It was an honour and a privilege to run a pilot course of the LLLGB Beginning Breastfeeding course for LLL Southampton parents. Despite babies arriving early, snow (!) and changes to our scheduled times, we somehow pulled it all together and what a wonderful thing it was to be part of. There is something very special about being in a room with expectant parents, listening to their questions, supporting them in their wish to breastfeed their baby.
The course has been tried and tested in other parts of the UK, but as it was our first time leading it, we decided to apply for funding (thanks to the Lottery) so that we could run this first course as a pilot. This meant that it was free for those who attended and it also gave us the opportunity to make mistakes and stumble on our words which we probably would have felt more nervous about if we had been charging for the course. So whilst the parents learnt, we learnt too, about getting the timings right (owning a watch is essential!) and grappling with technology (apparently modern laptops don’t play dvds too well… or at all!)
As usual the tea and cake flowed – our secret weapon is Anne who really should be on the next Great British Bake Off.. – as did the conversation and of course the listening.
A highlight for me was having two breastfeeding mothers attend our third session where it just felt like an absolute gift – priceless – for the parents to have that time asking questions and finding out about real life with a breastfed baby. No sugar coating, but a whole lot of love. That’s what I will take away from it and I hope they do too.
We probably needed 3 hours for each 2 hour session, which is probably why we overran each time (something we’ll be better prepared for next time). And we definitely had too much cake, but that’s probably the right way round.
Overall, as a Leader, it was such a joy to be part of. Being passionate about breastfeeding is really at the heart of Leadership and everytime I think I have found all there is to discover about sharing this passion, something else comes along to show me there is more. And yes, we do hope to run more courses. After we’ve had a short rest to recover and recuperate and of course to support the mums and their new babies who we may be lucky enough to continue to see at group on Mondays.