A BIBs Mum – Jess
My midwife gave me a card with the contact details for BIBs when Rhys was 3 weeks old. We were having major problems with latching on, I was exhausted from the delivery and breastfeeding was wearing me out. Even so I didn’t feel up to calling them for help or advice. I couldn’t see how I was going to drag myself and baby to Brecon and I couldn’t imagine having to feed my baby in a room full of other people in a cafe! I didn’t call them until Rhys was 10 weeks old; by then I had had mastitis several times and had needed two courses of antibiotics. Breastfeeding was excrutiatingly painful and I could no longer feed from the one side due to the pain. The girls I spoke to were fantastic, they gave me loads of support and practical advice, and helped me to correct the latch on. The pain improved almost immediately and within a week breastfeeding was easy. I’ve now been breastfeeding for eight months and have had no further problems. I just wish I had called the girls at BIBs earlier!
The group itself is lovely, everyone is really friendly and chatty so it’s easy to ask other people how they’ve managed with all sorts of things. The group is held upstairs in cobbles cafe so you can breastfeed discreetly and there is the bonus of being able to order something to eat for yourself.
My advice to anyone that is having trouble with breastfeeding is to ask for help! It makes such a difference to get support and advice from other mums that are have been there and done that. For me it was the difference between having to switch to formula and being able to carry on breastfeeding for as long as I liked.
Peer Counsellor – Toni
I was 32 when I had my first baby. Until then I had considered myself a capable and confident person with a responsible job. All of a sudden my world turned upside down, my beautiful baby had colic and I could do nothing to comfort her, breastfeeding wasn’t going well, and each time was a battle with sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. I was on an emotional rollercoaster. I had always assumed that as a woman with breasts that these would just “work” when the time came.
Over those first three months I began to meet mew mums with babies a few months older than mine. They encouraged and supported me. Without them I would never have got through that time. The colic went, the feeding settled down and I am so glad that we continued feeding through the bad times. We emerged the other side and I continued to feed until my daughter was 18 months. Those special times we had just before bed were my favourite feeds!
When I was offered the opportunity to do the peer counsellor training I felt that it was a chance to give back the support I had received from my friends.
Nothing prepares you for parenthood; it is a journey with ups and downs. Some days you need a hug, some days a listening ear, some days just cake!
Those friends I made went on to form this group and through it I still find support, friendship and giggles!
Peer Counsellor – Ruth
I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed. Whilst pregnant I did a lot of reading to try and prepare myself, although I did assume it would come naturally. When my baby was born I quickly learnt that nothing can prepare you for this massively life changing experience and that, to my surprise, BREASTFEEDING IS NOT ALWAYS EASY!!
Firstly my baby would not latch on, he just didn’t seem to know what to do (I had assumed he would just go on instinct!). For the first few days of his life I hand expressed my milk and fed him with a syringe. Thanks to a couple of the midwives in Neville Hall we finally figured it out together and we came home.
Unfortunately the problems didn’t stop there – enter Brecon BIBS and their wonderful team of friendly and enthusiastic peer support counsellors!
After almost a month of struggling, and a lot of tears, I was on the verge of going out and buying a load of formula and bottles when my midwife suggested I give BIBS a call. I rang the number and suddenly I had access to a network of people who had been through it all and could offer support and advice. Amazing!
I am so glad that I went along to the BIBS meeting. Without the support of these other mums I would have given up on breastfeeding long ago but my baby is now 9 months old and we’re still going strong!
When I was offered the opportunity to train as a peer counsellor I jumped at the chance so that I could help other mums like me carry on with, and enjoy, breastfeeding for as long as they want to.
Peer Counsellor – Vicky
My name is Vicky and I have been volunteering with Brecon Bibs since it was founded in May 2009. I took part in the first wave of La Leche League training that was on offer in Brecon and helped to set up the group. I have a daughter who is now 3yrs old.
When my daughter was born I had a lot of difficulty in establishing breastfeeding. I was lucky enough to have had a lot of support from my midwife at the time and the input of a close friend who had experienced problems with breastfeeding her first baby. Without these 2 key people in my life, I believe that I would have given up trying to breastfeed my daughter. Instead I went on to have a very happy breastfeeding experience. My daughter didn’t take to the introduction of solids that quickly and so she was exclusively breastfed until she was 6 ½ months old. I then tried ‘baby led weaning’ which worked well for us and she fed until she was 9& ½ months old, when she then self weaned.
I feel that I was able to give our baby the best start in life by breastfeeding, not only in terms of her physical health but also in terms of the bond I felt between us. Breastfeeding helped me to feel relaxed and happy with the life changing experience of having my first child and helped me to fend off the ‘baby blues’.
Because of that experience, I leapt at the chance to train to become a Peer Support Counselor. I know that most breastfeeding difficulties can be overcome, if you have the right support, and I wanted to be able to help others in the way I had been helped.
Peer Counsellor – Amy
I had my baby when I was 19 and I didn’t really know much about breastfeeding but decided to give it a shot because of what I had heard about the benefits to both myself and my baby. My Midwife recommended the group and I went along when my baby was 6 weeks old.
It was fantastic. I had felt a bit alone until then as other people I knew had their babies on the bottle and I had limited support at home with only my partner and our baby’s grandparents to rely on.
I had been asked by other people, “Shouldn’t you be thinking about weaning him off the breast now” and “You shouldn’t be feeding him so often, it should be every four hours” which had me questioning myself and our feeding routine.
The peer support counsellors and other mums were great, they gave me advice and helped to explain all the ins and outs of breastfeeding and I went away feeling comforted and happy that my baby and I were doing the right thing.
In fact, I was so pleased with the advice and support that when I was offered the opportunity to train to be a support counsellor for the group, I accepted and am now a counsellor myself!
I would really like to thank all the lovely ladies for all the support you have given us and I don’t think I’d have been able to feed for so long without your help!