So you plan to breastfeed. Great! Decision made. But what else is there to prepare…..

Uncategorized Aug 06, 2023

Well hello pregnant Mama! Congrats on your pregnancy I’m so pleased you want to breastfeed. You’ve probably heard it’s the best thing for you and your baby so you’re going to give it a good go and can’t wait for all those baby snuggles and bonding time. When we’re pregnant for the first time we know we have a choice to make about how to feed our baby. It’s just one of those many choices that are to be made during pregnancy.

I know that you’re thinking about the birth and doing everything you can to prepare for the big day. And I’m thrilled that you’re doing that, because birth preparation goes a long way to making the day you meet your baby the most amazing of your life.

Let me tell you what happened on the day my 1st son was born. 16 years ago, I had aced birth planning. Through pregnancy yoga, aqua-natal, antenatal classes and reading just about every book and website I could find on the subject, my beautiful son was...

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Why Co-regulation is my love language, and why it should be yours too!

Uncategorized Jul 28, 2023


So co-regulation isn’t one of the official 5 love languages, but it really is mine! If you’re wondering what co-regulation is, it’s when one human uses their own emotional self-regulation alongside another (or others), which in turn, helps them to feel more regulated in their emotions. 

I’ve been working hard on self-regulation and co-regulation as a parent, particularly since my second son was born 14 years ago. Before then? Not so much. Co-regulation is easier for some people than others, and for most people will be easier in some settings than in others. 

What’s key to understanding co-regulation is that to do it we need to have our own self-regulation tools in place. For some, this comes more naturally than others and this can be related to personality but mostly relates to the emotional environment that we grew up in. It’s a mixture of nature AND nurture. 

Until the pre-frontal cortex is fully developed children and...

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My Story of Low Milk Supply and How Mindfulness Got Me Through

Uncategorized Jul 17, 2023

Despite knowing that it was likely I would struggle to provide enough milk for my 3rd child, nothing prepared me for the range of deep emotions I would experience over the first 9 months of her life.  The two breastfeeding journeys that I had experienced with my sons had been relatively straight forward, but 2 years after my second son was born I had breast reduction surgery. It’s something that I had been waiting to have for several years and I had researched it in relation to breastfeeding and had decided to wait until after I had had my children to go ahead with the surgery. But then, 2 years after surgery, along came my daughter, and I felt pretty positive about feeding her. After all, I had done it twice before and felt ready for any challenges that might come my way.

And in lots of ways I WAS ready for many of the physical challenges. I watched her nappies carefully in the early days to see if she was getting enough milk. I quickly went to the local Lactation...

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Painful Breastfeeding. Is it normal or not?

Uncategorized Jul 07, 2023

“Tricky Nipples Pay my Bills”  – Val, Workin’ Moms (Netflix)

Yep, that’s my life too, because nipple pain is the number one reason that people come to me for help. It’s also one of the top 3 reasons why women stop breastfeeding before they wanted to. The families that I see nearly always tell me that others have said that breastfeeding does hurt in the beginning and they just need to get through it.

So what’s the truth? Should breastfeeding hurt? Will it get better after a couple of weeks? Is it normal? Here’s the low-down on nipple pain and breastfeeding:

What causes nipple pain?

It’s true that nipple pain is common in the early weeks of breastfeeding. It’s usually caused by a baby’s mouth being too shallow on the breast or nipple. When the nipple isn’t deep enough in the mouth it rubs on the hard part of the roof of their mouth (the hard palate) …ouch!  Sometimes the nipple is squeezed between...

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How to Breastfeed Next Time Around, When You Feel Like You’ve Failed Before

Uncategorized Jun 22, 2023

Let me first put something straight. I don’t use the word failed when I talk about breastfeeding. Nobody fails at breastfeeding in my opinion. But I’ve used the word in this blog title because I know that it’s how you feel. When breastfeeding doesn’t work out it’s felt very deeply. You may feel guilt that your baby stopped getting breast milk. You feel pain and grief that something you wanted so much, stopped before you had planned it to. You feel anger at your body, anger that you didn’t get the help you needed.

Maybe you had a baby who wasn’t putting on enough weight. Maybe your baby just fed and fed and fed and you thought you didn’t have enough milk. Maybe you had a traumatic birth and were separated from your little one. Maybe your baby seemed to hate breastfeeding. Maybe those around you just didn’t support what you were doing. Whatever the reason for the end of your breastfeeding relationship with your baby, I...

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Why We Don’t Trust Our Breastfeeding Bodies and What to Do About It

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2023

When I visit new Mums and babies in their homes to help with breastfeeding, there is a recurring theme that I can’t ignore any more.

Almost all of them struggle to trust that their bodies are able to nourish their babies. It’s hardly surprising really. The early weeks with a newborn can be a shock. They are filled with questions. Am I doing this right? Is my baby ok? Is she getting enough milk? Why is this so much harder than I thought it would be? It’s an overwhelming time. Becoming a mother or father for the first time, or even the 2nd or 3rd, means huge shifts in who we are and what we do. Suddenly there is little we can control and how the household is run (or not) is dictated by a teeny tiny super human.

So yes, I completely understand why doubt creeps in. We want to parent the right way. The best way! But have you ever stopped to consider that the events and stories that we have experienced since the very start of our own lives...

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5 Ways to Connect With Your Baby

Uncategorized May 26, 2023

How did you imagine life with your baby before they were born? Did you expect an instant rush of love? Something similar to seeing that 1st scan, but even better? How about life with your newborn? Were you looking forward to the time off work. Time to relax, read, spend some time on your favourite hobby. Perhaps you pictured yourself heading into town and sitting outside a cafe in the sunshine, flicking through a magazine or chatting to friends as your baby slept in their pram.

Despite it being well over 10 years ago, I can still clearly remember the expectations I had before my first son was born. Pregnancy, it seemed, took forever. The anticipation of life with my baby was almost too much to bear at times – I’ve never been very good at waiting! I painstakingly researched and then bought the buggy, sling and nappies. I decorated the nursery and washed, folded and packed away all the pre-loved clothes I’d been given. I was DESPERATE for my baby to arrive...

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The Truth about Breastfeeding Trauma

Uncategorized May 19, 2023

Have you heard of breastfeeding trauma? It sounds kind of extreme right? How could something that is natural and instinctive leave us traumatised? But when women struggle to breastfeed, when they don’t have the right support, when they are separated from their babies or stop breastfeeding when they don’t want to, it can cause deep and long lasting psychological effects.

The Collins Dictionary defines Trauma as:
a very severe shock or very upsetting experience, which may cause psychological damage.

When I meet women who have been through a difficult breastfeeding experience they often show the signs of trauma. They may feel anxious when they think about it. They may experience strong negative emotions when talking about it such as panic, anger or fear. They may not be able to talk or think about it in any detail because the emotions are so strong. These women may find that these feelings are taking over their life or contributing to...

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"The latch looks good BUT..."

Uncategorized May 08, 2023

As the saying goes – if I had £1 for every parent who came to me and had been told that a latch looks good and yet is struggling with every single breastfeed, I would be a very rich woman. The more I hear this phrase repeated to me from stressed, struggling, desperate parents, the more I know that there is something very wrong with breastfeeding support in our country.

Women know. They know when something doesn’t feel right, they know that breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt THIS much! And yet they are led to believe that they are doing it wrong. That they are being over sensitive and that they are not trying hard enough to make this work. When they are told that breastfeeding hurts in the first few weeks and you just have to grin and bear it, women have no yard stick to be able to measure their pain with. Sure, whilst mothers and babies are learning to latch on it can be uncomfortable at times. But if it’s excruciating, if there’s damage or if...

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Mandy’s Journey to Becoming a Mindful Breastfeeding Practitioner

Uncategorized Apr 24, 2023

Mandy’s Journey to Becoming a Mindful Breastfeeding Practitioner

Mandy from Assertive Birth shares her journey to becoming a Mindful Breastfeeding Practitioner and how this has benefited her clients as well as enhancing her own breastfeeding experience.

My name is Mandy and I’m a mindful breastfeeding practitioner and hypnobirthing teacher based in West Lothian, Scotland. I wanted to write a blog post about my journey to becoming a mindful breastfeeding practitioner in the hope that it will encourage others who are considering taking this leap. I have really benefited from doing this training both professionally and personally and I feel that having done the training whilst feeding my own baby has not only enhanced my own breastfeeding experience but really allowed me to see the benefit of the tools first hand.

So how did I end up following this path?

Well, I have four children, so I’ve given birth to and breastfed a fair few babies. Now that’s not to say I...

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