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Bangkok Faces: Isabel Bano, Director, The Best Beginning

Your Name: Isabel Bano

Job Title: Director of The Best Beginning

What is your nationality and background?

I am originally from Spain but I have been living in many countries. I’m a passionate and enthusiastic health professional with more than 15 years’ international experience in programs targeting mother’s health and newborn care. I also have extensive experience in hospitals and clinical settings in Spain, Portugal, Belgium, UK and Singapore.

What is your profession?

I am a Doctor in Nursing, Midwife and IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), who excels in connecting with mothers, to coach them through their breastfeeding process. I mentor peers and custom tailor lactation education courses to the science community’s and individual’s needs. I’m always advising and advocating good breastfeeding practices, based on the most recent evidence.

I consider myself privileged to lead an exceptional team of professionals who share the same passion as I do at The Best Beginning. All of them have an amazing energy, knowledge and enthusiasm to offer to the community.

What are the key skills and responsibilities of this role?

At The Best Beginning, we offer classes for newly pregnant families as Childbirth Preparation, Active Birth, Early Pregnancy Orientation or HypnoBirthing. We also offer Prenatal and Postnatal Yoga, Lactation Consultation or Home or Hospital Visit by our European Midwives and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Our First Aid and CPR classes are for parents, nannies and companies. We also offer many activities for babies, like music, massage, art, sensory and gym classes.

I’m the Director of The Best Beginning as a professional, but I am also the mother of 3 kids, so I know how challenging motherhood can be, especially if you are far from home.

I have been working in Singapore for the last 7 years as a Midwife and Lactation Consultant in Mother and Child, and before that in Europe where I was more focused on Clinical Practice. During my professional carrier, I have had the privilege to help and support many families before, during and after having their kids. When I moved to Thailand I was looking for a place where the families can find professional prenatal and postnatal support, same as what is available in many other countries, but I did not find any, so I decided to open The Best Beginning as a place for people to learn how to be ready for mother and fatherhood.

Our role at The Best Beginning is to promote health and help families to reach their own identity as parents.

How did you get involved in your profession?

Since I was a child, I’ve always wanted to be a midwife and deliver babies. Pregnancy and the beginning of human life have always been themes that fascinated me. When I started my professional career as midwife, I was focused in assisting natural deliveries, which I was passionate about. But when I had my first daughter, I experienced the reality of motherhood, and that was when I realized how important it is to have professional support during postnatal period. After that I decided to start my PhD and IBCLC specialisation and redirect my professional life to the promotion of health and breastfeeding support.

How does your role enhance the wellbeing or experience of children?

During postnatal period, we support families and help them to find solutions if they face any breastfeeding challenge, but also bonding is something that matters to us — that is why we also offer many baby activities for babies until 3 years old. We strongly believe that a lot of learning can occur while babies are doing what they do best: playing and exploring. Our baby activities are designed to support both the cognitive and emotional development of your children. While having fun, they will also be developing their social, physical and communication skills.

What challenges do your face in this role?

Opening a new business in Thailand can be challenging sometimes, especially if it’s a new concept of business here.

Thai language has been another challenge that I have faced, even studying Thai language, I still feel lost during many conversations, but I encourage myself to improve my Thai level for next year.

What do you hope to achieve within your industry?

We love to support new families, and that’s why we hope to be the place where new families can find professional support and the answer to their fears and doubts before and during this wonderful but not always easy period of their life.

Who or what inspires you?

Definitely, my kids are my inspiration. As a mother, I had the amazing opportunity to breastfeed my three children. They are the reason why I have been always motivated to help expectant and new parents.

Only a Bangkok local would know… The best boat noodles in Bangkok are found in Sukhumvit soi 16; you have to take Foodland carpark’s lift, until the 10thfloor.

For more information on The Best Beginning, please visit their fb page or website.

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