Hi, my name is Lucy. I am mum to a little girl and a little boy, seven and four, with my third due in September. When I had my daughter in 2010 I had a really positive experience breastfeeding her; I was one of the lucky people who found it all came pretty naturally, and after only a few days of figuring out what I was doing I was away and didn’t look back! I had always intended to breastfeed, but until I did it I could never have guessed how rewarding it was going to be, or how it would shape my experience of parenting my kids in such a positive way. Although I never expected to feed beyond a year, or maybe 18 months, when I got to that point with my first I found that she was still so keen that I couldn’t see any reason to stop. I went on to feed first one child, then both in tandem for a while, and then just my son, until they had both weaned themselves, which came shortly after they turned four for each of them.
I first heard about the BRAS when I went along to my local breastfeeding café and got chatting to one or two of the volunteers. It seemed like such a brilliant idea that I asked to be signed up for the next training course, and so I have been an active volunteer since 2011. Over the years I have done all sorts: when I first started I helped at the Mountsorrel breastfeeding café, which I would recommend to any new peer supporter because it really helped me to get my confidence. Later I got involved in the antenatal workshop in Birstall, looked after the phone, did bits of admin and started the once monthly Toddler Breastfeeding Group, which has been running at my home since 2012.
The reason I was keen to start the toddler group was because as my daughter got a little bit bigger and I fed her at baby groups around the place, I would sometimes find women sidling up to me and saying in a half whisper “you’re still feeding too!” Many of them didn’t know anyone else who was still feeding by 9 or 12 months and some were feeling isolated or discouraged. Although the toddler group has always been small and mostly a social group, I hope it has given a few women somewhere they could go to just be themselves with their active, walking, talking, playing, breastfeeding toddlers, and know that they were completely normal!