Additional Breastfeeding Support
Please meet our Professional support services
Jessica Nash: Postpartum Doula
& Deb - Breastfeeding Mentor & Parenting Advocate
Hi, I'm Deb and I'm a breastfeeding and motherhood mentor. I'm passionate about supporting you to achieve your breastfeeding goals.
I'm so glad that you've found me here, I hope that you're able to 'know' me through these words and photos, I would be honoured to support you on your breastfeeding journey.
My journey to motherhood began in the conventional way, with me excited about my growing baby, and very nervous (= terrified) of giving birth. Although my husband and I attended a private antenatal class, I didn't realise at the time how much I didn't know! A friend who gave birth a few weeks before I was due, and had breastfeeding challenges, inspired me to read some breastfeeding books. I'm glad that I did, because after having a cesarean birth, the little knowledge I had about breastfeeding, combined with good support from my husband and mother, and a lot of luck, was what got me through those early months. My daughter was just beautiful, I could spend hours watching her sleep, although after 4 months sleep became a thing of the past and I survived the next 6 months with 40 minute sleep cycles all night, every night. I call that period the zombie stage, because although I was functioning, I remember very little of that time. Well meaning friends and relatives encouraged sleep training, ceasing breastfeeding at night, topping up with formula in case my supply was low. Thankfully this was also the time when my instincts kicked in strongly, and I absolutely refused to consider any forms of controlled crying, or removing breastfeeding. This was the start of my gentle parenting journey, where I realised that my child needed me to be present for her day and night, and it was also the time that I discovered breastfeeding support groups on social media
Those support groups were a real game-changer for me. They provided a level of support that I just hadn't been able to access via medical professionals and even an IBCLC. Through posts in these groups I realised that my daughter might have a tongue tie, I connected just how many of her issues were actually symptoms of oral restrictions, and eventually at 10 months I had her assessed by a knowledgeable dentist who confirmed her lip and tongue tie. It was such a relief to know that I wasn't crazy. To know that these things people had assured me were 'normal', like vomiting large amounts after every feed, without fail, were not at all normal. I was also angry, that I hadn't been told about this earlier, that I had to find out through a mothers group on Facebook. After the tie release procedure was done, within 8 weeks our daughter was waking once a night, and so many other symptoms improved as well.
Fast forward to the birth of my second child, where I had much more knowledge, a better support team, and I was able to follow my mama instincts. After a beautiful home birth, where I was able to immediately breastfeed and have skin to skin, I recognised the signs and symptoms my son had, that he likely had ties also. This didn't surprise me, as I knew they were genetic and boys are more likely to be born with oral restrictions. I also had a much better support team for breastfeeding this time around, so I immediately booked in for tie release, with follow up lactation and chiro support. We had some reattachment and a second small release at 3 months, but overall I couldn't believe the difference in breastfeeding journeys between my first and second child. Yes, I'd been able to successfully breastfeed my first child, but I had no idea that so many of the things I thought were normal actually weren't. My second child fed normally (no leaking, choking, fussing, pulling off, breast refusal), slept normally, did normal size possets (not huge vomits requiring an entire change of clothes for baby AND me..), he even had more normal poos (vs the 6-8 green frothy poos of my daughter..) and overall he was so settled, no issues with reflux, wind or colic.
I know that every baby is different, and every breastfeeding journey is different. My experience has reinforced that the level of support you receive makes a huge difference on your journey, and it inspired me to support other mothers on their journeys. I co-founded The Gentle Breastfeeder, a support group for Australian and New Zealand mums, in mid-2015. The Mama Circle was created later that year, with my Breastfeeding Affirmation cards and Breastfeeding Milestone cards launching in December 2015. I've channelled my passion for connecting with and supporting mums into these two ventures, and I love it, I couldn't imagine doing anything else. I'm a breastfeeding geek, I just love attending breastfeeding and oral restriction conferences, the more I learn the more I can help you!
In 2016 I began speaking as a parent advocate, and in December 2017 I gave a one-minute pitch at TEDx Brisbane. My topic? Better support for breastfeeding mums, of course! I hope to give a full length talk at a TEDx event in future, stay tuned!
How can I support you, mama? My support services include 1 on 1 sessions, and packages to support you through tie release and recovery. Sometimes all you need is someone a few steps ahead of you on the path, to hold your hand and gently guide you.
Feeling anxious or concerned?
Want someone to talk to who will give you consistent, unbiased support and information?
I remember going about my days visualising life with a newborn and reading anything I could get my hands on regarding pregnancy and birth.
When I was pregnant with my second, although more confident, there were things that I wondered about that sometimes kept me up at night. My partner is an amazing communicator and I was always well supported, I just remember looking for more people to talk to. People who had lived it. Who understood exactly what I was feeling. Who could offer guidance and support, without judgement, or telling me what I 'should' or 'shouldn't' be doing or feeling.
In reality, all I actually needed was someone who I could call and talk with who didn’t really know me (or later my child) at all, and offer some unbiased support, throw some new ideas at me or work through a particular situation, step by step, with me. Someone who would wait for me to try and implement something, then follow up with me to allow me to debrief and adjust what I’d implemented according to how my child had responded to it.
And in a nutshell, that’s what I do now.
My work now as a Doula has meant that I have built up a huge knowledge base to go along with my own experiences. I talk with women pretty well every day about what they’re struggling with or what they are just unsure about. Be it nerves about the birth, guidance on how to settle baby, or some tips on helping older siblings adjust..we have a good time throwing ideas around, I make sure there’s an awareness of all options available and together, we come up with a plan.
I work with clients by making use of free online video calling apps or over the phone. The session can be recorded so you can watch it back later. I'll also send you the notes from our call so there’s no need to try and remember everything afterwards.
After the session, you receive follow up support via messenger or email for up to one month so I can support you on your journey.
I hope to work with you to help allow for a pregnancy or early motherhood experience where you feel relaxed, confident and reassured.