“It takes a village to raise a child.” These words immediately appealed to me when I first read them.
I am a mother of 4 adult children and have been working in healthcare for years. In the early 80’s I was trained to become a nurse after which I specialized in the care around mother and child. Since 2009 I am also working as a lactation consultant (breastfeeding specialist) partly in the Mother-Child Center of the HMC but also a few days a week in my own practice.
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Teresa, manager at Big Ben Kids Wassenaar. She enthusiastically talked about the way in which the employees of Big Ben Kids take care of the children who spend the day with them. The playful, bright spaces also appealed to me very much! I like to be part of the Big Ben Kids “village” to support parents in the field of breastfeeding, encourage them and explain where necessary.
What can I contribute in the “village”? Literally I am not present at Big Ben Kids, but I am available for young parents who want to (start) breastfeeding their child. I can guide parents from pregnancy (in case of questions or doubts), after birth, or later on in breastfeeding for a while. Drinking milk is something a baby needs to learn, and breastfeeding takes some time and sometimes also effort. In such cases I can explain, think along and look for where and how improvement is possible. If necessary, I do a consultation at parents’ homes, in their own familiar environment.
It is not only about the milk, but parents and child start a beautiful connection and grow up together. I feel privileged if I can walk along with parents for a while during that period.
Marjes Elling is lactation consultant (International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants). More information can be found on her website below.