Birthing A Better World

Roma Norriss: Doula & Breastfeeding Counsellor ~ Bath & Somerset ~ 07919 896 901

General Breastfeeding Info:

This is a really excellent blog on breastfeeding and early parenting, if you search through you will probably find information on most things you’d want to know about. You can also join their facebook group and post questions to be answered quickly I particularly like her message to expectant parents
Also some useful info sheets from renowned breastfeeding expert and paediatrician, Jack Newman

And his videos of babies feeding effectively and not effectively are useful:

Kelly Mom is a great site for all breastfeeding info

Here is the leaflet on alcohol, drugs and medications while breastfeeding (Please also see below for the Drugs in Breastmilk Helpline)


Positioning and Attachment:

If you like the concept of the laid back approach we discussed, there is more info in this great Aussie vid:

Also find more on this website:

For some really good images of babies latching onto the breast in more traditional AND Biological Nurturing ways I would recommend this video if your midwife has not already given you it on Dvd

Breastfeeding twins with some diagrams of positions

The exaggerated latch or “flipple” technique demonstrated by a mother, can be useful for babies who have difficulty achieving a deeper latch


Breastfeeding Challenges:

For mothers with engorgement, a description of the “Reverse pressure softening” technique, which helps make engorged breasts easier for baby to latch onto

BfN (Breastfeeding Network) has some great leaflets, this one on mastitis

This on thrush

And this one to help diagnosis of nipple/breast pain

What the signs of tongue tie might look like

Some info about how “colic” can be related to breastfeeding issues

And this is a great article that clarifies some of the misinformation around “foremilk” and “hindmilk”

This article contains a technique for bottle feeding as a transition to breastfeeding in cases where the baby does not latch, which is not evidence based but may be helpful:



Here is the Which review of different kinds of breast pumps

Also this NHS page, which includes breastmilk storage guidelines

International mother to mother milk sharing network in case you are interested in finding donor milk



This is a useful pdf about calming your crying baby

Here’s a link to some of the current research on sleeping with your baby

And the Unicef research

Great info on carrying your baby in a carrier

Nighttime breastfeeding and mental health



The Unicef breast crawl video:

And another beautiful version:


Kangaroo Mother Care; one mother’s amazing story of how skin to skin saved her premature baby

Interesting blog article on how little we know about the amazingness of breastfeeding

The impact of breastfeeding on a mother’s brain:

And DADS this one is specially for you!:

This is just lovely, makes me cry!


Local Breastfeeding Counsellors (see further below for groups)



National Childbirth Trust (NCT)-
Catherine 01225 317 997 – BA1
Heather 01225 424471 – BA2


La Leche League (LLL)

Mara 01225 339023

Helen 01225 317631

Shannon at


Breastfeeding Support Groups:

Fri 1-3pm Bumps, Babies and Toddlers, Percy Community Centre, New King Street, Bath. term time only.

Tue 1-3pm NCT Baby Cafe at New Oriel Hall, Larkhall, Bath

2nd Tue of each month 10.15-12pm La Leche League meetings at mothers’ homes around Bath. Contact Mara/Helen/Shannon for details (or search Bath La Leche League on facebook)


Bradford on Avon:

Mon 1.30-3pm Bradford On Avon Children’s Centre, Fitzmaurice School Site, Frome Road, Bradford on Avon, BA15 1LE supported by Peer Supporters (mums who have undergone a brief training):



National Childbirth Trust (NCT)-
Jennie 0117 924 9291 – BS7
Toni 01934 642033 – BS22
Ann 0117 9109125 BS 16
Fiona 01454 856025 – BS35
Andrea 01275 851 463 – BS48
Val 01934 832800 – BS49
Marisa 01453 521 009 – GL12


Association of Breastfeeding Mothers (Abm)-
Sandra 0117 902 3025 – BS13
Georgie 0117 377 8163 – BS4
Heidi 01275 393 266 – BS41


La Leche League (LLL)-
Charlie 0117 939 3028 – BS3
Vicky 0117 966 6229 – BS4
April 0117 924 0634 – BS6


Breastfeeding Groups:

Pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers are welcome at the groups

below. If you are attending a group for the first time you may want to check

that it’s running that day by phoning the contact.


Bristol Babes @ Zion

Zion Community Art Space

Bishopsworth Rd

BS13 7JW

Contact: Vicky

Tel: 07766014749

Friday 1 – 3.00pm

Breastfeeding Counsellor, Peer Supporters and Children’s Centre worker


Bristol Babes @ Hartcliffe

Hartcliffe Children’s Centre,

Hareclive Road, Bristol

BS13 0JW

Contact: Charlie Stokes

Tel: 07920284796

Monday 1 – 2.30pm

Peer Supporters & playworker present


Bristol Babes @ Sea Mills

Sea Mills Children’s Centre

West Parade, Sea Mills

Bristol, BS9 2LA

Contact: Children’s Centre

Tel: 0117 3533520

Fridays 1 – 2.30pm

Peer supporters present, soft play area & garden


Bristol Babes @ Shirehampton

Penpole Residents’ Association

Community Room

60 The Ridge, Shirehampton

Bristol, BS11 0DZ

Contact: Anna Palmer

Tel: 07785977290

Wednesdays 11.30 – 1.30pm

Peer supporters present

Toys/crafts for children


Bristol Babes@ Southmead

Southmead Children’s Centre

Doncaster Rd

Bristol, BS10 5PW

Contact: Sam Hillier-Smith

Tel: 07920283713

Tuesdays 1pm – 3pm

Peer supporters present


Bristol Babes @ Speedwell

Speedwell Nursery School and Children’s Centre

Speedwell Rd, Bristol


Contact: Vikki Poole-Smit

Tel: 0117 9030329

Tuesday 12.30-13.30

Health professional, peer supporter & community nursery nurse present


Bristol Babes @ Whitchurch and Hengrove

Clinic Room

Whitchurch Health Centre

Armada Road, Bristol

BS14 0SU

Contact: Jennie Peacock

Tel: 01275 547031

Tuesdays 11.30am – 1pm

Breastfeeding Counsellor/Health visitor & Peer Supporters present

Siblings always welcome – no crèche


Bristol Babes @ Withywood

Four Acres Children’s Centre

Four Acres Road

Contact: Children’s Centre

Tel: 0117 903 0460

Tuesdays 1pm – 2.30pm

Peer Supporters present, Creche


Barton Hill Breastfeeding Support Group

Wellspring Healthy Living Centre

Beam Street, Bristol


Contact: Health visitors

Tel: 0117 3041448

Tuesdays: 11.30am – 12.30pm

Health visitor present


Bedminster Cherubs

Windmill Hill City Farm

Philip Street,

Bedminster, Bristol


Contact: Heidi Evans

Tel: 01275 393266

Monday 11a.m – 12.30pm

Breastfeeding Counsellor & Peer Supporters present

Closed bank holidays & two weeks at Christmas and Easter


Bishopston Breastfeeding group

Horfield Baptist Church [room 1]

279 Gloucester Rd

[Brynland Ave entrance]

Horfield, Bristol


Contact: Elizabeth Worley

Tel: 0117 924 9774 / 07966 249 201

Friday 10am -12 noon, term time only

Breastfeeding Counsellor and Peer Supporter present


Brentry & Henbury Breastfeeding drop-in

Brentry and Henbury Children’s Centre

Brentry Lane, Bristol

BS10 6RG

Contact: Emma Laird

Tel: 0117 9593800

Wednesday 11.30am – 1pm

Peer Supporters & Children’s Centre workers present


Clifton Breastfeeding Support Group

Hampton House Health Centre

Cotham Hill, Bristol


Contact: Becca Morgan

Telephone: 0117 330 2609

Monday 11am – 1pm

Midwifery support worker


Fishponds Breastfeeding Buddies

Little Hayes Nursery school and Children’s Centre

Frenchay Rd

Downend, Bristol

BS16 2QS

Contact: Debbie Stabbins

Tel: 0117 3532899

Thursday 09.30 – 11am

Peer Supporters present


Knowle Bumps and Babes

Ilminster Avenue Specialist Children’s Centre

Knowle, Bristol


Contact: Rachel Morley

Tel: 0117 903 9781

Wednesday 1 – 2.30pm, all year round

Peer Supporters, Midwifery Support worker, Children’s Centre staff


La Leche League for details of when & where the group is meeting

Contact: Charlie

Tel: Charlie 0117 9393028 or Vicky 0117 9666229

Peer supporters present


Lockleaze The Honeysuckle café

The Blake Centre

Off Brangwyn Grove

Lockleaze, Bristol


Contact: Marie Powell

Tel: 0117 377 2840

Thursdays 10.30am – 12 noon

Peer supporters, Children’s Centre staff present


Redfield Breastfeeding And Peer Support (BAPS)

St George Pre-school

Netham House

Blackswarth Rd

Redfield, Bristol


Contact; Louise Summers

Tel: 07511223466

Wednesdays 1 – 2.30pm, Term time only

Peer Supporter present


St Anne’s BAMBI

St Anne’s Park Children’s Centre

St Anne’s Park,

Lichfield Road, Bristol


Contact: Children’s Centre

Tel: 0117 3773189

Monday 1.30pm – 3.00pm

Midwife, Peer Supporters & Children’s Centre staff present


Upper Horfield Breastfeeding Support Group

Upper Horfield Children’s Centre

Sheridan Rd, Horfield

Bristol, BS7 0PU

Contact: Pam Slater

Tel: 0117 9031281

Mondays 3pm – 4pm

Family support team leader & worker present


Baby Buddies Calne Children’s Centre

Prince Charles Drive

Calne, Wilts

SN11 8PF

Thursdays 10-11.30am



Spring Rise Children’s Centre

01249 464008

Mondays 1-2.45pm

Buttercup Babies

Station Hill Baptist Church

Chippenham SN15 1EG

01249 463040

Wednesdays 10-11.30am

Get in Touch

On being a teenager

I’ve been regressed to a very teenage space recently. I’m certain it’s because I’ve finally got to a place of really feeling confident and being able to appreciate myself and receive from the beautifully loving presences in my life. This is bringing up all the dregs in me that resist this tide of self-love. And when I say dregs, what I really mean is a deep…endless…chasm of insecurity, shame and self loathing. I was reflecting on how painful it is to emerge from the safe chrysalis of childhood into adolescence, so vulnerable to the opinions of others, so needing their approval. Dipping toes into an adult world we are so unprepared for. The demure yet promiscuous budding; the ephemeral yet labyrinthine transition to an unknown destination. I spent half my teen years being very much marginalised, humiliated and unseen and the other half being one of the cool kids and feeling my very essence was celebrated. And yet even then I felt so uncertain. That a single wrong move would cast me unto a terrifying abyss of shame and rejection. There is so much to navigate as a teenager; what is my place going to be in this society?…what are my beliefs?…what ‘me’ do I need to present to the world? I’ve was always grateful that I was allowed such freedom to do what I wanted at that stage of life, but in hindsight it was fucking scary and I would have liked to have been more contained. There was a lot to work out and I needed somewhat less desultory adults to meet me where I was. Some... read more

Why African babies REALLY don’t cry… and why Western ones might need to!

*******This is a response to a previous article by a Kenyan author. I appreciate that Africa is a vast and diverse continent and that it is not appropriate to generalise. By using the term ‘African babies’ I am referencing and responding to Claire Niala’s description of parenting practices in Kenya.******* I read the original article ‘Why African Babies Don’t Cry’ some years ago and loved it. I even told folks about this article as a Breastfeeding Counsellor and had it linked on my website for some time. Yes! I thought, all babies need is for us to respond to them. And they do undoubtedly need that. There is still a very predominant cultural throwback to the Victorian era when it comes to parenting, which does not encourage responding to babies’ needs for fear of making them too dependent. This has thankfully been debunked by developments in recent neuroscience, however the paradigm shift will take some time. So I’m glad that someone is fighting the corner for babies. And, what I’ve discovered is that quite likely, our babies DO need to cry sometimes. Now just to be clear, let me define exactly what I mean by this. Ideally, just like ‘African babies’, babies from anywhere else would get fed and held and their toileting needs responded to before they even need to cry. However, ONLY when these needs are all met it may be totally justified and even beneficial if they still cry. *** Edited to add – some babies may be crying due to undiagnosed medical conditions and these of course need to be addressed. *** Crying is a... read more

Connection is so radical it summons the police

Someone called the police on me today, I can only assume because they thought I was being abusive to my child. This is how a sweet, connected morning can suddenly flip into the twilight zone when you have a neuroatypical kid. We had set off into town by bike. I was enjoying watching them speed ahead on their wheels and then wait together at each curb while I caught up and crossed them over. My big boy got slightly ahead and whizzed across a very quiet road without us. His sister followed blindly. I caught up, put my hand on his back and said, ever so gently “Sweetheart, I know you could see that road was safe to cross and I know you are big enough to make that call, but your sister just followed behind you and she’s too little to see if there’s danger. Could you please wait so we can cross together?” Our boy tends to be hyper-alert to anything he can interpret as the world not being a safe place. He is often triggered when he feels a lack of autonomy or trust in his ability and he totally lost it at this request. He started flying at me; punching, kicking, scratching, pinching. I tried to protect myself by holding his hands, but he kept wriggling away, before lunging, viciously again. When he started throwing his bike around on the pavement, I embraced him calmly and pulled him into my lap in a shop window. I crossed his arms across his body and held his wrists. He was furiously headbutting, spitting, biting my hands, kicking... read more

The longing epidemic

I sit here watching YouTube clips of Jamie Catto, musician, producer and leader of inspirational, spiritual workshops. He’s talking about feeling intense pressure on your chest, pain across your solar plexus and the benefit of noticing these interesting sensations. I’m feeling them. I feel a weight pressing down on my lungs, a sharp pain in my heart and a strangling sensation around my throat. Emotionally, I feel a confused amalgamation of anxiety and nauseating longing. As I allow it to expand, it gets intense and I sit back and watch with curiosity and affection. The feelings arising in me are actually in response to Catto himself, the intensity of which has come and gone for some weeks, since I met him. I feel like the kid, Kenny in South Park, who vomits every time he sees the girl he likes. My Somatic Experiencing therapist, Bevis Nathan, has tasked me with watching Jamie Catto and allowing the sensations. Although it would be easy to get confused; Jamie is a smoking-hot creative genius, wise teacher, loving coach, glorious embodiment of entrancing masculinity, dedicated single dad and actual live rockstar, I’m not taking this infatuation too seriously. I’m aware that this is a projection of my early longing for one parent or both. Longing is a feeling I realise I know well. And as I reacquaint myself with it, I notice it everywhere. In lyrics of songs, artists expose themselves as stalkers and I realise I’m not alone. Billboards advertise to that longing, promising to numb or distract from the borehole in our hearts. Why is that sense of longing such an... read more

Ecstatic Birth is not Hypnobirthing

I often get asked; Ecstatic Birth, is that like hypnobirthing? No, not really from what I can tell. The emphasis with hypnobirthing seems to be on minimalising the intensity of birth. Instead of contractions, we’ll call them waves or surges. We won’t mention the words pain or fear, but instead focus on the positive. But my experience in hypnobirthing is limited to having heard a few tapes and doing a fair amount of plain old hypnosis. I may have this completely wrong and if that is the case, I’d love to hear from any practitioners/mothers who can enlighten me. Throughout pregnancy and particularly when a woman enters the altered state of labour, releasing hormones, endorphins and even the psychedelic chemical DMT, any underlying fears and negative beliefs can start to manifest in the environment around her. If she has been avoiding these fears by focusing only on what is positive and affirming, she may get railroaded by them. Ecstatic Birth is about addressing fear at the root cause, (which is the impact of her own birth and the beliefs she has taken on about birth and life). Women who prepare ecstatically, using Binnie Dansby’s approach, look forward to birth as an opportunity to experience their life energy in full technicolour. Some crazy folks invest a lot in getting a rush from paragliding, base jumping or mountain climbing. Here we have this amazing opportunity for exhilaration and empowerment available to us in a normal family event. More importantly, it is an opportunity for profound and fast-track healing of our core wounds that stem from the way we were welcomed to this world. Hypnobirthing seems to be more about... read more

Help your child heal difficult times using this simple tool

Dan Siegel, in his wonderful book, Parenting From The Inside Out, outlines research that suggests a child’s attachment status can actually be predicted by how coherent their parents’ autobiographical narratives are. Our stories reflect how well we have made sense of our lives and this directly impacts on our ability to parent responsively. I know personally from spending many hours using listening partnerships to make sense of some of the hard things in my life, that the process is transformative. I feel lighter, more authentic, more playful. I experience greater intimacy and uncontrollable belly laughs several times a day! Siegel suggests helping children heal their experiences too, by telling them their story. I had been waiting for the opportunity to do this with my 7-year- old. This morning we were off on an adventure, just the two of us. He was in the back of the car playing with Lego vehicles and one of them represented me. They fought and he said to my vehicle, “Aw, you broke my heart”. “Did I?” I asked. “Nah…” he said. Now was my moment; he was calm and connected and was captive to the car journey ahead. I took a deep breath. “I might’ve broken your heart at some points in your life,” I said casually. “Really?” he was intrigued. So I told him his story. How when he was a baby he had two very devoted parents who were right there with him and helped him with everything he needed. But when he was a toddler Daddy was confused about whether he loved Mummy or a different lady and became unsure if he wanted to... read more

How to be your own guardian angel

  I have discovered a superpower and I’m going to share so you can be a superhero too. I’ve discovered that by just being with whatever is going on in my body, I am more likely to remain “in charge”. Last night, I was staying with a friend in Devon. As I snuggled down in bed I experienced the familiar meltdown my body goes into when it comes into contact with feather bedding. I noticed my throat closing, my ears becoming unbearably itchy and cascades of mucous filling my nose. I often have a pretty extreme reaction to feathers, dust or cats (my lips and eyes swell, I start wheezing, my head explodes with a thousand scratchy critters attacking me from the inside out), but this time I did something different. I tapped my chest soothingly and spoke to my body “Hey body, it’s OK, you are just reacting to feathers, you’re going to be alright, this is NOT an emergency, just fall into a deep sleep and relax, you’ll be fine”. And guess what… the symptoms eased off and I slept pretty well! How awesome is that? Bodies are remarkably obedient (I discovered this once when I told my 2 year old sternly to STOP bleeding and sure enough the gory pumping action ceased instantly). Another triumphant moment was when I got uncontrollably triggered by my son attacking his sister. I wanted to whack him, but somehow managed to whisper to myself like a seraphim through the sound of blood pounding in my ears “It’s not an emergency, you’re flooded, you need space, keep the children safe”. I closed... read more

What if you spoke to yourself the way you speak to your kid?

I was walking up a long, beautiful hill in the wilderness today, with my reluctant 3 year old in tow. She was shivering and taking a few little steps at a time. About halfway up the hill she started screeching “I’m too tired” and “I can’t walk” over and over.   When the black clouds opened and spewed hail into the pounding winds, I held her frozen little hand and she huddled under my long coat . Although part of me shared her concerns about how I’d get a weary, icy Lausbub up the hill, what I said was things like “I know, the top looks so far away…You feel like you can’t go on… You are doing so well… You’ll make it… Just one step at a time… Look how far you’ve already come”. And suddenly, listening to her words of doubt screaming on repeat, I felt like I was hearing my own voice. The 3 year old in me that feels “I can’t do it” or “I’ll never get there” about pretty much anything long or hard that I do. And it struck me… what if I spoke to myself with such calm, patience and reassuring authority? I’ve previously been far more likely to agree with my inner doubting 3 year old, or worse, lay on heavy criticism. When I imagine how ineffective/damaging it would be to speak to my daughter like that, it pains me to think how I’ve done that to myself for so many years. My mother was doing her absolute best, but didn’t have much capacity to encourage me like that. Unfortunately her rather... read more

7 Tried and Tested Mastitis Remedies That Worked for Me

7 Tried and Tested Mastitis Remedies That Worked for Me Few breastfeeding challenges are more sudden or painful than mastitis. Unfortunately, mastitis and I go way back. I had two tongue-tied babies, both of whom had trouble latching properly, and I endured several sprees of recurrent mastitis. I can remember being held down, delirious with fever, screaming in pain, by three women who latched my baby for me and kept him feeding to try to get the blockage out. I tried everything to cure mastitis, from drugs to home remedies. Here’s what I learned and the solutions that worked for me. What Causes Mastitis? Mastitis is an inflammation caused by a blocked milk duct. It’s characterised by a red patch on the breast, breast pain and flu-like symptoms. Your milk can get backed up for various reason: Your baby’s latch could be ineffective, so it doesn’t clear all the milk. You could go a prolonged period between feeds due to separation of mother and baby, initiating routine feeds, or sudden breast refusal or weaning. One of your milk ducts could be compressed by too-tight clothing or underwired bras. If the mastitis is related to latching issues, then these need to be addressed first. Sometimes ‘laid back’ positions can help you achieve a deeper latch. If you have consistent issues latching, get support from a Breastfeeding Counsellor for ideas and to rule out an underlying cause such as tongue tie. If you have an older baby, you may just need to pay extra attention when latching, particularly if they are teething or going through a developmental leap. But sometimes, a mastitis case has a deeper cause. Often, it’s a physical expression of an underlying emotion. Mothers... read more

An anecdote for Setting Limits and Staylisten​ing

Yesterday we went to a regular parent and child group in the car. Arte had negotiated that she would not wear her coat in the car as it “hurts” her, but when we arrived I set a limit that she put it on to walk to the group. I could have let it go, as it wasn’t far to walk, but I preferred she keep her chest warm and I was feeling well resourced and unhurried, so I knew I could handle her releasing tension if she needed (and I knew she needed to after a hard week). She started crying and saying “No!”. We got out of the car and I opened the boot and offered a different coat, just to make sure it was off track behaviour. She continued screaming and crying and saying she had two tshirts so it was ok. I got close and repeated that I needed her to wear a coat. I was concerned this could go on for a long time and we were out in the cold, so I brought the limit by saying we had to get into the car to continue our conversation. She refused to go in so I lifted her in and went to sit next to her. I would have preferred not to move her physically, but I felt it was necessary to keep her warm and safe until she had worked out her feelings We sat for an hour in the car, while she raged and I staylistened. Because she was stressed, she also took off her trousers and socks and I noticed myself feeling frustrated, but kept myself in check and reminded myself to... read more