Breastmilk nourishes the mind, body and soul
But sometimes our Breastfeeding journey takes us down an unexpectedly challenging path.
Let me guide you to move forward in your journey towards a rewarding breastfeeding experience.
NOURISH BOOB was established to provide women facing breastfeeding challenges using a holistic approach of care centred on feeding dyad, using up to date (evidence based) advice and support.
I am a mother of four, originally from Melbourne Australia, and now I’ve been living in Ireland for almost twenty years. I trained as a General Nurse and Midwife and then I specialised in neonatal intensive care nursing and worked in very busy units in Melbourne and Brisbane. This gave me very valuable insights into the benefits of breastfeeding for both baby and mother. Despite huge challenges mothers were so keen to give their tiny preterm babies their own milk. I found this inspiring and I saw how the preterm babies benefited from breastmilk. The mothers felt empowered by being able to express their own milk for optimum nutrition, and also felt much more involved in their care from the outset. I became very interested in learning more about lactation and in how to help mothers breastfeed effectively and happily.
The next natural step for me was to study to become a lactation consultant via the International Board of Lactation Consultant exams , and join the national lactation consultants’ association, both of which I did. I have continued to work in breastfeeding support and education in the community, while involving myself in continuing education requirements to maintain my expertise.
I have worked in General Practice (GP) in Australia and Ireland and was involved in the education, antenatally and postnatally, of women who were considering breastfeeding. While working in general practice I have delivered antenatal breastfeeding education on a one to one basis. I also provided breastfeeding consultation, once the babies were born, on a daily basis. This continuum of breastfeeding care ensured mums were fully supported with breastfeeding to allow the best chance of success.
I have also delivered breastfeeding education to my work colleagues i.e. GPs and GP trainees, as so little information is provided during medical training on this topic. GPs are a crucial link in the chain, as they are usually the first health professional pregnant women attend. Thus they may hugely influence women in their decision to breastfeed.
Most recently I have facilitated breastfeeding support group with the Public Health Nurse. I have enjoyed this immensely and allowed me to work with women who had similar challenges to those in hospital, but who had to contend with having to fit in breastfeeding around home and family life, or vice versa!
My passion for Breastfeeding was cemented by the birth of my own four children and the many challenges I encountered.
I breastfed my four babies, and I felt it was the best thing I ever did. However even with my clinical experience, I often felt anxious and overwhelmed, particularly with my first baby. I had come to a country ( Ireland) which didn’t traditionally offer support to breastfeeding mothers. I had little family and few friends at the time and often felt isolated. I was a perfectionist and had an idealised vision of breastfeeding. At the time there was no real-time support i.e. no internet support groups that I knew of, and a local support group which only met monthly. I had poor self confidence and it took a month to leave the house with my first baby. I took up to three months for things to look a little brighter!
It was a steep learning curve which helped with breastfeeding my subsequent children.
This experience has helped me empathize with new mothers who have come to me for breast feeding support and I think people have found this has made it easier for them to tell me about their worries and anxieties.
I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
What does this mean?
An IBCLC is an experienced member of the health care team who has acquired specialist skill in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs have studied in depth breastfeeding and lactation, and passed an exam at Masters’ degree level of difficulty. IBCLCs adhere to a code of ethics and work within professional standards of practice. We are required to keep knowledge and skills current, and must re-certify each five years through continuing education or re-examination, to remain registered.
We are trained in managing a wide variety of complex breastfeeding situations. We provide a written care plan to the nursing (breastfeeding ) parent.
My other qualifications include
- Registered Nurse and Midwife
- Post Registration Honours Bachelor of Nursing Monash University Melbourne
- Neonatal Special Care Certificate
I have worked in Australia and Ireland both in maternity and general practice and have supported breastfeeding women in different clinical settings.
As a neonatal nurse I worked in Neonatal Intensive Care Units in the Mercy Hospital Melbourne, in the Mater Mothers Hospital Brisbane and in Portiuncula Hospital Ballinasloe Co Galway Ireland.