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  1. #1
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    Default Experiences with the ABA??

    Probably not general chat thread, but breastfeeding or work doesn't seem right either so here I go...

    Just curious to hear anyone's experiences with the ABA - either calling their helpline / attending classes / volunteering with them...

    I'm trying to research (sometimes in desperation!) what my next life move is. I've not worked in 9 years, moved from UK to Sydney so my old job doesn't exist here. Youngest (of 3) is 2 and hopefully will start preschool next year. I'm looking into all sorts of angles for work / study. I love babies and would love to work with babies. I am considering child care but still not sure it's the right fit (I hate seeing babies crying in cc). I'm really pro breastfeeding and have only just become aware of the ABA's study and volunteer opportunities. So far I've learned that not being a midwife or nurse the long term idea of becoming a lactation consultant may be unrealistic although I gather there are a number of private lactation consultants who are not health professionals. Sorry think I'm rambling. I guess i figure with my breastfeeding experience (going on 5 years and counting), becoming a breastfeeding counsellor could be a good fit. Short term at least until I need to actually earn a living. But I've never needed to call them. And never been to a class or a meeting or anything. I found an old thread on here and there were some very negative remarks about these counsellors and how they can be rude to mums who aren't dedicated to breastfeeding. That would not be me. I had a few issues breastfeeding all mine but overall I found the experience rewarding and above all easy!! Way easier than having to sterilise bottles etc. I'd love to think I could help support mums to achieve their own breastfeeding goals, but I wouldn't want to be expected to push an agenda that I'm not behind. Breastfeeding isn't always the right thing for mum and baby.

    Anyways, I just wonder if anyone has any insight into the organisation / training etc.

  2. #2
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    I've called them a number of times & always found them incredibly helpful. I am dedicated to breastfeeding though, so no conflict for me. Only negative experience was when I called about mastitis & the response was repeatedly 'I'm not a doctor so can't really help' whereas I was enquiring more about why it may have happened & how to avoid it again. Just weren't helpful on that occasion but think it was that particular counsellor. I too would love to do something relating to maternal health! Good luck.

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    I'm not certain but I believe that most of the woman on the helpline are volunteers. I'm not sure if they are put through some basic training although itshighly likely. In regards to being a lactation consultant I'm fairly certain you need quite a degree of training behind you, most likely midwifery before becoming qualified as a consultant. Again I'm not 100%! If your interested maybe give them a call and see if you can become a volunteer and what that entails. You could then go from there.. Good luck 😊

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    What a great idea!
    I've only had great experiences with them, I've been a member since DS was born and regularly used to go to the meets when I was on maternity leave. They cycle through discussion topics at the meets and I know one of the topics is "Volunteering with the ABA". If you got in touch with them I'm sure they'd be happy to give you more information.
    In Sydney at least, each local group has a facebook page, a good first point of contact might be to message an admin for your local page and ask to join the group (I'm not sure if you need to be a member, I think I joined the FB group before I actually paid). Also in my experience the meeting discussions are a general guideline but you're also free to talk about any other baby/breastfeeding topics while you're there.
    If I remember correctly the training is something like a Cert III in Breastfeeding Counselling.

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    I have rung the helpline a few times & always found them very helpful. My sister started the training to become a volunteer counsellor with the ABA but I think she's taking a break as it's quite intense.
    Sounds like a great idea and would be the first step to becoming a lactation consultant, I have looked into becoming a LC, but I am a health professional already so the pathway would be different. Can you find a LC in your area to be a mentor of sorts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rosey82 View Post
    I have rung the helpline a few times & always found them very helpful. My sister started the training to become a volunteer counsellor with the ABA but I think she's taking a break as it's quite intense.
    Sounds like a great idea and would be the first step to becoming a lactation consultant, I have looked into becoming a LC, but I am a health professional already so the pathway would be different. Can you find a LC in your area to be a mentor of sorts?
    Thanks I hadn't even thought what the training would be like but wouldn't attempt until ms2 is in preschool 2 days a week. I've done a bit of research into LC qualification and I think my past studies would cover some of the health topics non health professionals need. I got excited that I could maybe find a new career but to work in hospitals you have to be a health professional. There's private practice but I've no idea whether there is work as I think most people can access through their hospital? Still as I've always had office jobs but looking for new direction I'm sure the experience of working with families would be useful.
    So are the ABA quite flexible around letting students take a break and come back to it? I read somewhere the hours expected of volunteers is quite low which would be important to me as I really can't commit much time until they're all at school at least!

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    I have only ever had positive experiences, I have called them for advice and/or just to chat about what's going on with my baby and they have always been really helpful and friendly. I gather it probably depends on who you get on the line at the time but I have been fortunate and always had really great counsellors.

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    I didnt have a great experience with the ABA helpline,sorry to say!. I was 100% for breastfeeding, but I had some issues that needed fixing. I had an underweight FTT baby who was very sleepy & wouldnt wake for feeds, so I had to wake her every 3 hours (on medical advice) to feed her. As in, she weighed 2.6kgs at one month old (her birth weight was 2.7kgs). When I rang for advice on my feeding problems, she just spent the whole time telling me I shouldnt wake her to feed or 'put her on a routine', I should just demand feed - which I repeatedly had to explain my baby would not wake and demand and wasnt gaining weigt. I rang again a few weeks later & had a similar experience - they never actually helped me with my issues. But maybe my issues were just a bit too complicated for the ABA level of training? They seemed to have their own spiel which they wanted to talk about, and went off on their own tangents, rather than listening to what my issues were. I found a LC much more helpful.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to cheeeeesecake For This Useful Post:

    LouLaa  (23-06-2016)

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    I only called the ABA once. Whilst the volunteer on the other end of the line was kind and caring, she flat out said that she couldn't help me. I had struggled through mastitis and a recurring staph infection. I agree with the above poster that perhaps my issues were a little too complicated...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheeeeesecake View Post
    I didnt have a great experience with the ABA helpline,sorry to say!. I was 100% for breastfeeding, but I had some issues that needed fixing. I had an underweight FTT baby who was very sleepy & wouldnt wake for feeds, so I had to wake her every 3 hours (on medical advice) to feed her. As in, she weighed 2.6kgs at one month old (her birth weight was 2.7kgs). When I rang for advice on my feeding problems, she just spent the whole time telling me I shouldnt wake her to feed or 'put her on a routine', I should just demand feed - which I repeatedly had to explain my baby would not wake and demand and wasnt gaining weigt. I rang again a few weeks later & had a similar experience - they never actually helped me with my issues. But maybe my issues were just a bit too complicated for the ABA level of training? They seemed to have their own spiel which they wanted to talk about, and went off on their own tangents, rather than listening to what my issues were. I found a LC much more helpful.
    I had the exact same issue with them! Both on the phone and my local group. My DD was prem and tiny and not gaining weight, so I was waking her to feed her. They said the same thing to me, don't wake her! Let her demand feed etc etc. I had to keep telling them she's underweight and not gaining weight and my supply was dropping. I got so much more out of seeing a LC.

    To the OP. A friend of mine is training to be a counselor, it's a lot of work/heavy training and it's all volunteer, they don't seem to have very many actual employees.


 

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