Ask Me Anything

As a Lactation Consultant, Birth Trauma Practitioner, Health Visitor and Children’s Nurse, I’m able to help you with a wide range of issues or questions you may have. If your query isn’t mentioned here or on another page on this website, please do send me an email and I can let you know if I can help, or point you in the direction of someone else who can.

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ANTENATAL

An antenatal consultation can be tailored to your exact needs and will usually last up to 1.5 hours. These sessions are particularly popular for parents who have already had one or more babies in the past. You may wish to:

? Debrief on any previous and potential traumatic breastfeeding experiences, to help understand what may have happened and to make fresh plans to avoid or minimise future issues. Using specific relaxation and visualisation techniques, I am able to help you to calmly and effectively release any negative and painful emotions you may still be holding on to, thus enabling you to heal and to move on free from your past breastfeeding stories.

? Talk through any specific anxieties or worries you may have surrounding birth and the post-natal period.

? Refresh on any aspects of general baby-care, if it’s been a little while since you did it before.

If this is your first baby, you may be interested in a specific workshop on a one-2-one, couple or group basis, on a range of post-natal topics. These workshops are usually at least 2 hours or more in length. See here for more information.

“…chatting to you before she was born made all the difference to my confidence and has transformed our breastfeeding experience compared to last time. I am genuinely enjoying it now!” (Anna, Crowborough)

Bottle feeding

Finding impartial and non-judgemental information and support with bottle feeding can unfortunately sometimes be tricky! I will never judge you and am able to give you my expertise on any issue regarding bottle feeding. Issues my clients often discuss with me include:

? introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby
? making up bottles
? moving from bottle to cup
? types of milk
? feeding routines

**Note: I do not have any affiliation to any infant formula manufacturer and my practice will always abide by the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes**

Unsettled baby

When a baby is crying and unsettled it is likely to be caused by one or more of the following:

? A feeding management issue

? A sleep issue

? Colic

? Food intolerance or allergy

? The physical impact of labour and delivery

? Overstimulation

? Sensory processing disorder

? Gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD)

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? Illness

? Other

By taking a thorough history we can establish what the most likely cause (or causes) are for your baby’s current state and formulate a clear plan for you to take forward. This may include feeding advice, establishing gentle routines, colic calming strategies and general settling techniques (including baby massage), information on reflux and allergy and signposting to other health services, to name a few.

**Note: This is not an emergency medical service. If you are concerned that your baby is acutely unwell please seek the advice of a medical doctor.**

Establishing gentle routines

Every baby and family unit is unique and dynamic. Whether you are a first-time parent, have a new baby joining your existing family, or have any other change affecting your daily family life, I can help you to gently bring some calm amid the chaos!

For many reasons, I do not believe we should be imposing strict schedules. However, on countless occasions, I have seen the many benefits to both the baby and subsequently the wider family of gradually developing a rhythm or ‘flow’ to the day. Often this will happen naturally but sometimes, for a number of reasons, it can help to be guided. My advice will always embrace the the ever-changing emotional, physical and cognitive developmental needs of your child and will never include leaving your baby or child to cry.

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STARTING SOLID FOODS

Starting your baby on solid foods (also known in the UK as ‘weaning’) is an exciting developmental milestone and one which any parent is naturally keen to begin on the right track.

For good reason. How you feed your baby is not only relevant to their immediate health, but also has a significant impact on their long-term physical and psychological health, their relationship with food and their attitude to eating.

We can talk through any or all of the following topics to give you the confidence and know-how to start off weaning onto solid foods in the best direction you can, without worrying about being a slave to the kitchen!

? When and why to start solid food

? Physical signs of readiness in your baby

? How to start

? What you’ll need (and what you can avoid!)

? What to give

? Choking and how to deal with it

? What to avoid

? What happens with milk feeds

? Quick easy meal ideas

? Avoiding fussy eating

? Recognising allergy intolerance

? Choking and how to deal with it

“It was so reassuring and informative….you get told so many different things that it’s great to have one knowledgable and understanding voice to go with! Thanks very much” (Laura, expat in Spain)

Challenging behaviour in under fives

Parenting is unquestionably hard and because children have entirely different brain structures to adults, they will think, act and respond in often bewildering ways!!

Through communication, connection and co-operation it is possible to set appropriate and effective limits and boundaries – teaching our children to control themselves first, rather than us trying to control them all the time.

During a consultation we can explore why your child may be behaving the way he or she is and discuss effective and tangible tools to minimise (and even prevent) their challenging behaviours in future. Not only can you work towards having calmer and more content children, you also deserve to revitalise your energy and enjoy parenting the way you want to!

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Not only can you work towards having calmer and more content children, you also deserve to revitalise your energy and enjoy parenting the way you want to!

Wherever you are and whatever it is, Vanessa can be with you:

For further details on options for booking a consultation either face-to-face, online or on the phone, please view the bookings page.