Resting and recuperating after the intensity of October + IBCLC exam study.
Focus – Behind the scenes, building business
- Started weekly admin time bucks new uni Library. (love this!)
- Attended we are women festival – (relaxing & affirming)
- Had and Ideas Untangling with Nina Purple Crocus communications (so clarifying!)
- Supervision given and received with other breastfeeding supporters.
- Networking with Bucks Bumps & Baby professionals
- Attended Non Violent Communication training
Often a busy time, without the added tasks of child rearing. Evening and weekend appointments available.
Focus – Gifting confidence.
- TONIGHT 2nd Dec @ 8pm (Zoom) Nurturing your baby (free)
- Will repeat monthly
- Feeding sessions photo shoot this week with Zoe C Photography (fully booked)
- Mid – late Dec, IBCLC exam results due!
- Intro to slings – with the @villagemidwife @villagemidwifeuk
- 22nd Dec 1-2 “Surviving the festive feeding frenzy” (@high wycombe Library) Part of the feeding and carrying drop in
- 2-3 Antenatal Breastfeeding Workshop
“Build your confidence before baby arrives”
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 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..
Except, about breastfeeding and human lactation, there really really is.
When I am seen carrying around my text books, whilst I study for the IBCLC certification exam, and I am asked all the time why there is so much to know about breastfeeding.
You just pop your baby on and hay presto right?
Not quite, and when the collective wisdom does not include breastfeeding, parents, (including me), have to seek those who do know.
The other day, I poped on an old music album I loved as a young person and I was singing away with the exact lyrics some 15 years later without missing a beat.
In places where breastfeeding is 100% normalised, this is how it is for the breastfeeding dyad. There is no need to read, consult and be confused about the ins and outs of there normal course of breastfeeding because it is lived, seen and known in all corners of life. The questions don’t even form, its just normal.
New baby feeds for hours in an evening? Normal.
Baby feeding little and often in a heatwave? Normal.
Breastfeeding in public? Normal.
So then, much like my intermediate knowledge of Steps songs, the breastfeeding wisdom is there, ready to be applied quietly in your mind and that worried phone call to a helpline never even occurs.
Your post person, as much as your aunt is able to speak from experience and offer helpful suggestions.
This is not how it is for many parents in the UK.
We have lost this wisdom and breastfeeding is a forgin thing to many people.
It means pareents are scared to meet their babies needs, children are growing up unsure how babies are fed and all the while pregnant familes are cramming all they can into their lives before the baby comes.
In a perfect world, we’d all know about the basics of breastfeeding long before pregnancy.. but we don’t so until then we need parents supporting parents, skilled breastfeeding supporters and breastfeeding specialists.
And if you want to do thing about this gap in your own experiences, why not see if there is an antenatal breastfeeding workshop like mine, near you?
And if you are in High Wycombe and want a friendly face to answer your breastfeeding questions, PM me to find out how to work 1:1 with me.
I learnt the hard way round.
On these squares, you can be forgiven for thinking life is rosey in others worlds. It’s not common for health care professionals to share their personal stories, and I am calling time on that!
Breastfeeding my children was the hardest thing I have EVER done! I didn’t even know what an IBCLC was before I desperately booked one. It as been a long bloody (literally!) road.
I was suspicious of the diagnosis of a tongue tie as a way to make money off of me and yet, I found the money and I booked that appointment that honestly, changed our lives.
Roll around to the next baby and I had many supporters on speeddail and my only regret was not reaching further into my pocket to get that home visit. Instead, I packed my 24 hour old baby up for a 3 hour round trip to see the IBCLC I knew and trusted with another tongue tied baby.
Most of my investing in endless study days, conferences and even training to be an IBCLC, have been to unpick ALL of the issues we experienced as a breastfeeding family. It has been hard. It has been emotional but it has been worth every tear if I can help YOU shed one less that I did.
I will be there, in your home if you need me. I will take a payment plan, I will find child care for my home educated children so I can come, I will stand in your corner as you fight hard to achieve your #goals
You are fierce, you deserve support that recognises that.
And this is why I do what I do.
#breastfeeding # support #motivation #journey #life #lessons #investment #wortheverypenny #makeingchange #diversityininfantfeeding
This week on the podcast..
My chat with #parents on #mush last night had me all fired up so naturally, I recorded a new #podcast episode about it and the wonder of #breastfeeding #support.
Search for @beyondbabyhood on your podcast player to #find it 🙂
Stream online @ Anchor
Is it really free? Should it be?
It’s a common idea, anything that is essential in life, would be available free if it was needed.
Is there a need?
As a breastfeeding supporter, I see this applied to my specialism constantly. The need does not seem to be there with the uk having one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world. But when 74% of parents initiate breastfeeding in the UK, you have to wonder, what got in their way of reaching their feeding goals?
We need to change the conversation around breastfeeding; it is time to stop laying the blame for the UK’s low breastfeeding rates in the laps of individual women and instead acknowledge that this is a public health imperative for which government, policy makers, communities and families all share responsibility.Unicef – a call to action
Decent from within
It’s not just the general public who are opposed to the idea of parents paying for support in anyway.
It is not uncommon to see a seasoned health professional speaking against other professionals, being vehemently opposed to a private IBCLC charging parents for support.
Yet when you look at the pre registration training of health care professionals in the UK, an IBCLC is the ONLY one to have the full set of desirable topics in their training in this report.
This is where I feel all opponents are all missing the point and hurting truly innovative & caring souls.
Free at the point of care
In this western, modern world, the only truly free things, are given by loved ones. There rest of the things that seem free, have a price, even if you don’t notice you are paying it.
This what has come of the dream of the NHS 70 years ago, many services are, are the point a person access it, free.
But that is not the full picture. How is it funded? By the Government you think, yes and where do they get the money? From Tax payers. Not free then.
And how about the staff delivering the support? They are paid to be there, by whome? We follow the money back to the tax payer.
Do it yourself
We are used to idea of DIY, a video on how to do anything online and try to fix it your self tasks. Sometimes they go well and at best the efforts are a waste of time and money but at worst, goals are not met and people get hurt.
When we have a problem with our plumbing, or our car, we are all quite comfortable handing money over to a specialist who can help, as we readily recognize their skill, that we do not share.
So why is breastfeeding support any different?
If you are thinking now about the people who cannot afford it, the inequities in health care and the undeserved communities, I hear you. This is a problem for us ALL and not solved by lambasting a private specialist alone.
I have yet to meet one who has turned their back on a family in need when they cannot afford their service. I know first hand, the amount of free support, or effort to refer on breastfeeding supporters take.
Many of the supporters I know are innovating, educating and leading change. Do you want to work against these people? or with them
So maybe a way forward, is to group together, campaign for more funding and then share it.
Parents get the free support they deserve, and breastfeeding specialists get the salary and recognition they deserve.