Breast and bottle feeding support from an independent expert in London, UK
Welcome! Thank you for visiting. If you are a mother looking for empathetic, tailored support in feeding your baby, you are in the right place. Perhaps you are seeking help for a loved one or friend? Thank you for being so thoughtful and proactive.
I am a qualified breastfeeding counsellor in London with over 15 years of practical experience in working with new mothers and their families.
Fifteen years experience in NHS and private practice | Qualified NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor | Pragmatic, calm, empathetic approach
Baby feeding support services during the coronavirus crisis
As new parents, you will want to do everything possible to protect your baby from coronavirus (COVID-19).
The UK government’s current recommendation for social distancing means that I am only offering home visits for emergency cases at the moment. However, I have years of experience in offering support online and regularly use WhatsApp Video, FaceTime, Skype and Zoom to work with women and their families. Please contact me in the normal way and we can arrange a time to connect virtually when your baby is likely to be hungry. Payment can be made by bank transfer, for the reduced fee of £75 for an hour or £40 for half an hour. For anyone in financial difficulties, I have set up a justgiving page so that you can donate any amount, at your discretion, to Medecins Sans Frontieres.
Discussing breastfeeding with a stranger over video might seem like an odd idea. Please rest assured that I will not be embarrassed and I hope that you will be relaxed in my virtual company. I asked recent clients for feedback about their consultations and here is a selection of what they said:
“We were so grateful for Cathy’s support over video during lockdown with a newborn! Her guidance and impact was invaluable thanks to her endless enthusiasm, positivity and encouragement. I never thought I would feel comfortable enough to talk about breastfeeding via camera (!) but Cathy makes you feel at ease from your first interaction. She quickly became an integral part of our support system thanks to the flexibility of her being a video call away and is someone we’ll keep in touch with through our little girl’s feeding journey.”
“The prospect of discussing breastfeeding with a stranger via video call when you are still in the whirlwind of life with a newborn feels rather daunting. We weren’t quite sure what to expect, but reached out to Cathy for support as a last resort. We needn’t have worried at all – Cathy’s warmth, compassion and expertise were evident immediately and she made me feel both understood and at ease straight away. Her practical advice and reassurance made such a difference in overcoming our initial problems and are the reason that I am still breastfeeding my little girl today. I would recommend her to anyone hoping to breastfeed, all my friends who are currently pregnant have been given her contact details already!”
“Video calling with Cathy saved my breastfeeding journey in the early weeks. She was so reassuring and the video made it feel almost like a face to face appointment. She was able to watch me feeding and offered really helpful practical suggestions as well as emotional support.”
“No pillows any more, no nipple shields and nor formula for a week! Thank you so much Cathy for all your help, we wouldn’t have got this far without you and definitely feel like we are getting there!”
Key information regarding breastfeeding and coronavirus
The available evidence shows that breastfeeding your baby is the best way to protect him or her from COVID-19 and other infections. There is currently no evidence to suggest that COVID-19 is transferred through breastmilk (Public Health England, March 2020), and we know that a mother’s antibodies pass through her milk to her baby. Even for a mother with symptoms, the advice is to continue breastfeeding whilst using every precaution to wash her hands and avoid coughing on the baby. For mothers who are too unwell to breastfeed, the guidance is to express milk and ask a well person to feed this milk to the baby via sterilised spoon or bottle.
CLICK HERE to see an excellent summary of the international health organisations’ statements on coronavirus and breastfeeding.
Some mothers who have recently stopped breastfeeding are seeking help with starting to breastfeed again (re-lactation), which is possible depending on the age of your baby, the length of time the baby was breastfed before ceasing and how much time has passed since stopping. In addition, mothers who are mixed feeding may wish to get support with increasing their milk supply and reducing their need for formula. Here is some good information on re-lactation:
I can offer online consultations to support mothers wishing to re-start breastfeeding, or to discuss questions around mixed feeding.
I know, from personal experience, about many of the lows and highs of breast and bottle feeding. Luckily I received great support when I had my two children, but it could have been very different. Helping other women, their babies and families to have the best experience possible has become an immensely fulfilling part of my life.
You are unique, and I will work with you to find solutions that suit you and your family. I believe in providing impartial, evidence-based, practical information which is tailored to you and your baby. I will support you whether you wish to exclusively breastfeed, mixed feed, or bottle-feed. This is a judgment-free zone!
I am often asked about my training, which organisations I work with and why I do this job, so here are answers to some of the questions you may have on your mind:
Are you a midwife?
No, I am a qualified and experienced antenatal teacher and NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor. I trained with UNICEF, specialist midwives and other baby feeding professionals over many years. Crucially, I have also worked with hundreds of breastfeeding and bottle feeding mothers. Interestingly, not all midwives, GPs and health visitors are extensively trained in breastfeeding. My approach is often different to standard advice you will have heard, because it is tailored to you and your baby.
Where do you work?
Are you affiliated with the ABM, La Leche or any of the breastfeeding groups?
Each of these organisations does great work. However, I am careful not to promote a particular way of doing things. It saddens me when mums are sometimes made to feel guilty and inadequate if they cannot or do not want to exclusively breastfeed. One organisation (which shall remain nameless) got very upset when I suggested that there are times a mother should use a bottle!
Why do you do this job?
I was lucky and had great support with feeding when I had my children. However, so many women are repeatedly told that “breast is best” without having the vital postnatal help they need to succeed. They either go through unnecessary pain and trauma, or give up and live with years of guilt. I am sure that this contributes to postnatal depression. I love supporting women through this special time. There is nothing like the look of joy a mother has when her baby feeds well and she is pain free. Equally, it can be a huge relief for a mother when she understands and accepts why bottle or mixed feeding is the best option for her and her family.
One of the best things about my job is helping new mothers and babies to feed in a relaxed, comfortable and pain free position. It is such a joy to see a woman’s shoulders drop as she breathes more easily, gently stroking and whispering to her baby as they are both...read more
“A midwife walked up the bed, tutted at me and told me I was feeding her all wrong. Five minutes later another one came in and told me the opposite!” As healthcare professionals, we know that new parents get confused and frustrated by contradictory advice around baby...read more
We know that you want the best for mother and baby. Thank you for taking the time to read this. When a mother struggles with low milk production, it has an impact on the whole family. Thank you for everything you do. It is possible that you are feeling helpless,...read more