I was born and educated in Norwich before training as a registered general nurse at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn. On qualifying in 1991 I worked on an acute medical unit as a staff nurse.In 1995, after the birth of my daughter, I moved into community nursing, working with the Fenland District Nurses on the evening service. After studying for the ENB 928 Diabetes qualification I joined Bridge Street Surgery in Downham Market, Norfolk as a practice nurse where I developed my special interest in diabetes.
In 2002-3 I decided to change direction and trained as a health visitor, gaining BA(Hons) in Primary and Community Care with Specialist Practitioner (Public Health Nursing) at Homerton School of Health Studies, Cambridge. I had always had an interest in working with children and families and this was fuelled by my personal experience of having a child with autism. I quickly realised that the training provided for heath visitors in breastfeeding was inadequate. So after securing a health visiting role in Ely in 2003, I trained as a breastfeeding counsellor with the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. Frustrated by the fact that I was not able to fully utilised my breastfeeding skills within my NHS role I decided to set up in independent practice. In 2009 I sat the International Board of Certified Lactation Consultants Exam and left my NHS health visiting role and in 2010 joined the Old Exchange Surgery in St Ives as a practice nurse whilst I built up my private work. I have recently left this role to focus entirely on my lactation work.
Since establishing my private practice I have trained to do tongue-tie division in Southampton with Carolyn Westcott and Mervyn Griffiths (Consultant Paediatric Surgeon) in 2011 and went back to Southampton in 2014 for refresher training. I have undertaken over 2000 tongue-tie division procedures. I have attended study days with internationally renowned experts in lactation and tongue-tie, including Alison Hazelbaker and Catherine Watson Genna and I have observed Mr A Minocha ( Consultant Paediatric Surgeon, Norwich) and Helen Caulfield (Consultant Paediatric ENT Surgeon, London) in their tongue-tie clinics. I regularly have student and qualified midwives and health visitors, lactation consultants and breastfeeding counsellors observing my practice in order to further their own knowledge and skills. I have also undertaken the Brazelton Newborn Behavioural Observation training, done a baby massage course with Peter Walker and studied cranial sacral therapy with Jonathan Lawrence.
I provide breastfeeding peer supporter courses in conjunction with Cambridgeshire County Council and am involved in a small local charity ElyMilks which runs a weekly breastfeeding support group for mothers in Ely. I am Chair of the Association of Tongue-tie Practitioners and on the training team of The Association of Breastfeeding Mothers.
I am based near Ely, Cambridgeshire and will visit consider home visits in areas up to a 30 mile travelling distance from my home when I have capacity. I currently see most of my clients in my private clinics in Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds and St Ives as this makes best use of time and means I can see families as promptly as possible.
- My Medical Defence Union member number is 538899G
- My qualification as a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) can be verified by logging on to europe.iblce.org/ibclc-registry and entering my surname (Oakley) or my IBCLC number which is L-33263.
- My nursing registration can be verified by logging on to www.nmc-uk.org/Search-the-register/ and entering my name and PIN number which is 88E0274E.
My hobbies include hen keeping, walking our dog and caring for and riding my rescue pony.