Homoeopath, Lactation Consultant & Reiki Master
This is an unusual combination of current professional interests for someone who grew up as the eldest child of a very average middle class family with a father who was an academic and a mother a committed home-maker for 6 girls.
As was expected of me, I began my working life as a teacher. After graduating from Newcastle University in 1971 with a BA DipEd, I taught in NSW before moving to western Queensland with my husband (www.neilhatherly.com.au) in 1972. I taught full time and then part time (English and History) in Mount Isa until 1980, and that early professional experience underpins my passion for Materia Medica and the desire to share all manner of insights, both through writing as well as teaching. Teachers just can't help themselves in that regard; although it's probably in my DNA with my father and my father's father both having been teachers!
The interest in breastfeeding stems from goodness knows where, but my dolls and teddy bears can well attest to the fact that the commitment to nurturing in that way was with me from my early childhood. As a mother of 3 children I lactated for over 6 years; and, if I'd known then what I know now, I would have breastfed for longer. Did you know that primates lactate for 6 times the gestation rate?
Fulfilling that evolutionary imperative makes it almost impossible for mothers to balance what they give to themselves as well as their babies in this modern era where women can often be the major breadwinner in the home. So my professional focus has become committed to helping mothers to find ways to get the balance right as all the evidence shows that breastfeeding is good for babies as well as for mothers and the planet. As a society we need to recognise that mothering is real work and commit to flexible workplace options as well as focus on establishing more milk banks and even contemplate making formula from human milk as the go-to option when breastfeeding is no longer possible.
This dream has become my life's mission and the steps taken along a path less travelled to arrive where I am now are most certainly discernible in my personal and professional experiences. With the birth of my first child in 1975 in a situation lacking extended family support as I lived in western Queensland,, I found help in the Childbirth Education Association (CEA) and the Nursing Mothers' Association (NMAA). [Now re-named the Australian Breastfeeding Association].I fulfilled a variety of committee positions and went on to train as a Breastfeeding Counsellor. I helped to establish groups in Mount Isa, Collinsville and Bowen, before moving to Brisbane in 1985 when I became involved in the Medical Schools' Programme as a group facilitator for NMAA. I eventually retired as a Breastfeeding Counsellor upon first certifying as an IBCLC in 1989. Since that time I have continuously worked in private practice as a Lactation Consultant.
Certification as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) entails passing a fully accredited examination set by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBCLE) which is a member of the prestigious US National Commission for Health Certifying Agencies. The International Board includes representatives from the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) and the Nurses Association of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (NACOG).
With twenty years professional experience working as a certified Lactation Consultant, providing a solid foundation of clinical skills and expertise, I am an advocate for the breastfeeding mother/baby dyad and have the necessary skills and knowledge to facilitate breastfeeding and can offer support and specialist assistance to mothers in every area of lactation.
I have particular expertise in the management of:
- colic and reflux
- supply problems (over supply and low supply)
- failure to thrive
- thrush and white spot
- attachment and suckling problems
- nipple trauma
- working and breastfeeding
Following the birth of my third child in 1981, I underwent training to be a Childbirth Educator. I worked initially in private practice in western Queensland, and was then associated with CEA Brisbane as a Consultant Educator until 2000.
My interest in natural therapies began after a health crisis following the birth of my second child in 1977 when I suffered a detached retina. After working part-time in a homoeopathic clinic in the late '80s, I decided to go back to full-time study and was awarded a Bachelor Health Science (Homoeopathy).
As well as being registered with the Australian Register of Homoeopaths (AROH), I am a professional member of the following:
- Australian Homoeopathic Association (AHA)
- Australian Naturopathic Practitioners Association (ANPA)
- Effectiveness Training Institute of Australia (ETIA)
As a Reiki Master, I conduct workshops in Reiki I and II, and I also teach PET (Parent Effectiveness Training, www.etia.org) whenever I can. I offer private mentoring and clinical supervision to students and new graduates; and, since commencing private practice, have lectured at all colleges in Brisbane which offer homœopathic subjects. Additionally, I have lectured in Homœopathic Philosophy and Materia Medica at the Southern Cross University Lismore and at the Sydney College of Homœopathic Medicine. I have also been a guest lecturer at the North West College of Homœopathy in Manchester (UK) and have conducted seminars and given papers at homœopathic conferences both throughout Australia as well as NZ, the UK, USA, Canada and Europe. I am a regular contributor to homœopathic journals world-wide and produce my own e-Newsletter Milk Matters twice a year. Subscription is free; just send me an email Contact Me asking to be added to the mailing list.
I have served as a committee member of the AHA (Qld branch) for over 20 years and am the immediate past president and convenor of both the 2012 and 2016 national conferences both hosted by the Queensland branch of the AHA. I am also a former president of AHA's National Council having been the Qld branch representative to that committee for 6 years; and held the position as the AHA representative to the ICH (International Council for Homoeopathy) from 2007-2014.
A Distinguished Service Award was bestowed on me in September 2008, in recognition of that service to the AHA.
I have been in private practice as a homoeopath since 1995. I have a busy practice; and although I offer classical homoeopathic treatment for individual complaints of people of all ages with all manner of conditions, because of my unique combination of clinical skills in lactation as well as homoeopathy, I have a particular interest and expertise in assisting women and children especially babies (most commonly with respect to colic and reflux). A large portion of my clientele seeks help for infertility, a wide range of breastfeeding problems (such as mastitis, thrush and white spot) and all manner of behavioural problems in children.