Meet the Peer Supporter – Gemma Brown

I absolutely love breastfeeding. Like, really love it. From the moment Dotty latched on not long after being born I felt this amazing bond between us. The midwife helped by popping...

Infant Feeding tags

Gemma and Dotty 1

I absolutely love breastfeeding. Like, really love it. From the moment Dotty latched on not long after being born I felt this amazing bond between us. The midwife helped by popping her in the rugby hold position… well I’d never heard of it before, I just assumed breastfeeding was a beautiful cradle hold where my baby would lovingly look into my eyes & I’d be glowing. Well it was far from that… more like me with bags under my eyes, messy hair & binging on dark chocolate buttons & Netflix!! But I loved it, every moment. 

I could write pages & pages about our journey, it’s been so unique to us & so special, but very complex. From that beautiful first breastfeed we found ourselves on a journey that had a significant weight loss, poor nappy output, a triple feeding regime, use of a Supplementary Nursing System, taking Domperidone tablets in an attempt to increase supply, being surprised with the support from my family (especially my Dad), visits from local IBCLC Lucy Webber, appointments with the amazing Josie Routley from the North Somerset Specialist Breastfeeding Service & becoming a regular at the support group at the Worle Children’s Centre.

It was at group one day I started chatting to the ladies about why they became Peer Supporters & they all said they wished they’d done it sooner as it really helped them on their own journeys, as well as being able to help others. This got me thinking & a few weeks later I found myself sat in a room full of women, all as keen as I was, ready to start our training… with Dotty in tow at just 12 weeks old. I found it all extremely fascinating & it really fuelled the passion I had for breastfeeding. It also helped me come to terms with my low supply & I learnt that any amount of breastmilk I give to my daughter is extremely beneficial & that breastfeeding is about so much more than just milk…

… & here we are at 12 days shy of her first birthday & she still LOVES the boob. We boob for milk, but also when we need comfort, when we’re tired, when we’re grumpy, when we’re anxious, when we’re happy & lots more reasons. Did you notice I said “we” there? It really is a two way thing. You see, what we did is we held onto that special bond so tight & it’s become our way of life & I couldn’t have done it without the love & support of those around me & I have made some truly wonderful friends at group (one who I speak to every day & I refer to her as my “breast friend” ). It really does take a village to raise a child & here in North Somerset we are so incredibly lucky to have such amazing support available. Some regions don’t even have one support group… whereas we have one every day of the working week here. It’s amazing!

So I just want to say a massive heartfelt thank you to all the Peer Supporters who have been there for me, to all of the wonderful staff behind the scenes for making these groups available & to all of the lovely Mummies on this page & who I’ve met at groups for being ever so supportive. I really hope that I can pay this kindness forward by being there for others as a Peer Supporter myself

Finally, my top tips!

  • Lean on us, we are here to support you.
  • Don’t compare your journey to the woman sat next to you, we are all experiencing a unique journey.
  • Remember to take a moment & breathe… you are doing an amazing job at being a Mummy & you should be so so proud! Keep telling yourself that

Thank you for reading

Gemma & Dotty