Here in the UK, there is a pervasive thought that breastfeeding will happen naturally and if it doesn’t, the help being offered must be the best.
Parents often then conclude that if that hasn’t worked, nothing will.
Here is where many parents trip up with their new kids, and the health care system fails them.
The sooner you seek help, the less work it’ll be to get back on track, to meeting your feeding goals.
Have you ever forgotten a major ingredient in some food you making? Depending on what is is, and how you act, can make or break it.
For many, the same is true of meeting their feeding goals.
I’d love it if every new parent was cared for by passionate and skilled feeding professionals but the reality is often quite different.
The levels of training and enthusiasm between health care professionals vary greatly, and even those parents wise enough to link up with skilled support before the baby arrives, often forget to utilize it until things have got really quite messy.
So if we go back to that food you where preparing, if you forget something like the salt, you can add it at the end, no worries! But if you miss out a binding ingredient like egg, You can just add it in at the end and still expect to get the original desired food.
Now how you act with breastfeeding problems, and cooking ones, are the same. If you find someone who knows about it, they often not only know how to fix it, they will usually have a few options for you.
Wait until the end, muddle through on your own of ask a less skilled person, and you might get told to start again.
100’s of breastfeeding solutions
There is a saying within the breastfeeding support world, that there are 101 breastfeeding solutions to any feeding problem. Is this the impression you have? or did you think the next step with a feeding issue, is to give breast milk substitutes?
You can see some of my favorites resources here..
Find out who the local skilled supporters in your area?
Try, ‘breastfeeding support’ & ‘your town’
Find out who the infant feeding lead is, within the local hospital & health visiting teams, do they have breastfeeding specialists?
Ask other parents if there are peer supporters & breastfeeding counselors within your town?
Is there an IBCLC near you?
This list is for those super interested in my background, for most parents knowing that I am a UK registered Paediatric nurse and experienced breastfeeding specialist is enough.
If you have any suggestions for my further training do let me know !
Royal College of Nursing – (2007 – present day)
Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (associate membership) – (2018 – present day)
Awaiting exam results for
IBCLC – Due end Dec 2019
Everywoman Doula – Breastfeeding through vulnerability (summer 2019)
1-2-1 Doula – Black Breastfeeding Week celebration CPD (Aug 2019)
Deborah Robertson’s Breastfeeding Specialist course – (June 2018 – Oct 2019)
St Johns Ambulance – First Aid (Summer 2018)
Kimberly Seals Allers – Writing for Social Change (Spring 2019)
Private Hospital & NHS – Ongoing Hospital mandatory training (Yearly)
Slingababy – Babywearing Consultancy Training (2015)
School of Babywearing – Peer support training (2014)
Milton Keynes Breastfeeding Festival
La Leche League Great Britain
Lactation Consultants of Great Britain
National Breastfeeding Helpline
Training planned in 2020
Pre visit questionnaire
Just after we have agreed a time and place for our session together, I will send you a link to the pre visit questionnaire.
Questions are about you and your baby, any health issues I should know about and some logistical concerns.
My preference in payment at the time of booking
You can pay on the day via cash or check if we have agreed in advance. Currently I do not accept card payments, but I hope to in the future.
Payment plans are also available to spread the cost & I would also accept skills swaps towards payment. Please talk to me about this, I would love to help you access skilled support.
I will usually text you to re confirm our appointment the day before & I will always let you know if I am running late on the day.
Unless otherwise discussed, I will aim to be with you for 1-2 hours.
This is so that we have time to fully explore your challenges and find workable solutions. If I am coming for feeding support, this usually means there will be one feed during my visit. Please do not worry if you baby feeds just before I arrive, I would always want you to meet your little peoples needs FIRST.
Some parents show me videos of feeding behavior that concerns them, in case they do not do it during the feeds when we are together.
Sometimes we run out of time, in this instance, a follow up visit (in person or online) will be warranted. This will usually be a shorted appointment and at a reduced fee. This could be because your baby has low tone and you both need intensive support, or it might be because I have made a few initial suggestions and we need time to see if they are the right fit for your unique situation. I have many tools in my helping kit (literally and metaphorically) and I will support you until you are confident again.
Dust if you must
But I will tell you not too! Other than making sure I can enter, sit and have somewhere to wash my hands, I do not need a polished home.
Please concentrate on compiling your questions, feeding yourself and NOT on making sure you home is clean and tidy for my visit.
A note of refreshments, I will of course accept a glass of water if you offer but please do not be offended if I refuse any refreshments. This is due to a range of my own allergies, and not intended as a rejection of your hospitality or culture.
I aim to create a safe space for us to work within, inclusive of all needs & abilities. If there is something I can do, specific to you needs, please do say.
This might be a cultural adjustment, having our consultation in you bed in the early post postpartum, or a practical like needing information in writing, or an emotional adjustment as a survivor of trauma.
For some families I work with, knowing my pronoun is important (she/her), some wish to be called parent over mother. However your fmaily is set up, please know I am looking forward to meeting you & willing to take any steps I can
to have you as comfortable as possible.
Sometimes, you might need help beyond my training or scope of practice. I might do a formal referral to a specific person (tongue tie specialists, birth debreif), or I might suggest you have a find someone with that skill set (counseling, holistic therapies).
Please place your pets in another room for the duration of our visit.
This is for two reasons, the first being that some pets will be protective of their families, specifically with a new baby to protect. The second is help me with my own allergies.
Who am I ?
Sometimes, family and friends can be intensely in interested in who is coming to visit, or you might just be wanting to see my face so you know who to open the door too 😉
I am continuously updating my training and education & every family I work with, teaches me something new (read more here).
If there is something you think I could work more on, I welcome feedback & suggestions at any time.
Usually I’ll give you a link to some information or a video covering the most relevant part of our session together, on the day.
I will write up what we have talked about, including links to further reading, and email it to you within a few days.
Any other questions..
Please get in touch if you have any other questions or need to change our appointment.
How many times have you seen the ‘just in case’ lists for parents to be, that are a mile long and include a bunch of ‘feeding aids’ to ‘increase your chance of breastfeeding’?
Did you know that the first solution to most breastfeeding issues, is NOT giving a bottle?
A skilled breastfeeding supporter will offer you a myriad of breastfeeding solutions before offering a top up, and even then, extra milk/formula when indicated can be given without a bottle. The simplest, to the most complex, a spoon, cup, syringe, finger feeding, SNS.
What if all new parents knew, that finding free skilled support, or investing in paid support, before their baby arrives, is MORE likely to have them meeting their goals, than many of those expensive items on the ‘just in case’ list.
Some health care professionals aren’t allowed to tell you about the support outside of the NHS, you might have to do your own research. It’ll be worth it. I promise!
If you are #pregant and want to set yourself up to save money & maxise your chances at meeting your feeding goals, find your support now.
If you have a loved one who’s pregnant, why not link them up now? Give them a gift voucher for xmas?
#yougothis #feeding #slings #savemoney #support #breastfeeding #alternatives #goals #informed #skilled #free #paid #invest #educate #empower
How often have you thought, this problem is unique to just me, my family or my kid?
You might find out that issue or situation actually it’s quite common but many parents get stuck without knowing how to gain realistic expectations and norms.
As I type up another follow up email about just this, I wonder what fuels this feeling in the people?
Is it the disconnect with nature, instincts and western ideals? Disconnect with normal infant behaviour.
Is it that we no longer live in large communities where not only is breastfeeding is the norm, but parenting is seen and experienced by muti generations, in all its realistic glory.
So many parents fall into the traps of other people’s, rather idealsic experiences and it’s do unhelpful to parents.
What if we re constructed the parenting villages? What if we knew from first hand experience, before we have our own small people, the realities of parenting.
Maybe then we might live happier lives, with happier healthier kids..