Indira Lopez-Bassols - BA (Hons), MSc, IBCLC and LLL leader
I have been involved in birth and breastfeeding support for the past 15 years. I became an accredited Breastfeeding Counsellor 12 years ago for La Leche League GB, because, over the years, too many women had shared with me how they regretted not being able to breastfeed at all or as long as they had wished due to a lack of support.
I became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2011. As a clinician, I work for the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust as the Breastfeeding Specialist Consultant, leading a weekly clinic for complex breastfeeding dyads (by GP/HV/RM referral only). I work privately with parents in their homes, in my home clinic and I am in charge of the weekly Breastfeeding London Clinic.
I am the Founder and Director of the Centre for Breastfeeding Education and Research. and lead Lecturer of the Breastfeeding London Course (108 hours of education in lactation/breastfeeding), which has been granted professional accreditation by the Royal College of Midwives. I developped the Clinical Instruction Programme and accepted Breastfeeding London Course students are elligible to join. As a Mentor, I have trained many of our students to gain the clinical hours they need.
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 currently co-lead Café La Leche in Merton. In the past, I have co-led the LLL South West London, West London and the Clapham groups.
The combination of my work as a clinician and as an educator has revealed many gaps of knowledge in breastfeeding and human lactation, which has led me to the field of research. As an author, I have published several articles in leading international peer-reviewed breastfeeding and human lactation journals. I also serve as a Peer-Reviewer for Clinical Lactation Journal.
- 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 0f 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
- 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.
I am a member of the International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA), Lactation Consultants Great Britain, the European Lactation Consultants Alliance, the US Lactation Consultants Association and IBFAN.
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.
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 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.
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)
Costanza Evangelio – MD, Paediatrician & IBCLC
A Paediatrician with over a decade of experience working in child healthcare, both in hospital and private practice. This included close contact with mothers and babies coming from many different countries around the world.
My first project was to implement lasting development of health facilities in developing countries under the Mediterranean Institute of Hematology (IME). In the context of this project I became a point of reference for the community members on child health, nutrition and breastfeeding. This experience highlighted many gaps in breastfeeding education in the community and how much our profession can contribute and make a difference in this field. After completing my Residency Training in Italy in 2012, I took a post in the UK working in clinical research for infectious diseases. While in employment I started additional training in breastfeeding support to fulfill my ambition of becoming an IBCLC. This broadened my knowledge and has added another layer in my profession enabling me to offer a complete paediatric care starting from prevention of life threatening disease through breastfeeding.
I love teaching and have been part of the teaching faculty of the Breastfeeding London Course for several years. I have created some of the medical modules and deliver these.
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 and Co-Director.
Nicky Harris RM & IBCLC
I have been a midwife for 29 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 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 am involved in lots of activities at church.
I am also part of the Breastfeeding London Course teaching faculty and support trainees as a Mentor in the Clinical Instructon Programme.
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.