Can I do it in public ? Will I be able to put my baby off ? Can it be banned in public?
Here are more ideas on breastfeeding out and about from LLLGB
I’d love to hear your experiences, send me a voice clip and you might get featured on the podcast 🙂
Listen here on Anchor
Listen here on Apple podcasts
Listen here on Google podcasts
(& many more!)
Email – Hello@beyondbabyhood.com
Here are my top 6 sleep resources, good for parents and professionals alike.
I use these often and found many of them helpful personally too. Is your favourite here?
Reasons why night waking is the biological norm by LLL Greast Britain
Baby Sleep Information Scource (BASIS) –
This website presents research evidence about biologically normal sleep for human babies.
Why your baby’s sleep matters by Sarah Ockwell-Smith
A pocket sized, both filled with research and real stories to empower and erasure you.
Sweet Sleep by LLLi
How to get more sleep, safely, what ever stage you are at.
Holistic Sleep Coaching by Lyndsey Hookway
Alternatives to sleep training, aimed at supporters.
Boobin’ all nigh, boobin’ all day by Meg Negal
Normaling nightime patenting from the Milk Meg.
Once we’ve agreed upon a date and time, I’ll send you a previsit questionnaire. This makes sure I know a bit about you before I come also helps us both plan what we are going to cover.
We start in your home, where you are comfortable and sessions last between 1-2 hours.
I’ll bring my bags with resources and slings with me and we’ll use which ever one’s seem to fit your situation.
Often support people are around too, to share in learning and support you.
But what do you actually DO?
Are you are wondering what just can you cover in a session with me?
What am are you going to get from it?
How is it really different to what is available for free locally?
No, you are not failing at this. Yes it is this hard and yes it will get easier (eventually).
Every family I help, get’s to tell their story. The highs, the lows and somehow the deepest darkest fears about parenting always make their way to the surface. This is a result of my honed listening skills and experience and training. Many of us rarely experience the true gift of being listened too, with out judgement or suggestion. Often, parents I work with discover the answers they need, where already inside of them!
The complex mix of hormones during the first months of parenthood, literally compel you to seek support and find the answers to your problems but many of us do not find the skilled support they need and its not uncommon to feel confused and conflicted by all the conflicting information presented to us by loved ones and professionals.
You might be feeling lost, overwhelmed or struggling to cope with the intensity of your baby/child’s needs. What ever their age, what ever led you to me, I shall meet you with love and work with you to honor your unique situation.
You might feel like no one has ever experienced your problems, or can understand the complexity of your scenario. It’s quite normal to feel this way and I would say that it is unlikely that there aren’t familiar themes within them that I have come across before.
I will say that every family I work with do teach me something new, sometimes this might be reaching medical conditions but often it related to the wonder of the human spirit and the resilience of families.
I am not an expert in anything, not even myself! But I am a specialist, I have read many books, studied for many hours so that you do not have too. I can give you a short cut to the answers you seek, and suggest ideas you might not have come across before.
Sometimes I might need to seek further answers from others, this is the wonder of being a chatty person with a huge network of other breastfeeding supporters to ask. Either way, you will never hear me say, I don’t know, I give up. If you chose to work with me, I will help you find the answers you seek, beyond babyhood.
Many parents feel a bit abandoned after the intense monitoring and supervision during their entry to parenthood. Breastfeeding support services are often targeted at newborns and it can leave you a bit lost.
I remember the loss of intense support so hard, especially when I felt most in need. So my services are different. Not only can I help you with problems you are experiencing now, we can stay in touch for as long as you need too, beyond babyhood.
If you sign up for one of the packages, you can join a clients only Whatsap group and The Quintessential package has monthly video meetings and you can keep on accessing skilled support alongside other parents who share a similar determination as you.
See also Babywearing Consultation
Antenatal breastfeeding preparation
Stretchy Wrap with newborns
Newborn breastfeeding support
Complex breastfeeding challenges
Introduction to slings
Troubleshooting your own slings
Refusal to breastfeed
Return to work
Toddlers and food
Night time parenting
Woven wrap skills
Preparing for Adoption
Debriefing breastfeeding experiences
and much more
Did you notice the online chatter recently, about breastfeeding weeks and celebrations?
If this is your first year as a breastfeeding parent, you might wonder what they are all about and why someone might go to an event about it.
Breastfeeding used to be the unquestioned norm of feeding and raising babies but a few generations ago things started to shift.
Why do they exist
This shift (& many other factors) has left parents today without the rich, knowledgeable support networks of the past.
This means not only is their neighbor ill equipped to normalize night time wakefulness, but also your health care professionals are less well informed. Pair this with less funding for services means, there is not enough skilled support available at the time when parents need it most.
And so, less parents are able to reach their breastfeeding goals and they carry those feelings around forever. These weeks are for you too as many of us long to hear parents say, I wanted to breastfeed, & I did!
World Breastfeeding Week
is celebrated around the world in the first week of August every year, since 1992 when a landmark world wide collaboration began to protect and promote breastfeeding.
Another very important week, is Black Breastfeeding Week, do check that out too 🙂
So where do I come in to this?
Last year I hosted the Big Latch on, another global initiative designed to unite breastfeeding patents and supporters within local communities world wide.
It was a low key but well attended event where we met in the Rye park and all latched our breastfeeding kids on at the designated time.
The weather was glorious and parents enjoyed chatting with one another but I knew we could do more this year!
What do parents get?
Aside from meeting other local patents, breastfeeding together in public and eating cake you mean?
Realizing you are not alone
Our workshops aim to normalize birth, breastfeeding and the transition into parenthood. They can be so many feelings, so much conflicting information and it can be hard to know where to turn.
Meeting skilled supporters
So meeting local, skilled supporters in one place is very handy! You can bet we know most of the other people in area too and would be happy to signpost you on 🙂
Meet other breastfeeding families
Many parents also feel quite isolated if they do move beyond their breastfeeding goals as only 1% are still breastfeeding for around 6 months, with even less than 0.5% breastfeeding after 1 year.
Be empowered to meet your goals
So finding other breastfeeding parents can be hard beyond babyhood, but as you might have guessed, I know a fair few 😉
Win a raffle prize
Local business women have donated vouches for their birth and baby related businesses, from baby yoga, to a postnatal support course. A full list is coming soon, but you gotta be in it to win it!
Book me in!
So if you are local to High Wycombe or are willing to travel, (we have a train station) Book here for Big Latch on & Workshops .
Find out about events near you for World Breastfeeding Week .
Find out about the Big Latch On, and find an event near you.
Aunt bossy, nosy neighbors and pushy parents at the school gates all feel like they have a say on when your growing breastfed little one weans.
You might feel pressure to wean due to cultural/historical reasons, religious reasons and even medical reasons. If it doesn’t feel or sound right, I encourage you to question it and seek second, more specialized or culturally appropriate opinion.
Here’s why you can (and probably should) ignore them with confidence.
Spend any time with a breastfeeding family and you will quickly see the many reasons a little one will ask to feed. A loud noise scared them, they bumped their head, someone new is in their home, they are tired, their teeth are sore and on and on. Breastfeeding is more than just food, and for many families its a mothering tool they wouldn’t quickly give up.
Ask any sibling to a breastfed little one what they need at any moment of upset, they will tell you the baby needs boobie, mummy milk, or whatever their phrase for it is. If small children can see this one thing fixes many, why do us grown ups struggle with it so much?
2 years OR beyond.
The World Health Organisation recognize the important part breastfeeding has in a child’s early years, recommending breastfeeding continue to 2 years OR beyond. This is the bit people get stuck on or forget all together.
Most places I go, I will end up talking to someone about breastfeeding in some way or another. I think of it like smokers all getting the urge at once, see a breastfed baby and ops all the other breastfed little ones want some. Similar happens with grown ups wanting to talk about it. Yes you probably hear more about the disapproving public in the media but this has not been my experience.
ABM’s recent social media campaigns #feedon give brilliant visual proof of the many parents feeding beyond babyhood with such tender moments captured.
I remember when a guy saved my toddler from some impending calamity at a conference center. Next it was time for cuddles and milk and we had a long chat about his own nursing toddler at home. I listened as he told me of the wonders of breastfeeding beyond babyhood, how it was a fabulous parenting tool but his wife where fretting how to get her to stop as she was turning two next week.
I listened as he (mis quoted) the WHO guidance for breastfeeding duration and validated his feelings and concerns. I let him into the secrete that over the next 48 hours, the conference center was going to be filled with very normal, very well adjusted breastfeeding 3,4,5 + year olds who all still breastfeed.
These families knew the ease of breastfeeding though Chicken pox, travel on airplanes, though to reducing sibling rivalry with tandem nursing.
When ever we passed each other over the weekend, we shared a smile, I hope I gave him the gift of another perspective.
Science measures for us the nutritional reasons why breast milk continues to be designed to continue beyond babyhood, but when we look at only this, we are missing how as a parenting or mothering tool, there is nothing that can do so much within one package!
Learning to Dance
Many parents find as their little ones grow, the breastfeeding relationship becomes more like a dance with both a partnership element and need for your own boundaries. Without them, parents can get to a point of feeling so overwhelmed that they want to give up breastfeeding all together. This is rarely necessary and by working alongside a skilled breastfeeding supporter, it’s nearly always possible to find some adjustments to try to maintain all the benefits of breastfeeding a little longer.
Wherever you are at, I encourage you to acknowledge all the ways breastfeeding is the seamless answer to so many parenting problems. Don’t be in a hurry to give it up for someone else’s reasons.
La Leche League – Still Nursing?
Kelly Mom – Breastfeeding Past Infancy
La Leche League – Thinking of Weaning?
Have you listened to the Beyond Babyhood podcast yet?
New podcast episode
What lies have you beloved about yourself?
This will be hard? You can’t do this? The other way is easier?
This weeks podcast episode I wonder about the lies we believe in parenthood
“We are the only species of mammals that doubts our ability to give birth” or – feed our babies! (Ina Gaskin May)
Listen now here
The WHO code & your business.
So you run a baby business and some has mentioned the WHO code on marketing baby milk. They might have suggested that you are unintentionally violating it.
You are confused right? You are passionate about breastfeeding, how could you be doing something unhelpful?
Here’s what you need to know. This is COMPLEX issue. This is brief .
Thing 1 This is not just about hippies boycotting Nestle
Thing 2 Protects all, not just breastfeeding families
Parents need impartial information about feeding their babies, free from misleading or idealised marketing. It is available here via First Steps Nutrition
Thing 3 Advertising influences our behaviours
In the new age of sponsorship and social media, companies are finding even more inventive ways to reach parents. If you are paid by a code violating company to advertise their product, you are complicit in their sneaky ways. Do you mean to be?
Thing 4 When you know better, you can do better.
What you say and do online will reach many people. Make sure the partnerships and giveaways you do, are inline with your personal values.
The British Medical Journal just ended their advertising agreements with baby milk companies , its an interesting read.
Thing 5 There are good companies out there!
The Global Big Latch on have a fab recent blog with examples,
Think of a big brand in the baby world, there is a large chance they are
Known violators, Medela, Lansinoh, Mothercare.
Thing 6 Parents are being misled
All Party Parliamentary Group on Infant Feeding and Inequalities (APPGIFI) was formed to address these issues. You can invite your local MP to attend.
Thing 7 The ripples spread
The lure of a network of breastfeeding events with freebies is a sneaky way of increasing brand loyalty. You have a platform, why not use it to explain why you will *not participate in, or partner with events & companies who undermine breastfeeding?
Thing 8 Ethical sources of funding matter
There are many sources of funding for small businesses, other than the comity coin types. Usually, getting in contact with your local council will have resources. There is national lottery funding and many more. Yes this will take more effort, but it is honestly the right thing to do.
Thing 9 Supermarket community schemes
The WHO code and UK LAW prohibit a number of commonly ignored practices around sales of baby milk & food. For this reason, many organizations prohibit the use of their schemes. If you use one, you may find yourself being turned away from events who need to be WHO code compliant.
Thing 10 Closing off collatorations
Be mindful of your partnerships when you are seeking collaborative projects with other organisations. You may find, that Baby friendly healthcare teams refuse to work with you if you are unaware of the WHO code. An International Board certified Lactation Consultant would not be able to work with any known code violators or with someone who is in breach of their code of ethics. (Conflict of interests)
An International Board certified Lactation Consultant would not be able to work with any known code violators or with someone who is in breach of their code of ethics. (Conflict of interests)
Baby Milk Action (UK), Baby Feeding Law Group, The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN0 for reports and monitoring
First Steps Nutrition Impartial information on baby milk & food <5 years
Unicef Baby Friendly Health care teams
We are standing in our uniforms and she interrupts my conversation to ask, “Is that even a real thing? This lactation thingy? “
There is no attempt to hide the contempt in her voice, neither the less, I reply with confidence.
“Yes! My full title will be an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) when I pass the exam in October. “
I puff with pride with anticipation of my impending status.
A medical consultant in the room, back turned to me, shares a joke at my expense with the questioning lady. They both laugh and I falter.
I have been carting my 1000+ word textbook around with me for over a year now, fitting study into every available moment of downtime.
Once a shiny new, this expensive textbook now sports pages that are scared with notes and the spine that held it together, gave out a while ago.
Standing in a room of moking health professionals, I feel like the glue holding us both together evaporated in an instant.
This is not an uncommon experience I am told as in the UK, IBCLC’s are not a recognised professional group. A lactation consultant is not a protected term either. Yet all around the world, it is the premier, gold standard in lacation education & support.
Through their training, an IBCLC has the skills to support every parent, from the normal course of breastfeeding to helping a family navigate the complexities of lactation during cancer treatment. You will find them working as Midwives, leading Infant feeding teams within NHS trusts, and running drop in clinics within the community.
Some IBCLC’s work even harder, to enter the field as a non health care professional investing even more time and money that their health care counter parts. It is a much needed profession, with much research backing up their value.
I have been on the journey here since the first mother-baby duo I supported on a maternity ward as a college student. Since then, I have spent 1000’s of hours (paid and voluntary) & thousands of pounds working towards this goal.
Parents want to breastfeed
Here in the UK, 80% of mothers start breastfeeding, but by 6 months 1% remains breastfeeding. That’s a sharp drop off and its not down to just one thing.
Since starting this job, I have heard all the staff feeding journeys and in their vulnerable moments even seen their tears. Very few met their breastfeeding goals and even though it’s not in my job description as a Paediatric nurse to listen, it’s in my nature as a Breastfeeding Counsellor, so listen I do.
So I hear the grief behind the words, I see how it translates into resentment and undermining of other professionals & parents alike. This is not sustainable.
It’s time for change
I remember a conversation with one member of staff, who was so angry about the levels of training of health professionals helping her family. She was enraged the IBCLC they had eventually seen, said they did not fail, it was the system that failed them.
I shared with her the amount of training on breastfeeding in the various health care professionals education and we both agreed, parents & health care workers desedrve better.
There is no one easy way to change the systemic bias above but what if we rethink our approach?
What if our next efforts to normative breastfeeding start with the next generation in schools. The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers has released free lesson plans for teachers & I love this idea.
Reading through some of the exercises though, I realised that some of the content would be news to people I work within hospitals.
But if generations of children know the basics of breastfeeding, the ones who enter healthcare will already be better breastfeeding advocates without any change in training. It might just work.
Either way, the next time someone asks me,
“Is that even a real thing? This lactation thingy? “
I shall reply;
“Why yes it is, and the fact you asked illustrates perfectly why.”
Then again, maybe not 😉
Tessa Clark BSc, RNc
Balances being a Paediatric nurse, Breastfeeding counselor (private and voluntary) & IBCLC exam candidate Oct 2019 with motherhood.