Here we are at New Years Eve 2017. This past year has been remarkable, when I looked back, these are just some of the highlights…

Health Care Professional of the Year 2017
So, if I’m picking my favourite, “OMG… I can’t believe it” moment, it has to be,  winning the  Friends of Breastfeeding  2017  Award for HealthCare Professional of the Year . So.. I had no idea what was happening. The committee asked me to come along on the day of the fair (in my innocence, I thought I  was just one of many and most definitely not getting an award..)  Turns out, I won one! I was rather unprepared and speechless. My colleague, Mairead Murphy also won Lactation Consultant of the Year.  My husband and  kids came along and there were lots of hugs and “Im so proud of you, Mum”. 
One of the reasons this was so special, is that these awards are the ONLY Code compliant awards in Ireland.
Many thanks to Friends of Breastfeeding and those who nominated me. You all made my year!  The award really means so much to me. 

Nicola and Mairead Murphy IBCLC with their awards at the Friends of Breastfeeding 2017 Awards Ceremony.

 Speaking at the Loreto Balbriggan Healthy Eating Night.
Cathy Monaghan of www.weaning.ie asked me to do a short talk to 200 pupils and parents in January. Where else does healthy eating start but at birth with breastfeeding?  It was a very successful night.  All the speakers were full of great tips and humour. I was really chuffed to be included in the lineup. 

 

Prof Donal O'Shea , Nicola O'Byrne IBCLC and Cathy Monaghan.

Prof. Donal O’Shea, Nicola O’Byrne IBCLC and Cathy Monaghan (weaning.ie) at the Loreto Balbriggan Healthy Eating Seminar.

 

 

 

Not sure Ive spoken to such a diverse audience before...

Not sure I’ve spoken to such a big audience before…

Working with the Evie Team
Also in January, I started with the Evie team,  Prof Sean Daly and Prof Fergal Malone’s clinic has the very best of all specialities and the team is growing by the day. I work there every Tuesday and can  see non Evie clients in my suite there too. 
Learning about Running a Local Business 
In  February, I started going to the DLR small business training talks – realising there’s a whole world outside lactation. It’s good to network!  
Meeting Eimear Varian Barry – Instagrammer, Blogger, Photographer
Mid March I went  to hear Eimear Varian Barry in Cork – Eimear and I chat frequently on Instagram and  I couldn’t miss her in person, at the Electric Venue in Cork. She gave  lots of tips about social media and branding. I was mortified (well, truly I was chuffed) when she talked about my instastories.  Starstruck!
Eimear VB and Nicola OB!

Eimear VB and Nicola OB!

 

Family feature in Irish Times 
So in July, we were down in Kerry on holidays,  when this feature came out in the Irish Times. Not so much about breastfeeding, but my kids were signing autographs for each other after their appearance in the IT!
01/07/2017…Health… Nicola O’Byrne (centre)) picutred with her family. Husband Sean (left) and children Eliza 7, Isabella 13, David 16, Callum 9, and Cian 20. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Nicola O’Byrne (centre) pictured with her family. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Feel Good stories about Breastfeeding
 So, being a private practice IBCLC can be sometimes be  a solitary, stressful job.. mostly it’s full of joy and never give up moments! Sonya’s amazing breastfeeding experience, 2nd time around –  Featured in the Irish Examiner by the fab mama of 7-  Jen Hogan- Mamatude
2018 is looking like a great year already, I have a few professional study days planned,  and will be going on a whistlestop tour of the USA’s Top IBCLC’s in March. I’m also speaking at the ILactation Breastfeeding Conference. And it’s only December!!
I’ll be back seeing clients next week. Januarys Breastfeeding Prep class is filling ( 13th Jan Beacon Hotel) and I’ll be starting the bookings for the Suck, Swallow Study day for Professionals early January.
Happy New Year Everyone, hope you all have a great year. Nicola  x
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