About The Breastfeeding Companion
Jackie Hall – IBCLC & Founder of The Breastfeeding Companion
I am a Manchester based lactation consultant (IBCLC), and a mother of three children, all of whom were breastfed. I have been supporting breastfeeding families for over 20 years.
I obtained a Bachelor of Nursing degree in 1989 and then worked for the NHS as a Registered Nurse, Specialist Community Practitioner (Health Visitor), and for the last fourteen years as an Infant Feeding Coordinator/Breastfeeding Specialist.
Working with thousands of breastfeeding mums, coupled with extensive training in breastfeeding issues has enabled me to gain a wealth of valuable experience in counselling pregnant and breastfeeding mothers in all aspects of their breastfeeding experience – at regular drop-ins, home visits and via telephone support, as well as facilitating antenatal classes.
For many years, I have been a professional source of lactation expertise for health visiting teams, GPs and volunteer peer supporters, and regularly facilitated breastfeeding training for staff and students alike.
I have also been responsible for recruiting and training breastfeeding women, enabling them to become mother-to-mother supporters.
Additionally, my involvement with TAMBA has given me added experience in facilitating antenatal workshops for mums who are expecting twins or more.
From a personal point of view, after overcoming various hurdles during my own extended breastfeeding experience, I began to develop a passionate interest in this field, completing various BFI courses, including a ‘Train the trainer’ course, as well as a Lactation Specialist Course in Chicago, USA in 2008.
I qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2009.
My Experience in a nutshell…
- Qualified IBCLC
- Qualified RN and Specialist Community Practitioner
- Over 20 years experience
- Supported more than 14,000 women
- Facilitated peer support training
- Facilitated weekly breastfeeding drop-in’s
- Facilitated staff training as infant feeding co-ordinator for NHS
- Taught Health Visiting students for Manchester University
- Taught antenatal workshops for TAMBA for mums expecting twins or more
- Project lead for Baby Friendly Initiative (BFI) in NHS role
What is an IBCLC?
An IBCLC, or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant is a health professional that has many years of breastfeeding support experience, with a background in either midwifery, breastfeeding counselling, medicine or health visiting. They are experts in breastfeeding and skilled in supporting parents with common and complex breastfeeding problems.
IBCLCs have successfully completed a robust and comprehensive 4 hour examination at degree level, and have conducted a substantial amount of one to one breastfeeding counselling work, as a requirement to gain the qualification.
The exam includes all aspects of breastfeeding, as well as:
Anatomy & physiology, Endocrinology, Biochemistry, Nutrition, Immunology, Infectious diseases, Pathology, Pharmacology, Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Drugs in breast milk, Allergies and breastfeeding, Research, Ethics and more…
The sought after certification must be maintained through ongoing education and recertification every five years. IBCLC’s are registered and regulated by The International Board of Lactation Consultants Examiners. Always look for the IBCLC mark of excellence!
IBCLCs can be found working in a variety of settings, such as hospitals, clinics, private practices, and community organizations. They may provide one-on-one consultations with mothers and babies, as well as group classes and support groups. IBCLCs are also trained to recognize when a breastfeeding issue requires additional medical attention, and can refer mothers and babies to appropriate healthcare providers.
An IBCLC can provide mothers with evidence-based information about breastfeeding, as well as practical support and guidance. They can help mothers understand their baby’s feeding cues and offer tips for positioning and latching. They can also provide advice on how to increase milk supply and manage any pain or discomfort associated with breastfeeding.
IBCLCs can work with babies who have medical conditions that affect breastfeeding, such as tongue-ties or cleft palates. In these cases, an IBCLC can provide specialized support to help mothers and babies establish successful breastfeeding.
One of the most significant benefits of working with an IBCLC is that they can help mothers navigate the emotional and psychological aspects of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding can be an emotional and challenging experience for many mothers. An IBCLC can provide emotional support and reassurance, helping mothers feel more confident and capable of meeting their breastfeeding goals.
They are also committed to promoting and protecting breastfeeding as a public health priority. They advocate for policies and practices that support breastfeeding and work to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. IBCLCs can provide education and support to healthcare providers, such as nurses and doctors, to help them better support breastfeeding in their practices.
What is the NHS Information Standard?
The Information Standard was developed in response to the large amount of health and care information available to the public and patients. Any organisation that has achieved The Information Standard has undergone a rigorous assessment to check that their information production process generates high-quality information.
Members of The Information Standard also receive the right to display the Standard’s logo on their information. This acts as a quality mark and helps people easily identify reliable, high-quality information.
NHS England is committed to improving the quality of health and care information that is available to the public, patients and health and care professionals.
We believe information that is clear, accurate, evidence-based, up-to-date and easy to use, allow people, patients and communities to become better informed and more involved in their health and care.
All information on this website is provided for educational purposes only. It is not considered to be a substitute for a thorough breastfeeding consultation with a qualified breastfeeding specialist or health care provider.
The Breastfeeding Companion supports the WHO International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes.
The Breastfeeding Companion is privately owned and is completely free. What’s more, we don’t make any money for the services we provide. Everything is self-funded.
There are approximately 6 million babies born in countries across the world, where English is the primary language. Whilst it’s our long term desire to have our website translated into many languages (costs forbid this at the moment), we would certainly love to help those women amongst the six million, that choose to breastfeed – we know many of them will have problems.
How can you help? Simple – tell someone about this site.
Tell your midwife, tell your NCT class members, tell your health visitor, tell your friends in your support group. Share us on social media – all it takes is a click of the buttons at the bottom of this screen.
Your continued support means the world to us. We appreciate every email we get, every like on Facebook, every re-tweet, and do drop us a line if you have the time.
Lastly, if you want to tell us about your experience with breastfeeding, as an encouragement to other mothers, we’d love you to share your story with us – and we’ll share it on this page and on our social media channels. We all need encouragement, and many women have gone from struggles to success – let’s shout about it!