by Cynthia Garnett
Over the years the Baby’s Best Chance program has had many amazing young women step up to the plate and become volunteer peer mentors with their program.
These women have done so many things to enhance the program and support pregnant women and new mothers. They have created wonderful resources, assisted workers in organizing for groups and community events, presented workshops at conferences, and provided support to other women.
This month five current peer mentors completed an online breastfeeding course with a few more still working to complete them. Linda Manzon, public health nurse and Interior Health breastfeeding champion, has mentored them through 21 modules of breastfeeding information.
All these women have a desire to support women to learn about breastfeeding and overcome any challenges that may be encountered.
Jessie Denisoff who has breastfed four children, attended many Breastfeeding Cafés and more recently has been facilitating a few of the cafés, says, “I enjoy offering breastfeeding support to other women and believe that having the extra information from this course will benefit me and those I support in the future. You can never have too much information or resources.”
Rachel Neumann, a local pharmacist and mother of two, says she took that course and wishes to be a breastfeeding peer mentor because she is passionate about breastfeeding and as a pharmacist understands the health benefits for both mother and baby, and as a mother because she knows what a hard job being a mother is.
Two peer mentors are from the West Boundary: Jennifer Mallach from Rock Creek and Jessi Bryan formerly from Greenwood.
Jessi says, “I struggled with breastfeeding recently, so it’s very appealing to me to have new knowledge that I can share with moms that might be helpful.”
And Melanie Shenstone from Christina Lake has also completed the course because she’s known moms who have had challenges and found it emotionally crushing so she wants to help women in her community with their breastfeeding goals. Plus she loves the connection that breastfeeding has given her and her son.
The whole Boundary is covered with breastfeeding-educated peer mentors and we’re hoping this will improve the supports for women and our breastfeeding rates in the Boundary for better long-term health for moms and babies. Way to go, ladies, and keep at it those who are still working towards completing this course.
Please call the Glanville Centre if you have questions Kristy Kuromi or Cynthia Garnett 250-442-2267 or the public health nurses at 250-443-3150.