To be really fed up that I cannot be a bf support worker

(162 Posts)
ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 21:52:15

I have had a tough time lately and have been thinking over last few days of something I could or aim to do to change my life and give me a bit of purpose.

Somebody I know is a bf support worker at the local hosp/bf group in childrens centre.I thought it sounded like a lovely job an started to think I might be ablr to do something like that as bf dd1 till she was 4, ds1 till he was 2.5, dd2 tillshe was 2 and currently bf ds2 11m so have loads of experience.

I thought maybe I could arrange to volunteer and get dh to perhaps change his hours (work flexible) to help me with dcs as they have health issues and enable me to get out and do something worthwhile that might cheer me up/get me out/help people etc etc.

Started to have a look at what is required etc and if there are any courses you need to do.

Then I saw you need a clean criminal record. I do not have one as in 2008 my horrible sister argued with me and said vicious things, when I slapped her (I know I shouldn't have) she phoned 999 and had me arrested so I have a caution for common assaultsad

It will stop me volunteering to be a bf support worker won't it. I'm so fed up I just wanted to get out of the house and do something worthwhile for a couple of hours a week.
I'm so fed up. AIBU or is it my own fault anyway sad

minouminou Sun 31-Mar-13 22:20:51

How about volunteering on a phone helpline instead?
I know you want to get out of the house, but this could be a start.

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:20:57

I just feel that having something different to focus on, say, once a week/fortnight could actually be a good thing.

Just to get ready, knowing dcs are ok with dh, get on a bus by myself with just my thoughts not worries about dcs ti go and help people and do something I'm genuinely interested in and passionate about could be exactly what I need right now.

ParadiseChick Sun 31-Mar-13 22:22:44

I meant them add however if someone fails to disclose and their check comes back its an instant withdrawal of offer.

The best thing to do is state when it asks for any criminal convictions 'caution for assault - slapped a sibling following a family argument.'

I wish you well but please don't think this is the only 'worthwhile' thing you can do either x

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:27:18

I do not have any other 'qualifications' or as much knowledge really about anything else.

I know I could offer so much support/advice to new mums and its a shame I may not get a chance because of a one off mistake sad

fuzzypicklehead Sun 31-Mar-13 22:27:33

Ariane5,

It isn't a hopeless situation. You could start by phoning up the local children's centre to ask about volunteering to be a peer supporter and what it would entail. If you're up front about the caution, it may not be a problem. A lot of bf peer support work is done by phone anyway, so that wouldn't necessarily be an issue.

But they do often require a course of some description, though. Would you be up for that?

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:30:37

I would have to check what the course involved but if it was manageable alongside caring for dcs I would give it a try.

ReallyTired Sun 31-Mar-13 22:31:00

Being a good breastfeeding supporter is not necessarily about experience. Its more of a councelling role. In fact peer supporters are not allowed to give breastfeeding advice. A peer supporter is not even allowed to correct an utterly appauling latch which is causing the mother awful pain. The idea is that the peer supporter just listens and the mother works out herself how to solve her own breastfeeding problems by just having someone to listen.

I did seriously consider being a peer supporter, but I felt I would struggle to remain calm and say nothing if a woman chose to make a decision that would sabortage her breastfeeding relationship.

I think you have to be mentally in quite a strong place to support someone in the early days of breastfeeding. A peer supporter is there for the benefit of the mother rather than the other way round. I dropped out of a breastfeeding peer supporter course because the issues raised were too much for me to deal with. I was struggling with anxiety and didn't want to talk about my breastfeeding history.

There are other ways of supporting breastfeeding and volunteering. Prehaps you could volunteer for La Leche League. There is a less of an issue with CRB checking because support is done by telephone or done at La Leche League meetings where you are not on your own.

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:37:46

I really had my heart set on volunteering at the post natal ward of the local hosp (where the friend I mentioned volunteers) as I had all 4 dcs there and it is so incredibly busy and I had NO support at all when I was there, even with ds2 in NICU it was awful.

When she mentioned it I just thought it sounded wonderful they were adressing the lack of bf support there and I thought how much I'd like to be a part of that.

carovioletfizz Sun 31-Mar-13 22:41:41

Ariane, even if you are not admitted to a course with your conviction, you could still go along to local breastfeeding groups and offer support that way?

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 22:46:20

The breastfeeding groups are in local childrens centres-would they not need crb check too? Or do you mean I could just pop in with ds2 anyway as bf him and just chat to other mums and offer support that way?

MerryMessiahWhingesAgain Sun 31-Mar-13 22:52:26

ReallyTired, that's not quite right. Peer supporters should not give advice, but they can give information and support. That information certainly can include suggestions of ways to get a good latch.

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:00:29

I will enquire about courses/crb checks some more and see what the possibilities are as I would dearly like to do something like this.

I'm hoping that if I explain the circumstances it won't be an issue.

ReallyTired Sun 31-Mar-13 23:02:19

" Peer supporters should not give advice, but they can give information and support."

What is the difference between giving advice and giving information? Surely handing somone a leaflet on say low milk supply or pointing at a diagram in an NCT leaflet is indirectly giving advice.

I knew in my heart I would find hard to be a good girl and stick purely to the NCT folder of breastfeeding information. Some of the NCT leaflets are very good, but it is not the only source of good breastfeeding information. I also knew I would find hard to remain quiet and say nothing when a health visitor in the room spouted bullshit.

My understanding of peer support was that it was essentially active listening. The mother finds her own solutions by using the peer supporter as a sounding board.

OHforDUCKScake Sun 31-Mar-13 23:03:30

I was cautioned when I was 19.

Ive had several CRB checks since for various jobs and they have all been clear.

SuffolkNWhat Sun 31-Mar-13 23:13:10

Advice is usually based on our own experiences, information is facts, figures, research etc. They cover is extensively within the training (just qualified with the BfN).

We definitely can correct and incorrect latch!

The best thing to do OP (if you are sure you can commit to this especially with your other posts atm) is to ring one of the bigger BF support charities such as the BfN, firstly to check the CRB problem but also to check their is training in your area. You can't just rock up and volunteer. We also have to have 6 months volunteering behind us with regular supervisions before we can apply to go onto postnatal wards. We might not be accepted.

Good luck, peer helping training has been very enlightening for me and now I have my lovely purple badge I look forward to starting my clinic sessions.

BookFairy Sun 31-Mar-13 23:20:16

The escalation of an argument with a family member is not the same as assaulting a random member of the public. Investigate further re. training etc. Don't give up immediately.

soontobeburns Sun 31-Mar-13 23:21:03

It doesn't automatically mean a no and may not show up. When I was 17 (2007) I got a conditional discharge for something non violent.
I have changed a lot and now I in youth work and need lots of access ni checks and it hasnt come up.

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:23:37

Thankyou Suffolknwhat that is really helpful.

It would be a big commitment for me but I really need to do something, atm my life is just about dcs/illness/money problems and there has been no time for me to do anything else but I am fed up of feeling like this I want to get out, help others and in the process help myself.

Dh has to realise I need some time to do what interests me he has said he's willing to have dcs a couple of hrs a week if I really want to do something like this.

squeakytoy Sun 31-Mar-13 23:24:13

"My life is just looking after dcs/hosp appts I really really need an interest away from that"

But wouldnt you just be adding to the time you spend at the hospital confused

I can appreciate you might want to have a change of scenery, but having read your previous threads, you already have your hands full with your own childrens' needs.

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:33:13

It would be very different attending hospital/bf group to support people than attending for dcs physio/hydro/clinic appts.

I do have my hands full yes but I thought why not stop complaining that things are awful/wont ever change and actually do something different.

Dh tries but does not always do as much as he could and I don't think itd hurt for him to give me a couple of hours 'off'.
I want to be a person in my own right and to be worth something and to have interests. I think if I have an outside interest I will have a healthier mind and a purpose.

SirBoobAlot Sun 31-Mar-13 23:39:06

Firstly on a practical level, if you have your hands full with various things right now, will you be able to commit yourself to the training, regular extra training sessions once qualified, and rota yourself to do groups / the hospital? I'm not trying to put you off, more that if you're already feeling vulnerable, starting something without being able to complete it might make you feel worse.

It might be worth finding out who the local training co-ordinator is, and giving them a ring. Training with the NHS is free.

FWIW I have a serious mental illness, including six months on a psych ward (in and out patient). My supervisors are aware of this, and are really helpful. Call them, explain the situation, go from there.

Though I would also say that it is tiring, emotional and bloody hard at times. You also say you're doing it because you want to get out. Whilst I understand and respect that, really you need to do something like this because you want to help other people - not because you want to help yourself. I'm sorry if that sounds harsh. I've been doing this for two and a half years now. I love it, and find it incredibly rewarding. But you need to look at why you're doing it.

If, for whatever reason, it doesn't work out, have you looked into doing some home study? Through the OU or something?

ariane5 Sun 31-Mar-13 23:45:49

I do want to get out yes, primarily to help others but it would help me too.

Bobyan Sun 31-Mar-13 23:57:07

This might sound very harsh OP, but given everything else you have posted about in the last few weeks would it really be fair to sign up to doing this?
It costs money to train volunteers and it is done on the expectation of them committing on a regular basis for a long period of time.

Are you truthfully in a position right now to commit yourself to something long term? I think if you are looking for an "escape" you might be better to do something focused on yourself such as meditation or a relaxation class...

SirBoobAlot Mon 01-Apr-13 00:03:24

I get that. Really do.

Like I said, find the details for the people who do the training locally. They will be able to speak to you about what is expected.

To give you an idea, the training here tends to be between 8 and 10 weeks depending on when it falls, and normally between 2 and 3 hours per session. After you've qualified, then you have to do another days safe guarding training, and a module on child protection. Once that has gone through, you then have to do at least three supervised sessions - these can be on the ward or in a group setting, both of which tend to be again between two and three hours at a time. You are then expected to be able to commit that same amount of time per week, plus paperwork. Three hours update / supervision session per six weeks.

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