SARAH LOUISE COWPERTHWAITE
I’m Sarah and I’m an ABM Breastfeeding Counsellor. Here in Wiltshire, I helped to set up and currently run a breastfeeding group with an amazing team of other ABM volunteers.
I’m also a Peer Supporter Mentor with ABM, which means I help those undertaking the Peer Supporter course with ABM and champion them throughout their Peer Supporter journey. I love hearing all the different reasons people come to the course and all the different joys and challenges they’ve had with feeding their own children. It always reminds me that each family is so individual and unique, and that our support should be the same.
In my spare time, alongside digging at our allotment and doing various crafts, I volunteer for our local Maternity Voices Partnership and advocate for local families and their feeding journeys.
Hi I’m Raksha and I’m a Peer Supporter and Peer Supporter mentor. I first trained as a Peer Supporter in 2017 soon after my first daughter turned 1. We had a very difficult start and I succeeded at breastfeeding her only because of the amazing support I got from my local breastfeeding group. My main motivation for training was to be able to pay it forward. I found the Peer Supporter course and role very attractive because I could study and pass the course despite working a full time job with a toddler. Due to my work, I’m very limited in what I can do face to face so I’ve spent majority of my time volunteering online as an admin on a UK based expert led Facebook group.
I started mentoring other Peer Supporters in 2019 and it has been a very rewarding experience to watch them not just complete the course but to go on to supporting other parents. I feel privileged to belong to the ABM and I continue to learn and improve the way I support families and other Peer Supporters.
I have been supporting Breastfeeding parents for almost 2 years after having a less than ideal Breastfeeding journey myself. I trained to be a peer supporter in 2020, and a Breastfeeding counsellor in 2021. I set up Camberley Breastfeeding Hub with a few other ABM supporters, and we run weekly sessions supporting parents with their breastfeeding worries. I volunteer on the breastfeeding helpline 3/4 times a week and love how every conversation can be completely different. I also support families on a 40k strong social media platform opened for the purpose of breastfeeding support in the UK. I plan to continue my training over the next few years and hope one day to achieve IBCLC credentials. I have a big passion for crafting and pour a lot of this energy into making breast/chest feeding celebration pieces for friends, family, and customers.
In 2018 I began my breastfeeding supporter journey after training to be a peer supporter. At the start of 2020 I helped to set up a local breastfeeding group which continued to run virtually throughout the pandemic. During this time I continued my training and became a breastfeeding counsellor.
I am passionate about breastfeeding support having struggled feeding my first child. There was minimal trained support in my area and we had a tough few months going it alone. I am now a mother to 3 children and spend my spare time chasing after them, taking calls on the national breastfeeding helpline, supporting families on social media and continuing to run our local group which has now expanded to two venues.
I first trained as a Peer Supporter with a local organisation in January 2019, when my son was 6 months old. We needed lots of support in the early days to establish breastfeeding and whilst I was lucky to find this support through health care teams and local volunteers, I knew other local parents were struggling to access the minimal support around. After a while, I gained a desire to know more, so that I could help more parents, and I joined the ABM in order to train as a Breastfeeding Counsellor. I completed their equivalent Peer Support course and went straight on to complete their Breastfeeding Counsellor course. I now support on the National Breastfeeding Helpline, support at a local group, where we offer feeding support alongside a sling and cloth nappy library, and am part of a small team of volunteers who support the Infant Feeding Team on the post-natal ward at the hospital. I am also a Peer Supporter Mentor with the ABM, encouraging others in their volunteering roles and feel very proud to be part of a team of people who are there to support others in their breastfeeding journeys.
ZAKIA M ABM Student
My name is Zakia and I am a hypnobirthing teacher and a naturopath. I breastfed my little boy for about 9 months and I wish I had known about breastfeeding counsellors or even known about the ABM to help us through various problems we had during the journey.
I am very passionate about helping mothers during their breastfeeding journey so that they don’t feel despondent and might be tempted to give up or actually do just give up. Breastfeeding is such an important act not just for the baby and the mother but society as a whole.
In my line of work, I support mothers through pregnancy and beyond, and the knowledge I have already acquired helps these mothers tremendously. I am always astonished at how much pressure these mothers face and the preconceptions that are still out there about breastfeeding.
Together slowly but surely we can do an amazing job at raising more and more awareness and bringing back to the norm something that as human beings have done naturally for millennia.
I’ve been an ABM Peer Supporter for just under a year and I volunteer on the Breastfeeding Support and Information UK Facebook page. I am a single mum and have been breastfeeding my son for 3 years and 4 months.
I absolutely love my volunteering role on BfSI and to know that I’m helping mothers on their breastfeeding journey always gives me that fuzzy feeling.
SHELLEY LUKE Peer Supporter
I’ve been an ABM Peer Supporter for 3 years, volunteering at groups at two Children’s Centres in Norwich. I’m currently a Trainee BFC. For the last 4 years I’ve been one of four mums that have organised the Norwich Big Latch On breastfeeding event. I love anything nature and being outdoors and we are into Star Wars as a family. I like sushi, wine and chocolate. I shop at charity shops, make lists and overthink. I really like doing crafts and card making.