My name is Hilary Sparkes. Firstly, I am a mother of four children and I have enjoyed my breastfeeding journey with each of my children. For my first baby and myself, breastfeeding didn’t come naturally. I choose not to have ‘skin to skin’ at birth, a choice I regret now and then. We struggled for quite a few days, trying to feed my screaming baby which resulted in me giving her a bottle, she had loss more than ten per cent of her birth weight. I could not express enough breast milk for her so I had to give her formula. This made me feel so guilty and disappointed; breastfeeding hadn’t worked for us until a fantastic midwife came and took the time to show me how to position and attach my baby and from that feed, we never looked back, no more bottles or formula. Breastfeeding all the way.
I feel privileged and proud of myself that I breastfed all my babies. My next three babies took to breastfeeding straight from birth, one didn’t even lose any weight. Knowing that my babies were growing and I was protecting them from childhood diseases and conditions made every long sleepless night worthwhile.
With my own experiences and my professional work, I decided to become a breastfeeding counsellor and then a lactation consultant, I qualified in 2014. I am qualified children’s nurse and after a year post qualifying fifteen years ago, I decided to specialise in neonates looking after premature babies and sick newborn babies. I have helped many mothers and their babies to achieve their goals to feed their babies from tiny 24 week gestation babies to big term babies. I have supported mothers to successfully expressing from weeks to months, to gaining the first drop of precious colostrum that will protect their babies’, to having a first skin to skin cuddle with their baby, to going home from hospital solely breastfeeding.
Working within a busy neonatal intensive care unit can be very stressful for parents but I have and will always be privileged to support mothers in their breastfeeding or expression journey. I can offer a deep understanding and give the expert support to any mothers and their families, both in the community and in hospital.
My services I can offer one to one sessions, birth to breast package, group sessions for antenatal and postnatal mothers. I am fully insured, please ask if you would like details.
I have completed at sleep training course to offer advice for sleep training for children up to 10 years of age. I passed with a distinction. With having 4 children I know the importance of sleep.
This year, I have completed my training in baby massage. My training group was so honouring to have the opportunity to teach baby massage and watch how over the 5 weeks the bond between baby and mother developed, amazing.
Registered Children’s Nurse (RNCB)
Neonatal Special Care and Intensive Care Course (ENB 405)
Breastfeeding Counsellor (CBI)
International Lactation Consultant (IBLCE)
Certified Instructor of Infant Massage (CIMI)
Nursing Medical Council (NMC)
Relevant courses undertaken
Childbirth International, Breastfeeding counsellor
UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative Course in Breastfeeding & Lactation management for neonatal staff.
Preterm Lactation and Breastfeeding, Imperial College London
HATA Sleep Training for Babies. Children and Young Adults
Baby Massage Instructor, International Assciation for Infant Massage