The Breast Room in the House was an idea I had about a year ago.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) takes place the first week of August each year. Early in June 2011, during a discussion about WBW, I was asked what I would do if I could do anything locally to help women who want to breastfeed. Having been involved in breastfeeding drop-in groups in England, I was keen to start something similar in Dunedin. There are many groups around that support breastfeeding, and places women can go to get help (eg. Lactation Consultants, Plunket, LLL, etc), but I wanted to create something that was less “official” and had no links to any specific organisation.
That year, I’d also been training women to volunteer as Breastfeeding Peer Supporters and so I was also conscious that these women needed somewhere to volunteer and use their new skills. Some of them were happy to make contact with mothers they met during their day to day lives, but others were keen to do something more structured.
So, when I was asked what I might do, the idea of The Breast Room in the House began to grow. The Methodist Mission had recenly opened The Hub in South Dunedin, a community centre for groups offering support/information/education for local families – the perfect place for me to start 🙂
And so now, one year on, The Breast Room in the House is well on it’s way to being very successful! There is an ever growing team of volunteers, with myself and Jill providing support, ongoing education, and an escalation point for the peer supporters. The feedback from the mothers who have visited us has been great – and they keep coming back too!
The Breast Room in the House is a place to come for information and support about breastfeeding; it’s for pregnant women, mothers who are trying to make breastfeeding work, mothers who just want to have somewhere to go for a cup of tea or coffee on Thursday mornings, somewhere for a chat about why breastfeeding didn’t work… a comfortable, welcoming place where women can meet other mothers, and talk in confidence about their situation. We can provide information sheets, books, breast pump hire and a listening ear 🙂
The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2012 is Understanding the Past – Planning the Future. The past year alone has been interesting, and the future is exciting! I hope that The Breast Room in the House will continue to grow. We are already able to offer more than we could when we started a year ago, I expect us to get busier in the next year, perhaps we’ll even open up on another day of the week too. We move to bigger premises in the next month or so and I’ll be relocating the antenatal breastfeeding classes for parents to our new venue too; I’m even considering starting a nursing bra fitting service – The Breast Room in the House will be a center for everything to do with breastfeeding!
Who knows where we will be in another year!