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J'Nel Metherell
Lactation Consultant & Craniosacral Therapist

I had my first child in November 2009. it wasn’t the happiest of birth experiences; I spent weeks struggling with feeding, and then years struggling with bonding. Despite being aware of my own circumstances, I struggled to move on from it. When I had my second child, two years later, I did things very differently. I owned my experience and held my ground against everyone who told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t. It was a completely different experience; the birth was wonderfully empowering and breastfeeding got off to a positive start straight away. The ‘baby blues’ never even visited me after that baby arrived.

I reflected a lot on all of my birthing experiences, – I had three – and on how birth culture impacts our mothering and parenting experiences. How those first hours/days of support can set the scene/pace for the weeks and months and years that follow. Exploring the many facets of our society and our individualism has led me to fervently support families to experience the birth and feeding journey that they want, and to also be able to raise their kids in a manner that suits their own family unit, creating a positive environment for our next generation of humans.

I feel strongly that individualised care is necessary to combating trauma and depression in our current maternity culture, so I strive to offer this to you. My passion for infant feeding had me qualify as a La Leche League Leader (Breastfeeding Counsellor) in 2014, and then certify as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in 2018. I choose to work in private practice so that I can continue to work with fewer policy constraints around the support I offer; affording me the ability to offer more one-to-one support to my clients (i.e. I can develop more individualised feeding plans for each family).

My experience of supporting families with feeding has shown me that the mechanics of feeding actually has very little do to with feeding, because where a healthy mother a healthy baby are being well supported, feeding just happens. Unfortunately, in a culture where many babies come out of the womb in an intensely stressed state, to exhausted parents, feeding can become one more stressful factor to have to juggle amongst many, but a very integral factor! Through years of observing this, I began to find a passion for body work and trauma healing, and qualified as a Craniosacral Therapist in 2021. I now incorporate craniosacral therapy into all of my feeding appointments, because I genuinely believe that we can all benefit from a bit of grounding and settling amidst the massive life shift of growing our families.

My interest in the body extends to gut development, the microbiome, and general health and well-being for the entire family. I always welcome these conversations, and if any of the above is of interest to you, then do send a message or book an appointment.

I currently work Thursday-Sunday doing in-home consultations. Fridays I work in a therapy centre in Bedford doing craniosacral work. On occasion I pop into a local Milk Mentors group, so there’s a chance you may also catch me there for a natter and a cuppa. 😉, which I live for x

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