Janet McGuinness

Community Lactation Consultant and midwife

"I have always wanted to work in a capacity of counselling mothers and fathers. I started my university degree in human genetics with the goal of being able to counsel parents with infants diagnosed with chromosomal abnormalities. I grew up with my uncle with Down’s Syndrome being a very loved and loving member of our family. The goal to pass that gift of acceptance to others lead to me to the human genetics route, but I found the hours of lab work with minimal people contact unbearable so I changed my degree one year away from completion to Midwifery, a move I have never regretted.

I have been a registered midwife for 16 years. During my time as a midwife my favourite part was the postnatal side, in particular, breastfeeding. During a 3 year stint in an extremely busy postnatal ward in Galway, Ireland I developed a huge passion for counselling mothers through the challenges of breastfeeding. So after my husband, a born and bred Gizzy boy, and I moved back home to have our 1st of 3 babies I studied further and qualified as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

For the past 10 years I have seen countless tears of pain, joy, frustration, awe, absolute exhaustion and mostly pride as I have walked along side mothers in their journeys to achieve their breastfeeding goals. It has been a privilege to be part of each and every one of these most precious and challenging journeys. The baby snuggles and smiles are an extra bonus! I am frequently amazed and in awe of a mother’s determination to provide for her baby and the love and care from whanau and partners that surrounds them during these times. I think it’s a moment in life when we truly see what it is to be human. I could not imagine doing any other job in the world and enjoying it as much as I enjoy this one."

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