Service is The Rent We Pay For Living

Today I went to an ABA meeting to learn about how to become a breastfeeding counsellor or community educator (the people that give talks at Child Health Centres, ante natal classes, etc.).

During the early days of my breastfeeding journey, the support of the ABA was invaluable. Firstly, having done the course that they run for expectant parents gave me the confidence to know that I was doing my best, and that I would be able to succeed if I persevered. Secondly, when things were still not going well after 6 weeks of struggling, I knew there was backup available when I needed it. And when I did contact them, the support and information I got was exactly what I needed to hear at the time, and I will appreciate the time the counsellor took to help me out ’till the end of my days.

I’ve been thinking about furthering my education for a long while now, but wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I have an interest in far too many things to be able to narrow it down to a particular field of interest, and I’d need to be passionate about whatever I study to make sure that I actually do the homework! The course is structured so that all study is self directed, there are no exams, only assignments, and there are training sessions run once or twice a month where modules are examined in detail. Kids are welcome at the training sessions, and you can do the training at your own pace. And when you finish, you have a government recognised Certificate IV, the same as if you had studied at TAFE, and useful as “Prior learning” if you decide to do further studies in a related field.

So this opportunity is a bit of a no-brainer. I get to give back to an organisation that has given so much to me and my little family, and I get to ease myself gently back in to the rigours of formal education.

6 thoughts on “Service is The Rent We Pay For Living”

  1. I used to be a La Leche League Leader in NZ. (Eventually I was their National Publicity Officer.) It was extremely rewarding work. I hope you enjoy it.


  2. I’ve long thought running media liaison for ABA would be my dream job since I am such a breasfeeding advocate – though I have to confess that I didn’t get anything helpful from them during my early breastfeeding struggles. The on-call counsellors could only ever come up with “poor you” and at the class we went to the leaders stubbornly referred to the father, the father, the father while looking leigh right in the eye. But I think *you* would be a great b/f counsellor! When does the course start?


    1. That’s such a shame! I think that the role of a b/f counselor is mostly “poor you”, and “you’re doing a great job”, and a lot of real problems have to be referred upwards to a lactation consultant.

      At the meeting the other day they said that they have a lot of “working parties”, who try to improve the service for different groups – they have a migrant/NESB group, a disabilities group, and I wanted to know if they have a GLBTI group. If not, you should be on it! At the course I attended, it was all hetero, and I got the feeling that they were way under prepared for anyone who didn’t “fit the mould”. That being said, they pretty much all volunteers, so I am inclined to give a little slack, as long as they show good intentions!


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