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 was some kind of breastfeeding ‘natural’ because let me tell you just because I have breastfed each of my babies, that doesn’t mean it has always been an easy path. I have battled with issues of slow weight gain
with two of four babies, we have had a need to use donor milk at times and more than anything else I have often felt feelings of real frustration. Being the only one responsible for feeding a baby is a big deal and it can come with many feelings and emotions. I have also often experienced a feeling of breastfeeding being a ‘means to an end’ rather than that lovely connected bonding experience it is often described as.

Despite those feelings I have always felt pride in my feeding experiences and a real passion for helping others achieve their own feeding goals. I had done this informally and always had a feeling I would like to do it in a more formal capacity but hadn’t ever really thought about what that would look like or indeed making a business from it. I’ve worked in the same career for 20 years and had a decent permanent role with a really good salary. A change of career wasn’t something I had considered. Suddenly when I was on maternity leave with my fourth baby, I started to have all these lightbulb moments. I realised I was getting zero joy from my current role, despite the stability and so I handed in my notice. At the same time, I decided to train as a hypnobirthing teacher but I knew I wanted to go further and help women beyond birth which is what led me to Mindful Breastfeeding.

Doing the Training

After having an initial call with Anna to find out more about Mindful Breastfeeding I knew it was for me and signed up right away.

First, I did the foundations course which consisted of online modules and then an intensive full day working with other prospective mindful breastfeeding practitioners. This gave me a really good grounding in how breastfeeding works and how to support women with breastfeeding including things like the hormones needed, latch and positioning. The intensive day consisted of lots of role play scenarios which helped to feel what it would be like to support women in real life.

Next came the Mindful Breastfeeding course itself, which again was delivered through online modules with an assignment of some sort at the end of each one. This part of the course was the bit I really loved the most because it took the focus from being purely about the feeding itself to emotional wellbeing. The course gave me a really good background in the theory of mindfulness and relaxation and how they can improve feeding experiences and overall emotional wellbeing; and it then allowed me to implement these practically too. As part of the course, I was required to do some case studies, supporting women in real life and this further solidified how beneficial the tools could be when used in practice.

Enhancing My Own Feeding Journey

An unexpected consequence of doing the course with such a young baby in tow (my youngest was three months when I signed up) is that it really enhanced my own feeding experience. Implementing the mindfulness and relaxation techniques for myself in real life really helped me to see how they worked in practice and transformed my feeding experience from a means to an end to feeling that connection I hadn’t always felt before. Even when I’ve had my own difficulties the tools and techniques have helped me to remain calm and focus on how to deal with the situation rather than feeling negative about it. I also realised that when I had practiced hypnobirthing in the past, I had just forgotten about all of those amazing tools as soon as birth had happened and had forgotten to prioritise my emotional wellbeing. The programme made me realise a lot of those tools could be carried forward into the postpartum period. I think having utilised the programme for my own needs will really stand me in good stead for helping others moving forward.

What’s Next

Since the training I’ve already supported lots of families both formally and informally, mainly via one-to-one options at the moment. I also now offer a group Mindful Breastfeeding Antenatal Course once a month and very excitingly I am also launching Mindful Baby classes next month which I’m really excited about. It is such a unique offering – totally different from any other breastfeeding support or baby class as the focus is on emotional wellbeing of the mother and that calm and connected feeling, something we forget about all too easily.

I can really see how important and effective these tools are and I’m excited to develop my business further and to support as many families as I can. If anyone is reading this and wondering if the Mindful Breastfeeding program is for you, I would say if you want to provide breastfeeding support in a way that goes beyond just the ‘technical’ side and really prioritises emotional wellbeing you absolutely won’t be disappointed in this course – the quality of the training and mentoring from Anna is top class.

You can follow Mandy over on her Instagram page @assertive_birth or visit her
website to find out more about services -


50% Complete

Two Step

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.