I will be adding practical information to this page over the coming months…
“In the depths of despair there is love, love alone heals and unifies through all differences. Compassionate love. I pray that we may give and receive support in equal measure, with a compassionate heart.”Anita Kolaczynska 2011
Breastfeeding Adviser to the DSA
I am an experienced breastfeeding mother and a trained ABM mother supporter.I breastfed all my children beyond their first year, my youngest has Down’s syndrome.
Establishing breastfeeding so that my daughter with D.S. was thriving was possibly the most nerve wracking and difficult thing I had ever done, requiring patience, perseverance and faith beyond measure-but it got easier and proved to be so worthwhile. During those early weeks and months I wanted so much to be able to talk to someone who had successfully breastfed their baby with D.S.
There were no channels in place to put me in touch with anyone at that time, so when I was asked if I would volunteer my time to be breastfeeding adviser to the DSA, I was pleased to be able to initiate a channel of support for mums in similar situations. Anyone who now calls them wanting to speak to a mum who has breastfed, or get accurate information and advice from a breastfeeding counsellor can.
I can provide support and encouragement and give suggestions and information about breastfeeding your baby, both before your birth and after; the sooner you have access to relevant information and support, the easier and more pleasurable breastfeeding is likely to be. Every woman deserves to have access to the wisdom and experience of those who have trodden this path before them.
For specific breastfeeding and medical issues that mums or health visitors may need advice on, I will direct them to a qualified breastfeeding counselor who can assess and advise based on their extensive training and experience in all areas of breastfeeding.
To provide this direct referral, I am compiling a network of counselors who have experience of successfully supporting babies with DS to breastfeed and have an awareness of the issues involved. My aim is for there to be a qualified breastfeeding counselor trained in the specific issues relating to DS in every locality in the UK, so that Mums can get face to face support and a continuum of care from someone local to them. This person can also liase with other health care professionals where necessary regarding feeding issues. If you are a qualified breastfeeding counsellor reading this who can support mothers in this way, please get in touch with me.
To further this aim of increasing education and awareness I run workshops for breastfeeding supporters and health professionals. If you are interested in me running a workshop please contact me here
In 2011 I was invited to give a presentation at the ABM’s annual conference in London: ‘Tools for successfully supporting breastfeeding in babies with D.S’
I have also been researching the way that mums can be most successfully supported and have compiled over 50 personal breastfeeding accounts over the last few years. Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. Please continue to send me your accounts and beautiful breastfeeding photos.
I am currently completing a book for mums and health care professionals which will be published next year. If you would like to be added to the list to reserve a copy please contact me here
I can be contacted through the DSA helpline number: 0845 230 0372 and am available to talk to in the evenings between 7pm and 9pm. You may also contact me directly via the contact page here
I reccomend becoming a member of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers where you will receive their excellent magazines throughout the year full of information and shared stories, as well as a welcome pack. There website is: http://abm.me.uk/