Heidi Hembry IBCLC - Lactation Consultant & Breastfeeding Counsellor
Home visits usually within 24 - 48hrs
Heidi Hembry IBCLC
Hertfordshire & surrounding areas
I am a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) with over 10 years of experience, supporting families on their breastfeeding journeys. Whether your desire is to breastfeed exclusively, combination feed, or just to have a more positive breastfeeding experience, I can help you to tailor make a plan to suit you and your baby.
Having struggled with breastfeeding my first baby, I have both personal and professional experience of common concerns, such as weight loss/gain, low supply, tongue tie, painful feeds, expressing and mastitis. I am also experienced with oversupply, reflux, thrush, twins & multiples, stopping breastfeeding, responsive and safe formula feeding, introducing solids and returning to work whilst breastfeeding.
I began training, then volunteering and working with the Breastfeeding Network (BfN) in 2009. After several years of working with families and babies in hospital, at home, and in the community my training continued and I qualified as a Tutor and Supervisor with the BfN in 2012, and as an IBCLC in 2015. With a foundation in evidence-based research and mother centred counselling, I now offer 1:1 support to Hertfordshire families, in the comfort of your own home to help you overcome breastfeeding concerns.
You can verify my credentials at:
Rapid weight loss or slow weight gain is one of the early reasons parents begin to doubt their ability to breastfeed effectively. Heidi will observe a full feed, help you to recognise effective feeding, and give support to encourage your baby to take more milk.
Any discomfort or pain is often enough to make breastfeeding feel unmanageable. Pain is also a sign that your baby may be struggling to get enough milk. Heidi will help you find different techniques to comfortably latch your baby, and relax into feeding.
"Not enough milk" is one of the top reasons that mum's stop breastfeeding. Heidi will teach you how to change your feeding patterns and improve supply.
Recurring mastitis, recurrent green stools, reflux, gassy & unsettled baby can all be signs of oversupply. Heidi can help you to resolve mastitis, and reduce your supply so it better works for you and baby.
Tongue ties, when present, are variable from baby to baby. It is not always possible to tell if a tie is affecting feeding from looking at the tie alone - a digital oral exam to understand the function and restriction of the tongue is needed for a proper assessment. Heidi is experienced in tongue-tie assessment and will be able to teach you how to optimise feeding and minimise pain whilst you look at your options for frenotomy.
Introducing solids can feel overwhelming. You're fully confident with feeding, but the books talk about times, volumes and routines that just don't feel like a fit with you and your baby. Heidi can help you find a way through the myriad options for introducing solids alongside your breastfeeding and bottle feeding choices.
Returning to work often coincides with introducing solids - but not always. Taking you and your baby's individual needs into account, Heidi can support you in a smooth transition when you return to work whatever baby's age. Exclusive breastfeeding, combination feeding or weaning from the breast are all possible.
TWINS & MULTIPLES
Breastfeeding twins and multiples is not only possible, but it can also be practical too. Yes, you will need extra support in the beginning, just as you will if you chose to formula feed. With good support and information in the initial days and weeks, you can make plenty of milk for your babies, whether they are breastfeeding direct, or taking your expressed milk.
You may be a first-time mum wanting additional knowledge prior to the arrival of your baby. Or perhaps breastfeeding didn't go to plan last time and you want to get off to a better start when this baby arrives. Maybe you are a group of expectant mums who would like a class dedicated to breastfeeding information and tips. Heidi can tailor make a 1:1 or group session to suit your needs.
One to one
I offer private one 1:1 consultation in the comfort of your own home. We will discuss your feeding journey and experience, and your current concerns. A full feed will be observed during the visit, with adjustments made to latch, comfort, position, and feed efficiency. I will help you understand your baby’s feeding patterns, and what to expect over the following few days and beyond. If formula is indicated, I will help you understand the best options for you and your baby. By the end of the visit, you will have a personalised step by step plan to help you and your baby to have a happier and more fulfilling breastfeeding journey.
An initial consultation is 90-120 mins for which the fee is £120. This includes an email summary of the consultation and some follow up by phone in the coming days. Additional visits can be booked at £60/hr.
If you have a group of friends with similar concerns, I am happy to arrange a small group consultation (up to 4 mums) in your home. Please contact me to discuss options and fees.
Perhaps you feel that your breastfeeding knowledge could be improved ahead or the arrival of your baby? Or maybe you have unique concerns not addressed in your antenatal classes so far? Maybe your previous breastfeeding experience wasn't as you had hoped. Contact me to discuss 1:1 or small group bookings.
I am based in Hertford, supporting families in Hertfordshire and surrounding areas.
Thank you so so much
for all of your advice, encouragement, and support!
Seriously - there is no way we could have done it without you!
Mona - April 2019
…very friendly, approachable and knowledgeable about breastfeeding as well as other areas such as weaning and sleep.
Alison - May 2017
I'm still exclusively breastfeeding, and have not given him any formula at all!
Thank you for helping me do that.
Lisa - May 2018
What is an IBCLC?
How is an IBCLC different
to a Breastfeeding Counsellor,
Peer Supporter or Specialist?
The International Board Certified Lactation Consultant® (IBCLC®) credential is the highest-regarded professional qualification in breastfeeding knowledge and support and receives worldwide recognition. An IBCLC is certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners® (IBLCE®), independently accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE).
Prior to sitting comprehensive exams, candidates have undertaken extensive training in breastfeeding and lactation issues. They must also have at least 1,000 hours of proven clinical experience, working with breastfeeding mothers and babies. IBCLCs must recertify every five years, undertaking a minimum of 15hrs additional study and training per year, ensuring that their skills and knowledge are up to date. Every 10 years recertification must be by exam, making the IBCLC accreditation one of the most rigorous.
Anyone can call themselves a Breastfeeding Counsellor or Specialist without any formal training or qualifications. Many of these self-appointed 'specialists' are at best misinformed, and at worst can give you wrong or dangerous advice and information.
Whilst most Breastfeeding Peer Supporters, Counsellors or Specialists will have undertaken some recognised training, this can vary greatly from a single 2hr training session to a 17-week course spread over an academic year. And whilst some may have dedicated many extra hours to ongoing training, others may be woefully out of date.
An IBCLC remains the gold standard in breastfeeding qualifications, and re-certifying every 5 years means that an IBCLC will always be up to date in her/his training.
General Breastfeeding Information
The Breastfeeding Network - The BfN aims to be an independent source of support and information for breastfeeding mothers and others.
You can find useful leaflets to download, free UK drop in support centres and more.
Medicines and Breastfeeding
The BfN also has an excellent library of information on the safety of drugs and medications in breastfeeding.
"The BfN endeavours to provide information to enable mothers to breastfeed their babies for as long as they wish and provide information on the safety of medicines for each mother and baby pair"
BASIS - The BAby Sleep Info Source)
"For parents who wish to make informed choices about infant sleep and night-time care"
National Breastfeeding Helpline
0300 100 0212
Independent, confidential, mother-centred, non-judgmental breastfeeding support and information:
Infant Formula and Solids
First Steps Nutrition Trust is an independent public health nutrition charity that provides information and resources to support eating well from preconception to 5 years.
A simple and concise guide from Unicef, for parents who are formula feeding, with an overview on how to choose infant formula, and how to bottle feed as responsively as possible:
The ATP work to increase awareness about the effects of tongue tie in babies, using up to date evidence and research. They aim to support parents of tongue-tied babies to access safe and effective care: