MY BACKGROUND

My interest and passion in ensuring that women receive a satisfying breastfeeding experience commenced during my Midwifery training, has continued throughout my Health Visiting and includes my own experience of breastfeeding with several challenges.

Over the years I have maintained an active interest in the needs of new parents within the National Childbirth Trust, as an electric breast pump agent and within my Health Visiting career, particularly in my last substantive role as Infant Feeding / Baby Friendly Lead between 2009 and 2016 and more recently within the Isle of Wight NHS Trust Infant Feeding and Tongue-tie Assessment Clinic from December 2020.

I have been able to consolidate my 40 year commitment to breastfeeding by passing the International Board of Lactation Consultant exam in 2005. This qualification needs to be re-certified every 5 years therefore in 2010 I re-certified by demonstrating continued professional development in 2015 I took the examination and in 2020 re-certified again. This indicates that I am up to date with current breastfeeding issues and best practice and can continue to call myself an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant until December 2025.

In 2006 I set up Breastfeeding Matters which I have developed over the years into a thriving private practice offering infant feeding support and associated services for young families in the Portsmouth, Hampshire, West Sussex, Surrey and Isle of Wight areas.

In September 2007, under the direction of Peter Walker, I qualified as a Teacher of Developmental Baby Massage and Movement. These techniques and strategies have been complementary to my skills within breastfeeding support.

During 2008 I undertook training to perform the frenulotomy procedure with Carolyn Westcott and Mervyn Griffiths (Consultant Paediatric Surgeon) at Southampton General Hospital. This has proven to be an invaluable service, enabling prompt consultation to take a full history and tongue function assessment ahead of a tongue-tie release if appropriate.

In 2012 I was a founding member of the Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners, where I held several committee roles. The association was formed with the aim of increasing awareness about the effects of tongue-tie on babies especially with regard to feeding issues. I am very proud to have been awarded an honorary membership of this well respected organisation.

In 2021 having worked within the Isle of Wight NHS Trust, I have trained as a trainer, under the guidance of Southampton Tongue-tie Service, to teach and support other practitioners in the frenulotomy procedure. Training details for frenulotomy here.

In addition to the ATP I am a full member of the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain (LCGB) and the Community Practitioners and Health Visitors Association.

As a Registered Nurse, Health Visitor and an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, I have supported over 2,000 families via Breastfeeding Matters and now I look forward to training and supporting health professional and infant feeding specialists in their role to enhance the feeding experience of more families in the future.

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