Indira Lopez-Bassols - BA (Hons), MSc, IBCLC and MPhil/PhD student
I have been involved in birth and breastfeeding support for the past 18 years.
As a clinician International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, I have been leading the Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic which is part of the Merton Health Visiting team (Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust) for 5 consecutive years! Our service has gained Stage 3 accreditation from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly initiative (currrently preparing to go for Gold) and the Clinic is for complex breastfeeding dyads and by GP/HV/RM/Infant Feeding Coordinator referral only. We are proud to share that our Clinic has won the 2023 International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Community-Based Care Award.
As an Educator and the lead Lecturer of the international Breastfeeding London Course, I have been training future IBCLCs for the past 13 years. The Breastfeeding London Course has been been approved by the Open College Network London. I developed the popular Clinical Instruction Programme for our students.
My roles as Clinician and Educator have led me to the path of research. I am currently doing a PhD in Nursing & Midwifery within the Mother and Infant Research Unit, School of Nursing and Health Sciences, at the University of Dundee.
As the Director of the Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research, I have published several articles in leading international peer-reviewed breastfeeding and human lactation journals. I also serve as a Peer-Reviewer for several International Breastfeeding journals.
I was awarded the National Institute for Health Research Fellowship (2021-2022) as part of the ARC NWL Improvement Leadership programme. My project examined how to offer more skilled breastfeeding and lactation care in the NHS nationally. We are about to conduct the first RCT in the NHS/UK to assess the impact of low laser therapy for breast pain.
I work privately with parents in their homes, in my home clinic and I am in charge of the Breastfeeding London Clinic. I have been serving in a voluntary capacity La Leche League for the past 15 consecutive years and currently lead Café La Leche Merton as a La Leche League Breastfeeding Counsellor. In the past, I have co-led the LLL South West London, West London and the Clapham groups.
In addition, I worked at Kings College Hospital 's Tongue Tie Clinic for two years. There, I learned everything related to Tongue ties, including frenulotomy, assessment of anterior/posterior tongue ties and their impact on breastfeeding, post division breastfeeding support and care.
I have a special interest in oral dysfunction and have completed the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention intensive course and in maternal mental health.
- Providing excellence in lactation care: the Merton NHS Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic (peer-reviewed), published on the 15 of December, 2021.
- Three continents, two fathers, one donor: A non-puerperal relactation case study. Journal of Human Lactation (peer-reviewed), published on the 22 of April 2021.
- Assisted nursing: a case study of an infant with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, Journal of Human Lactaton (peer-reviewed), published on the 18 of November 2020.
- The alchemy of connection: an essential ingredient when supporting breastfeeding dyads, Clinical Lactation Journal (peer-reviewed), Volume 10, Number 04, August 2019.
- Supporting breastfeeding, one mother and baby at a time. Community Practitioner, June 2013. To download click HERE
- Reclaiming the art of breastfeeding, Midwifery Today, Number 92, Winter 2010. To download click HERE
- The art of breastfeeding: lessons from Mexico, Juno, Issue 20, Spring 2010. To download click HERE
- Helping doulas help breastfeeding dyads,Doulaing: a Newsletter published for doulas by doulas, Doula UK, Autumn 2013 issue 21. To download click HERE
- What about next time? Helping a mother with low milk supply production plan for next baby, LC GB Newsletter 64, March 2013. HERE.
- Embracing the ILCA sisterhood, Lactation matters, 12 September 2013
- Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust, Community Skills Day, live webinar: The IBCLC and the art of human connection, 22 of February 2023.
- UNICEF Baby-Friendly annual Conference, Poster:The Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic: creating a how-to manual to support Health Visiting and Midwifery, 22-23 of November 2022.
- Master Programme in Obstetrics and Midwifery Care, Dept of Obstertics & Gynaecology, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Supporting breastfeeding in infants with clefts, September 2022.
- California Bay Area Lactation Associates, Supporting breastfeeding in infants with clefts, September 2022.
- Gold Lactation Online Conference, Assisted Nursing: Supporting Breastfeeding Infants With Craniofacial Anomalies, April 2022.
- Ilactation Breastfeeding 2020 Conference: Focus, Confidence, Skills, the Alchemy of Connection: an essential ingredient when supporting breastfeeding dyads, March 2020.
- The Breastfeeding Festival Milton Keynes, The Non-latching baby, September 2019
- The Milk Booster Conference for World Breastfeeding Week, Empower Parents, enable breastfeeding, Lagos, Nigeria, live stream, August 2019.
- University College, Anglo-European College of Chiropractic 2018 CPD Seminar "Musculoskeletal Issues in the Breastfeeding Neonate", keynote speaker and main presenter.
- Ilactation Spanish 2018 Conference Breastfeeding so natural, so special, speaker on Supporting non-latching babies.
- the 2018 European Lactation Consultants Conference in Holland, poster presenter: The alchemy of connection: supporting breastfeeding dyads.
- the ILactation Conference 2017: Breastfeeding in a changing world; speaker on Supporting non-latching babies.
- the UNICEF 2016 Annual update for Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Partnership NHS Trust; Presenter on the "4 colics" (colic, reflux, intolerances/allergies and oversupply in the breastfed baby).
- a CPD 2017 Paediatric day for the Oxfordshire Osteopathic Network; Speaker on Ankyloglossia in the breastfed baby.
- How We Birth 2016 Seminar in Germany; Presenter on Breastfeeding basics and Tongue ties.
Claudia Gorgati - RM & IBCLC
I started to think about the importance of breastfeeding support during my midwifery training. I have always been fascinated by the natural but complex way our bodies can feed another human being.
My studies about breastfeeding began in 2006 during my second year of midwifery training in Italy. I attended the Unicef 20 hours Breastfeeding Training for the Baby-Friendly Hospital initiative and I wrote my degree dissertation on it.
I started working in Switzerland, at the Civico Hospital of Lugano (Ente Ospedaliero Cantonale) in 2009, where I gained valuable hands-on experience. During that period I decided to improve my knowledge of breastfeeding support, and in 2011 I graduated as an IBCLC.
A large part of my job consists of regular updates in learning and training so I have attended several breastfeeding courses in Italy, Switzerland and England. Every year, I attend the La Leche League Italian National Congress and in autumn 2015 I ran a seminar during the La Leche League Switzerland National Congress titled “The baby unsettled on breast”.
I am part of the Breastfeeding London faculty where I have consolidated my passion for teaching. I have supported many trainees as a Mentor through the Clinical Instructon Programme.
Siobhan Pearce - IBCLC
I originally trained to be a birth and postnatal doula in 2008.
During my work as a doula, I realised that there was an enormous need for breastfeeding support for all the new mums and families out there and I couldn't believe how much conflicting advice and information these new mums were being given and how confusing it all was.
I had the added benefit of working under a few very knowledgeable Lactation Consultants and one very special lady, Mary Griffiths, encouraged me to sit the IBCLC exam in 2011, which I passed and I am now very proud to call myself an "International Board Certified Lactation Consultant".
I am passionate about breastfeeding, but more importantly I am passionate about mother’s choice and having a happy family, so if you want to breastfeed and welcome me into your home, I will be guided by you and do whatever I can to make your breastfeeding experience a positive one!
As well as working alongside the lovely Indira and Holly, I have also set up my own website - Siobhanpearce.com, which offers more information about me and how I work.
Gayle Subramaniam - MA (Hons) & IBCLC
I have over 15 years experience writing, producing and presenting research. I’m also a clinician and educator.
I’m an Associate Fellow at the Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research and I have published in international peer-reviewed breastfeeding and human lactation journals. I’m also an Associate Editor with the Journal of Human Lactation. I’m a clinician in both private practice and the NHS working with the Merton Health Visiting team (Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust). I’m also an educator and part of the teaching faculty of the Breastfeeding London Course. Finally, I’m Hearts Milk Bank donor for clinical research, including COVID-19 and breast cancer.
I was mentored by Indira Lopez-Bassols through the Breastfeeding London Mentorship Programme and have trained with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (ABM). I have experience in a variety of clinical settings including community clinics, private practice and drop-ins. In these settings I’ve worked with a range of breastfeeding challenges both simple and complex including reducing supplementation, hypoplasia, low milk supply, complex mastitis, nursing supplementers and relactation and weaning.
When I became a mother my life turned upside down and I quickly realised support from my peers was invaluable. I began volunteering with my local NCT and breastfeeding drop-in, helping to create a thriving hub of peer support and community events. Having first-hand experience of what it’s like when breastfeeding goes well, and when it doesn’t(!), and the difference highly skilled support can make, I felt compelled to become an IBCLC.
- Providing excellence in lactation care: the Merton NHS Specialist Breastfeeding Clinic (peer-reviewed), published on the 15 of December, 2021.
- Three continents, two fathers, one donor: A non-puerperal relactation case study. Journal of Human Lactation (peer-reviewed), published on the 22 of April 2021
- Milk Banking: Changing lives. Changing perceptions of human milk through science and research. ABM Magazine, Spring, 2020
Contributed to editing skills, language corrections, and the design and production of figures of: Assisted nursing: a case study of an infant with a complete unilateral cleft lip and palate, Journal of Human Lactaton (peer-reviewed), published on the 18 of November 2020.
Iona de Wet - BSc, MSc, RNutr, IBCLC
My interest in breastfeeding started with nutrition. I have worked in public health nutrition for 12 years including: early years nutrition; as a research scientist; and as an infant feeding lead in the NHS. I saw firsthand the contribution of breastfeeding to the wider public health landscape. Access to good support, unfortunately, is often a challenge for families and I felt quite strongly that I wanted to be part of the solution.
In my role as infant feeding lead in Merton, I worked to build community support for families as part of the UNICEF Baby Friendly Initiative Programme. I loved training Health Visitors and other health care workers in breastfeeding; I was often found traveling around London with two large tote bags stuffed with knitted boobs. I also started a breastfeeding drop-in, as well as a specialist breastfeeding clinic. The mothers I worked with, and their experiences, motivated me to pursue further education so that I can support them as best I can. This is why after completeting the Breastfeeding London Course I qualified as an IBCLC.
I currently volunteer in an inner-city hospital in the post-natal ward supporting mothers. I also recently joined the teaching faculty of the Breastfeeding London course which I thoroughly enjoy. During the week I work on developing new models for breastfeeding support within the NHS. In my practice, I always aim to be the calm, reassuring, non-judgmental voice I would want to hear.
I have been awarded the 2021-2022 National Institute for Health Research ARC NWL Improvement Leadership Fellowship. I am part of the teaching faculty for the Breastfeeding London Course.
Holly - RGN, RM and IBCLC
I have been a Registered General Nurse for 37 years. I have always had a passion for breastfeeding, which was reinforced on my personal breastfeeding journey with my 3 children. Over the years as a Midwife and a mother, I joined the NCT and organised the NCT Breastmilk donation collection for a time at a local Hospital Neonatal Unit Milk Bank.
Alongside working as a Community Midwife (where breastfeeding problem solving takes up a lot of my time), I have run Parent Ed classes (pre-Covid), and work at the Tongue Tie Clinic at King’s College Hospital. I qualified as an IBCLC in 2011 as my enthusiasm to help woman overcome breastfeeding issues grew. I am also part of the teaching faculty for the Breastfeeding London Course. (Currently not practicing privately)
Nicky Harris - RM & IBCLC
I have been a midwife for 32 years. A year after qualifying my husband Chris and I had the first of four lovely children: one hospital birth and the other three at home. Although I breastfed them all, I had great challenges in feeding one of them and it was this experience which helped to give me a passion to support other women and their babies.
I have worked both in the NHS and independent sectors, within hospitals and the community – and even in Egypt! In my last NHS role, I worked in Children’s centres running breastfeeding cafes.
I love to support women and babies through the postnatal period. Although this is a crucial part of a family’s experience, it has often been a neglected part of midwifery care. So In 2013 I studied for and qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to enable me to have the right skills and education. I believe every woman should have access to skilled and kind breastfeeding support, from birth, to optimise the experience for those who choose to breastfeed.
More recently I have been working as a private midwife and lactation consultant supporting women and their babies. I also co-run a free weekly postnatal group in Camberwell SE5 for mothers and their babies 0-6 months. Breastfeeding is a top topic but the overall aim is that women feel supported and strengthened as they grow into motherhood.
In my spare time, I have an allotment, love gardening and play an active part in my church family.
I am also part of the Breastfeeding London Course teaching faculty and support trainees as a Mentor in the Clinical Instruction Programme.
Anna Cannon - RM & IBCLC
I have been a midwife for 27 years and have developed my practice both in the NHS, as an Independent Midwife and working abroad. I feel passionate about the importance of good support postnatally particularly in the early days following birth to ensure adequate recovery to address challenges that sometime appear with breastfeeding early on.
I feel new mothers need extra support at this time of transition and recovery in order to feel confident, energised and to help to understand their baby. It was this desire to be more knowledgeable about breastfeeding and the benefits of adequate support that led me to becoming a Lactation Consultant 6 years ago.
I have worked in the community running breastfeeding support groups and as an Independent Midwife running Antenatal Clinics. I am also trained in diagnosing and treatment of tongue tie as I worked at Kings College Hospital's Tongue Tie clinic. I am currently the Infant Feeding Coordinator at St George's Hospital.
I am also a mother to 4 girls who I successfully breastfed.
Last but not least, I am part of the teaching faculty for the Breastfeeding London Course.
Carla Maldonado - MD & IBCLC
I originally trained to be a pediatrician (MD). I started my training in 1989 in Argentina and learned all the benefits and natural processes of breastfeeding. I worked in public Health in Argentina for 17 years, including giving information and choices on how to feed babies in very diverse scenarios. When I became a mum for the first time in 2005, I faced a not-so-easy start with breastfeeding. Even though I had all the theoretical knowledge about it, I realized how important it is at the early days of motherhood, not only the science, but the support and companionship.After my second daughter was born (2009), I decided to leave my pediatrician pathway and started to work with mums-to-be and early years of childhood, including newborn normal behaviors, feeding babies and children, and normal child development, in my own clinic in Argentina. When I moved to London in 2015, I became a Doula. I love to support pregnant women and new mums and babies in the postnatal period. I also had the opportunity to be trained within the London Breastfeeding Course in 2018 and qualify as an IBCLC in January 2021. Now I am working both in the NHS and in independent sectors. Within the NHS I work in the postnatal ward in the Whittington NHS Trust.
In parallel, I work with a charity where I set up the on-line Spanish breastfeeding support session for all mothers who live in London and I run 2 breastfeeding free clinics in Tottenham for mums who are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties and lives in Haringey.
I also work privately doing Home and Hospitals visits as a lactation consultant in North London.I am really happy to be part of this interdisciplinary team with the breastfeeding London group.
You can see my Doula and lactation work in North London in my personal web: https://www.carladoula.co.uk/