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Using the Breastfeeding Resource Guide

Leslie Del Gigante and Trudy Hart
Co-Directors, Leader Accreditation Department
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 34 No. 5, October-November 1998, p.108

Under "Breastfeeding Management Skills," the new Leader Accreditation Criteria (see Policies and Standing Rules, Appendix 18.2) lists 15 categories of basic breastfeeding management newly accredited Leaders are expected to be familiar with. To achieve this, the policy requires that "the newly accredited Leader will have completed the LLLI Breastfeeding Resource Guide . . . or its LAD-approved counterpart . . . if available in her language."

What is the BRG?

The Breastfeeding Resource Guide (BRG) is based on the "Basics of Breastfeeding" outline developed by the USWD Professional Liaison Department and LAD representatives. The BRG lists questions and references to LLLI resources under each of the 15 areas of breastfeeding management. The questions can help a Leader Applicant confirm or establish her knowledge in each area and explore the written resources LLL provides. When an Applicant cannot access basic LLL written resources—if they are not available in her language or for any other reason—a Leader/LAD representative will help her locate suitable resources for each category.

How do Applicants Use the BRG?

The BRG is a learning tool each Applicant can use as it suits her best. Since completing the BRG (or something similar) is now a requirement for accreditation, each Applicant reports her work with it to the LAD representative.

Some people enjoy testing their knowledge. They consider it fun to write answers and check them against what they find in the suggested resources. Other people prefer to use the list as a checklist of topics they will "research" and/or discuss with an experienced Leader. Still others prefer a "human" context to their learning: they might want to discuss or role-play one or two situations at a time, looking up only what they do not feel confident about. We encourage you to be creative and match this part of preparation for LLL leadership to the individual’s learning style. An Applicant can work with the BRG on her own, with a Leader, in Applicant workshops, with another Applicant as a partner, in writing or as a role-play. She might use one approach for the entire exercise or she might use a variety of approaches.

LAD representatives may introduce the BRG in different ways for different Applicants. They might send the entire BRG to some Applicants and Leaders, listing various ways they might use it. Or, they might incorporate one or two of the topics into their letters to the Applicant and send the complete BRG later on in the application.

How do Leaders Use the BRG?

Leaders are an Applicant’s best resource as she prepares for the responsibilities of LLL leadership. Take advantage (and let the Applicant take advantage) of your Leader experience, how well you know each other, your proximity; meet on a regular basis to discuss aspects of leadership preparation. To make the most of the BRG, you might:

  • Familiarize yourself with the BRG. Ask your LAD representative for a copy. Review it with your co-Leaders or as an enrichment for Chapter Meetings. Use it as a resource when you are planning Leader and Applicant workshop and conference sessions.
  • In addition to thinking about how you would like to use it, ask the LAD representative for suggestions for using the BRG. Talk with the Leader Applicant about how she thinks she’d like to work with it. Keep in mind your insights and first-hand knowledge of the Applicant, her learning style, her ideas and her preferences. Assess the Applicant’s progress (together) as you work with the BRG.
  • Use the BRG, in addition to the outlines in the LEADER’S HANDBOOK (1998 edition) as a resource for meeting planning. Refer to it often in discussions with Applicants, tying it to your experience answering mothers’ breastfeeding questions.
  • Be available to answer the Applicant’s questions about the BRG and LLLI references. Provide feedback about the usefulness of this tool to the LAD representative.

Leader Applicants want to prepare for LLL leadership; Leaders want to be effective resources for mothers. The BRG can support the Applicant’s and Leader’s realization of their goals.
We hope to have the BRG available in many languages as soon as possible. Let us know if you can help translate.

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