RGN RCN RPHN IBCLC
Ever since I was small I knew I wanted to be a mother. I have always had a love for kids, particularly babies. So, when the time came to choose a career, Nursing stood out. I started my General Nurse training in St James’ in 1999, but quickly knew that Peadiatrics was where I wanted to be.
While working as a Peadiatric Nurse in Ireland my exposure to breastfeeding babies was limited. It wasn’t until I travelled and worked in Melbourne, Australia that I really experienced breastfeeding as the norm. Most mothers breastfed in hospital, particularly as I worked in neonates almost all expressed and went on to breastfeed on discharge. This was rare in Ireland from my experience. The support was amazing from the start, even having partners room in while mothers were in hospital was new to me. The experience I gained was invaluable and when I returned to Ireland, I knew that helping and advising mothers about breastfeeding was something that I wanted to do.
I started Public Health Nursing in 2013 and I thought I had won the jackpot when I got the course. Finally, I could make a difference to the Mothers and Newborns I worked with to help them have a more positive breastfeeding journey. Many of my friends were having babies at the time and I was saddened by the lack of support they received. Conflicting information given by different Health Care Professionals left them feeling confused and overwhelmed. I quickly realized then I wanted to specialize in Lactation and undertook the journey to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Today, I still see so many Mothers struggling with breastfeeding when I call in my capacity as a Public Heath Nurse. Many still receiving conflicting advice and feeling completely overwhelmed and lost. Mothers not recognising the warning signs when breastfeeding is not going well and babies with large weight losses are still a frequent occurrence. The need for better education antenatally so Mothers can be better equipped with practical knowledge when their baby arrives is essential.
In 2018, I decided to take the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) exam, getting certified in 2019. Late August 2019, Nursingmama was created and has gone from strength to strength offering online Breastfeeding Preparation Classes, Newborn Care Classes and the recently launched Weaning from Breastfeeding Workshop. I also offer in person consultations for both breastfeeding support and Newborn care advice.