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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

LATCH Breastfeeding Support Sessions

As a LATCH peer counselor, I have to be honest that I haven't been doing as much one-on-one counseling as I would like.  Counseling takes time and because I am a working mom, I have decided to limit my counseling activities to emails or phones or SMS as I can be with my kids while counseling others.
Becoming a good counselor takes practice and experience though and this is something that I am sorely lacking in.  Hence, one of the projects I wanted was to have actual breastfeeding support counseling sessions.

Velvet Roxas started this activity through the Friday Meet-ups at the Arugaan Creche.  I was able to attend 1 session.  However, since it was a Friday, there were a lot of working families who could not attend. I found the Arugaan session to be very practical for new moms and an excellent learning experience for counselors like me.  I wanted to replicate it and fortunately, Velvet agreed.

I also knew that there were several LATCH counselors who wanted to have more practical counseling experience so I invited fellow LATCHers to join.  We had the activity on a Saturday afternoon.  Since this was the first time that we were having this activity, we were unsure of how many moms to invite.  Initially, there was supposed to be just 1 session.  However, there were about 30 moms who signed up so we decided to split it into 2 sessions.
packed back to back sessions
On the date itself, there were some moms who ended up not attending and this was such a pity because they took slots which could have been used by other mom-baby dyads.  There were also mom-baby dyads who attended even if they had no breastfeeding issues or if their issues were for older babies e.g. complementary feeding.

What I loved about the breastfeeding support sessions was the openness of the moms to learn.   We were fortunate to have experienced wet nurse - Tintin Gustilo with us who taught the moms how to hand express their milk and how to cup feed the babies.
side-lying position
There were a variety of moms who participated and we even had one twin mom who had preemie babies. There were moms who were mixed feeding, exclusively breastfeeding and pure formula-feeding but wanted to go back to breast.  The moms were also taught the laid back position and for the direct feeding moms, the latch and position was checked and corrected, if necessary.

It is tiring but very rewarding to organize activities such as this.  I felt though, that it was a very enriching learning experience not just for the moms but for the counselors as well.  We will be organizing another similar session on 30 November 2013.  However, again, it will be limited to moms with babies ages 4 months and below.  We will not be talking about solids, etc. so if that is your concern, please do not sign up.

Also, this activity is specifically organized for moms with breastfeeding issues.  So if you are breastfeeding well, and just want to discuss or share your experiences, this is not the venue for you.  If you want to read more about the event, click here.

If you do sign up, please make sure to put in an email address which you regularly check and the correct mobile number.  Since there are limited slots, we have decided to be more stringent and cancel the registration of those who provide incomplete information or do not respond to emails.  This will ensure that moms who really need the counseling/support are able to attend.

The announcement for the November Support Group session will be made on the LATCH Facebook Page so make sure you've subscribed to it.

Did you attend the October Breastfeeding Support Sessions? Share your experience in the comments!

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