CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: Just normal family life. I have a sister older than me. I was brought up in Oldham and moved down to go to university in 1980 – it was the Staffordshire Polytechnic then. I did a degree (BA Hons in geography and English).
WHAT DREW YOU TO NURSING?: My dad died when he was 51, he had a heart attack.
HOW DO YOU WIND DOWN?: I always liked horses and now I have my own, he's 22 and I have had him since he was eight or nine. I used to work in stables in Oldham. I have three daughters and we started going riding in Ingestre. I had a horse on loan, then when I was 40 I decided I was having a horse so I bought him from the stable owner.
EARLY CAREER: I worked at GEC for six months then for Stafford Borough Council for a while, in housing. I used to work behind the bar at The Eagle for many years. I qualified as a nurse and went into nursing in 1986. I went straight into neo natal at Stafford and worked there until last year. I now work in ICU.
BUSINESS: I qualified as a lactation consultant in 2010 so I set the business up in 2012. It's going well. I didn't feel I had any help or advice on breastfeeding for my babies and on the importance of the effect of having contact with your baby for as long as possible. The brain is wired according to how the baby is nurtured. Women don't want to be feeding their baby all the time, they want to go back to work but it has ramifications. I started to do some research and became really interested. We have moved away from a society that breast feeds on demand. Now people expect a baby to feed and sleep for three or four hours in between but the baby is programmed to be close to its mother's skin. Breastfeeding is the most normal process in the whole world. I don't know why we have come so far away from it. It's huge, it has massive implications in terms of brain development and physical social development. It effects the development of mouth muscles and speech. Education is the way to move forward. In a lot of cultures where breastfeeding is normal there is support from the family because it has always been done.
OF WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD?: My family really. I have three daughters and my partner has got some disabilities but he's now doing art work and he's really good. I'm proud of this business.
FUTURE AMBITIONS: To be successful in my new venture in ICU. To make this work and to provide a support network and impart the knowledge I have as much as I can to help people.
In the print version Kirsten's age was incorrectly given as 62. We apologise for any embarrassment caused.