February has been another busy month packed with breastfeeding calls, home visits, a visit to Peterborough, marathon decisions and starting a new job.
Busy breastfeeding month
February has been just as busy as January in terms of breastfeeding calls and home visits.
I’m sure other breastfeeding counsellors find this too… If one mum from a group calls, then I get calls from almost all the other mums too.
Another five home visits this month as well as a visit to Baby Café in Beckenham to celebrate their fifth birthday. It was a busy day at the café – I supported 4 mums while I was there!
I also supported several families while on the Lidl/NCT stand at the Baby Show at the end of February.
Giving myself permission to listen to my body
Last month I told you that I’d decided to use my London Marathon place to fundraise to set up a local breastfeeding drop-in.
Quite honestly that was the wrong decision. Well, right decision but wrong timing.
I have been really struggling with the training. Training for a marathon is hard. It’s not my first marathon so I know what to expect.
But this time it’s been different. Many of you know that I had breast cancer in 2018 with surgery and radiotherapy treatment. What with that and a shoulder injury last August, I haven’t run consistently for nearly two years. I only started running again on Christmas Eve!
I realise now that I haven’t fully recovered. After all, I’m not super woman.
I’ve listened to my body and decided to defer. I will run in 2021 instead, and use 2020 to get back to fitness. And then in autumn this year, I’m walking 75km of the Camino de Santiago.
I love the new look branch pages! My branch is currently ‘dormant’ though I’m working to change that. One thing I can do right now is to get my branch pages updated.
So far I’m loving the fabulous support from Robin at UKO. He’s been super helpful.
Invite me to your events
I really want to be an active visible President. So please do invite me to events, whether volunteer or practitioner-led.
I’ll try to attend alongside the need to balance my family life with my business, my paid work, my role as breastfeeding counsellor and the volunteering I do outside of NCT (crow rescuing and grant applications for a small cancer charity)!
In February I accompanied CEO Angela McConville to Peterborough to visit an NCT Bump & Babies group. We also got to meet the local service delivery manager, one of our amazing breastfeeding counsellors, several breastfeeding peer supporters, BBCS supporters and the Bumps & Babies volunteers, as well as lots of mums and dads.
It was incredibly inspirational to see the fabulous work our volunteers are doing in Peterborough.
It was also a challenging visit because of recently announced changes to the breastfeeding support contract. Although the support extends into the Fens, we lose provision of paid breastfeeding counsellors. I had lots of time with Angela on the train there and back to voice the concerns of fellow breastfeeding counsellors.
A successful job hunt
As you know, I ran as President knowing I’d have to quit my staff job if elected. I was absolutely gutted to leave behind my job on the Parentforce project.
So I’m delighted that I’ve now started a part-time contract at Macmillan Cancer Support as a Learning & Development Specialist.
And finally …
It seems rather appropriate that I’m writing this on International Women’s Day.
This year’s theme is #EachforEqual because an equal world is an enabled world. It’s so important for all of us to celebrate women’s achievements and increase visibility, and at the same time for us to have the courage to call out inequality.
It’s the only way we’re going to make progress. So important in the work we do in NCT.
Find out more
You can find out more about my life as NCT President on Facebook.