My breastfeeding story began in 1998, following the birth of my first son. Although our early experiences of breastfeeding were rather shaky, we did manage to muddle our way through; little babies are great teachers! With the arrival of my second little boy, I was fortunate to find wonderful breastfeeding information through my local breastfeeding group. That support enabled me to become more confident about my mothering ability and fuelled my desire to train as a Breastfeeding Counsellor.
As my experience in assisting breastfeeding families grew, so too did my wish to better support mothers and babies that were having difficulties of a more clinical nature. While most mothers will not require professional breastfeeding help, for those that are struggling with issues beyond the normal course of breastfeeding, I believe they deserve to have professional lactation support. After years of increasing my knowledge of clinical lactation and thousands of hours of clinical practice, I realised my dream of becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
My professional life
I work as a private practice IBCLC covering Galway city and county. I offer breastfeeding education to families and health professionals through clinic appointments, home visits and a referral service. I work closely with other allied healthcare professionals and can discuss options and preferred providers.
I am honoured to work with Ireland's leading expert on Ankyloglossia (tongue-tie), Dr Justin Roche, Consultant Paediatrician and his wonderful team in The Infant Feeding Centre.
Other areas that I have particular interest and experience in are reflux, low milk supply, re-lactation and induced lactation.
I am an active member of the Association of Lactation Consultants in Ireland (ALCI) and have served on its Council as Public Relations Officer and as Editor of it's member's publication. I am also a member of the International Association of Lactation Consultants (ILCA) and the Irish Association of Infant Mental Health. I have taken part in numerous consultative processes including literature and policy development for both voluntary and public health agencies and I have presented at national conferences and training courses.
My goal is always to provide breastfeeding families with tailored, solution-driven care through evidence-based education and support.
Lactation.ie is an inclusive care provider.
Accredited Breastfeeding Counsellor
Clinical Lactation Management
I am acutely aware that families rely upon me to provide up-to-date, relevant and evidence based guidance. I regularly update my clinical skills and knowledge base by attending national and international CPD workshops and conferences.
The following is a selection of CPD that I have recently undertaken. Please note this is an non-exhaustive list.
Tongue and Lip Tie: Comprehensive Assessment and Care Strategies, ILCA Knowledge Centre (2017)
Chasing the Butterfly: Understanding how the Thyroid Gland Impacts Breastfeeding, GOLD Conference (2017)
Infant Feeding & Allergy Realities: Maureen Minchin. GOLD Conference (2017)
Breastfeeding and Cranial Nerve Dysfunction – the what, who and why of Cranial Nerve Dysfunction in the newborn to precrawling baby: Michelle Emanuel, GOLD Conference (2017)
Sensory Integration and Breastfeeding. GOLD Conference (2017)
Managing Low Weight Gain in the Exclusively Breastfed Baby, GOLD Conference (2017)
The Maternal-Child Microbiome or: The “Oro-boobular axis”, GOLD Conference (2017)
How B.E.S.T Relates to Breast: Basic Evaluation of Structural Tension. GOLD Conference (2017)
Supporting Breastfeeding People in the Legal System, GOLD Conference (2017)
A Mother’s-Eye View of Breastfeeding Help, GOLD Learning (2017)
Nurturing the Nursing Mother: Breastfeeding Outlook (2017)
The Art of Therapeutic Breast Massage in Supporting Breastfeeding, GOLD Learning (2016)
Breastmilk and Sleep: Circadian Rhythms in Human Milk, GOLD Learning (2016)
Structure and Function: The Balancing Act, Evaluating Infants for an Interruption of Balance, Breastfeeding Network (2016)
Ultrasound Imaging of Infant Sucking Dynamics JHL 29(2), ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Determinants of 6-Month Maternal Satisfaction: ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Breastfeeding & Not Thriving: ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Maternal Request for In-Hospital Supplementation: ILCA, Journal of Human Lactation (JHL) 28 4, Study Module (2016)
Ethics in Lactation Practice: ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Differential Diagnosis for Breastfeeding Pain: ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Previous Breastfeeding Difficulty: ILCA Knowledge Centre (2016)
Peripartum Issues: Overview, Identification & Treatment: Breastfeeding Outlook (2016)
The Vicious Cycles of Poor Weight Gain: Poor Appetite, Poor Feeding & Poor Production: GOLD Learning (2016)
Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding Training Workshop, Nicola O’Byrne IBCLC, Breastfeeding Support (2015)
A Comprehensive Look at Ankyloglossia, Maxillary Lip-Tie, Frenotomy & Aftercare, International Breastfeeding Centre, Canada (2014)
Breastfeeding and the Work Place: Success Takes a Team, University at Albany, State University of New York (2015)
Working & Breastfeeding Made Simple, ILCA Educational Module (2015)
Breastfeeding Without Birthing: Nurturing and Nourishing at the Breast for Non-Gestational Mothers, Praeclarus Press (2015)
Respectful care and support for LGBTQ clients and colleagues, RNAO, RNIG (2015)
Milk Sharing: Risks and Biomedical Ethics, ILCA Educational Module (2015)
Human Milk Sharing, Selling and Donation: Legal and Ethical Angles, ILCA Educational Module (2014)
Maternity Care Practices and their Impact on the Microbiome, Keynote presentation, GOLD Midwifery Online Conference (2015)
Probiotics, the Microbiome, and Host Immune Response - Ciné-Med Continuing Education Series (2014)
Was it something I ate? Food Sensitivities in the Breastfed baby, ILCA Educational Module (2014)
Nipple Knowledge: Diana West IBCLC, Educational Seminar, Trinity College School of Nursing (2015)
Making More Milk: Diana West IBCLC, Educational Seminar, Trinity College School of Nursing (2015)
Establishing Breastfeeding in Babies with Down Syndrome: The Importance of Breastmilk, Breastfeeding and Child-Directed Feeding Approaches, ILCA Educational Module (2015)
Breastfeeding the Preterm Infant, Irish Premature Babies Workshop (2014)
Breastfeeding & Herbal Medicine, Promoting Responsive Parenting, Preparing a Literature Review & Critical Appraisal - ALCI Spring Study Day (2015)
Sleep Ecology and Development in Early Infancy, GOLD Perinatal Online Conference (2014)
Perinatal Mental Health Training for Midwives, Monash University (2015)
Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy and Lactation, ILCA Educational Module (2014)
Promoting and Supporting Breastfeeding in Healthcare Settings, University at Albany, State University of New York (May, 2014)
Breastfeeding Friendly Childcare Centres, Department of Health Science, Keene State College (2014)
The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes – Catch ‘the Code’!, ILCA Educational Module (2015)
International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Promoting and Supporting Exclusive Breastfeeding, University at Albany, State University of New York (2014)
Programming for Infant and Young Child Feeding - A Training Course, Cornell University and UNICEF (2013)
‘Factors Affecting Initiation and Duration of Breastfeeding in Ireland’ - Seminar of Study Findings by Dr. Louise Gallagher (2013)
Back to the Future on HIV and Breastfeeding: The findings that transformed policy, GOLD Lactation Online Conference (2013)
Professional Conferences/Study Days Attended:
GOLD Lactation Conference 2017
ALCI Spring Study Day 2017
Two-Day Cochrane Systematic Review Course, NUI Galway, Cochrane Ireland (2017)
Association of Lactation Consultants Ireland (ALCI), All Ireland Breastfeeding Conference 2016
ALCI Spring Study Day 2016
Association of Lactation Consultants Ireland (ALCI), All Ireland Breastfeeding Conference 2015
ALCI Spring Study Day 2015
Association of Lactation Consultants Ireland, All Ireland Breastfeeding Conference 2014