THE MILK REBEL

CHARLOTTE

I am here for the underdog.

I am fighting for those who don’t have a platform, a voice, privilege, or influence. I am here to pay forward the kindness and gifts I have been given, and use my talents and skills to improve health outcomes for families across the world, particularly those who need support and help with breastfeeding.

I am an intersectional feminist. I’m loud. I’m a bit sweary. I am a hopeless optimist and I love watching others succeed.

I just remember the crying and the pumping and the confusion.

I breastfed Leo until we were both ready to stop, which is an amazing accomplishment considering the struggles we had at the start.


We spent seven months combination feeding because I was in a toxic trap.


He was so hungry for the first three weeks, losing a pound in weight. He was so skinny – it’s really hard even to look at his pictures. I found it hard to understand what I was supposed to do, and the people that were supposed to help me were giving me such conflicting and confusing advice.


So when I hear someone say, “I couldn’t do it, it was really hard and I had a starving baby and I didn’t make enough milk”


I get it. Because that was me.


Then, an incredible IBCLC helped me to figure out how to breastfeed my baby, which nobody else was able to do.  Until then I’d heard a lot of “you’re doing really well” and nothing practical that actually made a difference to either of us as we struggled.

Leaving that group I was like "oh my god I feel like I can actually do this now!"

I can remember very clearly when I went to the IBCLC group, she asked me to wait until the end because she could see I had this tiny little baby and she had so many people to see. I was worried she wouldn’t have time for us. But she made time.


She was the only person who talked to me that pointed out that most of the things that I’d been told so far were complete nonsense, and she showed me how to actually position Leo so that feeding didn’t hurt, and how to optimize everything and that was the first time I felt hopeful.


Putting it simply: that is the exact feeling I want you to feel. To believe and know that there is a way to feed on your terms and that it can be done for as long as you and your little one feel it’s right for you.


We made it to 3 and a half years of breastfeeding.

I fell in love with breastfeeding support and wanted to know everything so I could help others so they didn’t have to struggle the way I had. In 2017 I qualified as a breastfeeding peer supporter with the National Childbirth Trust and began volunteering.

Over the years that followed, I took roles providing breastfeeding support via Facebook group Breastfeeding Yummy Mummies, and worked for local breastfeeding support service Families and Babies whilst completing my studies. I am a proud member of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers and Lactation Consultants of Great Britain.

I took the reigns and started West Craven BFFs with friends, so I could continue to offer breastfeeding support to local families. It was at this time I met my mentor, Shel Banks. Her support and encouragement led me to feel confident that becoming an IBCLC was the right choice, and I began my journey to IBCLC accreditation.

I became obsessed with learning about lactation.

do no harm,
take no sh*t.

Lockdown hit the UK in March 2020 and my ability to continue providing face to face support was challenged.

 

I felt it so acutely: babies needed breastmilk now more than ever. I set to work volunteering with local services to get information out to families quickly, and continued my studies throughout the pandemic.

I sat my IBCLC exam in September 2020, alongside my inspirational mentor who was re-certifying.

I officially became an IBCLC in January 2021 and have been supporting families in private practice ever since.

let's call it love.

This is more than a job for me. It is my passion. My calling. A labour of love.

I am a rebel with a cause: committed to creating and supporting radical change to policy and provision of breastfeeding support across the country to ensure that breastfeeding, chestfeeding and human milk provision is accessible, affordable and achievable for everyone.