?
The answers will hopefully also bring out information regarding those that started breastfeeding and switched to bottle feeding.  You can email me your responses here at It would be really helpful if you could ask the questions of other mums that you know, especially from those that are bottle feeding, as the more feedback the better. Thank you
If you would like to add anything to RBM Dorset Groups' Newsletter please let me know: 

This could be photos of your Group, tips and things you have found helpful at your group or about your own Breastfeeding Experience.


Training is currently running in Sturminster Newton, for mums who will be peer supporting in Sturminster, Shaftesbury, Blandford and Sherborne groups.

A course will be starting in April at the Mulberry Centre in Weymouth and followed in June by a course in Bovington.  Places have filled very quickly, which is excellent and is a reflection of how much support mums are getting at the groups and how much they want to be able to offer that support to others.

If you know of anyone who is interested in training to become a peer supporter please ask them to get in touch with me  07805 678804, and their details can be added to the Dorset Waiting list.

Caring for your baby at night

As part of helping to keep you as Peer Supporters updated we are including sections from the new Dorset Essential Guide and and/or our training course in each edition of the newsletter. If you would like a particular topic covered please let us know by emailing

The safest place for your baby to sleep at night is in a cot or a crib beside your bed for the first six months. Your baby needs you to care for them at night. It is normal and beneficial for young babies to wake for feeding and attention during the night.

Night time breastfeeds are especially important for your milk supply.  
You can make night time feeds easier by:
√    sleeping your baby in the same room as you for at least the first six months
√    learning to breastfeed lying down

Reduce the risk of cot death
Place your baby on their back to sleep, in a cot in a room with you
X    Do not smoke in pregnancy or let anyone smoke in the same room as your baby
X     Do not share a bed with your baby if you have been drinking alcohol, if you take drugs or if you are a smoker
X    Never sleep with your baby on a sofa or armchair
X    Do not let your baby get too hot.
√    Keep your baby’s head uncovered
√    Place your baby in the “feet to foot” position 

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