About Bébé Nurture
IBCLC Lactation Consultant and Holistic Sleep Coach
Hello there! I'm Jenny, and I call the town of Basingstoke home. Here, I share my life with my loving husband and our two car-obsessed boys. If you've ever been serenaded by the sounds of toy engines at dawn, you'll know my daily life all too well!
My journey to becoming an IBCLC and Holistic Sleep Coach
My journey to becoming a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and Holistic Sleep Coach has been a deeply enjoyable one. From my early days in paediatric nursing, I've always been drawn to the world of breastfeeding and infant feeding. As a Neonatal Nurse, I've had the privilege of witnessing the magical moments when a parent feeds their premature baby for the first time.
I moved into a Health Visiting team in 2011. With this move, I was introduced to a whole new set of challenges that parents face. From assisting new mums and dads with their newborns to the delightful chaos of toddler feeding and sleep. I'm grateful to have been part of an NHS Trust that championed breastfeeding. Being given the opportunity to deliver breastfeeding training across the Trust with a team of enthusiastic infant feeding colleagues was an amazing experience.
However, it was my personal journey into motherhood that truly deepened my understanding. In 2018, my first son arrived, and with him came a whirlwind of emotions. Despite my professional background, the rollercoaster of emotions was something else. He had a tongue tie, and his slow weight gain made me anxious and rather knackered from the constant demands of feeding. However, after a few challenging weeks, we managed to find our rhythm with feeding. He was an absolute delight and ever so curious, but sleep was another story. His penchant for greeting the day at 4.30 in the morning and waking up multiple times a night felt unsustainable for us as a family and we decided that we needed to change our sleep situation.
I was determined to approach changing our sleep situation with patience and gentleness. Gradually, we transitioned from breastfeeding to sleep and before long he was drifting off in his cot, holding my hand, and only waking once a night. He continued to enjoy his breastfeeds during the day, before bedtime, and upon waking. To my relief, he took to these changes really well.
Fast forward to 2021, and my second son made his grand entrance. Much like his older brother, he had a tongue tie. But this time I felt more confident in breastfeeding and parenting. Sleep patterns with my youngest were strikingly similar to his brother's, minus those painfully early wake-up calls, thank heavens!
This time around, I opted for a slightly different approach. Feeding him to sleep became my secret weapon – it's a marvel of a parenting tool! He'd be off to the land of nod within a few minutes, allowing me some precious moments to tuck in my elder son. However, the night feeds began to take their toll, and I wasn’t enjoying them. So, at around 25 months, I decided to night wean him. And guess what? It's entirely possible to feed to sleep and still night wean! With a bit of preparation and gentle communication over a few days, he took the changes in stride.
My learning journey
To further equip myself to become an IBCLC and Holistic Sleep Coach, I undertook extensive training. I completed Lyndsey Hookway's 100 hour Holistic Sleep Coaching course, which resonated deeply with my beliefs about sleep, attachment, and child development. My journey to becoming an IBCLC involved 95 hours of rigorous training and a challenging exam (celebrated with a well-deserved glass of wine!). And in 2023, I embraced the world of baby massage, a practice that beautifully complements my work by emphasising attachment, development, and the added bonuses of better sleep and reduced colic symptoms for babies.
I love learning and regularly attend additional training to deepen my understanding of sleep and feeding. In the last couple of years I have attended the UNICEF Baby Friendly Conference, the University of Wolverhampton Tongue Tie course and I have enjoyed lots of training and supervision with Lyndsey Hookway. I am also lucky to have developed a network of other IBCLC's and sleep coaches, where we all support each other over tea and cake!
So, whether you're a new parent seeking guidance on breastfeeding or a tired parent looking for gentle sleep solutions, I'm here to support you. Together, we'll find the path that feels right for your family. I can't wait to be a part of your journey!