How did you get into lactation consulting?
When I had my oldest daughter, about 13 years ago, I really struggled with breastfeeding. It was hard, and OH so painful. We weren't in a position where any extra expenses had any space in our budget and I knew if I was going to be able to stay home with my daughter, which had always been my dream, I was going to have to figure out this breastfeeding thing. The internet wasn't anything like it is now, and there were no Facebook groups to turn to. My close friends didn't know why I was struggling so much, and I truly had no answers. Magically around 8 weeks that pain started to fade and I began to really value my breastfeeding relationship. Before I knew it, I was nursing a toddler. It was during this journey that I realized there was a need for lactation support outside of the 2 days you spend in the hospital, and I had a huge passion for helping other parents not suffer like I did, and then reap the benefits of that breastfeeding relationship like I had.
What made you choose IBCLC? How is IBCLC different than other lactation consulting certifications?
When I started researching what I needed to do to help breastfeeding moms, I knew this would be my career and I wanted to make sure that I had the highest level of breastfeeding education available and a credential that would stand alone. There are plenty of breastfeeding certifications, but the IBCLC is the only credential, and it is the most challenging. It requires college courses, lactation specific education, and hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of hours clinically working with breastfeeding parents. This is typically a multi-year process, if you are starting after having children, 5 years seems to be the average time it takes to get all of the requirements to be able to sit for the IBCLC Boards.
What’s your favorite part about working in lactation consulting?
I love that every day is different, and every family is different. I never walk into the same situation twice, because we are talking about families and people who are unique and individual. Breastfeeding is a relationship between parent and child and it will be different with each parent and each child. I love seeing a parent who has been struggling finally feed their baby and say, "Wow. This doesn't hurt." I also love hearing stories months later about how the time we spent together impacted their journey. I am truly thankful to be a part of so many families' stories.
When do you start seeing clients?
I love seeing families prenatally when possible. Most families will feel more confident in their abilities after birth if they have a basic understanding of how breastfeeding is supposed to look. For most new parents today, we don't have the opportunity to see breastfeeding until we are handed our own baby in the hospital, and that can be scary. Being prepared can help make that transition easier. The bulk of my clients call me after the baby is born and they realize they are struggling. I am always happy to help. I've seen babies the day they were born and babies who were over a year old. There is always something different going on.
What’s the best way for them to contact you?
The easiest way to schedule an appointment is to fill out the form on my website - https://bfden.as.me/schedule.php. I can also be reached by email, phone, and text message. Text will give you the fastest response: 410-929-2455.
Why is breastfeeding important to you? To our culture?
I had a really rough entry to motherhood and breastfeeding. It made me passionate about helping other families not feel the same pain and stress that I did. Breastfeeding is the biologically normal way to feed our babies. It is important, health-wise, for both mom and baby. The more breastfeeding becomes seen and accepted by our culture, the easier it will be for more parents to choose breastfeeding.
How do you feel you’ve contributed positively to our local community?
I hope that by providing caring support to families, I have empowered them to make the right choices for their families and feed their babies in the way that is best for them. Parents who are armed with knowledge and support can make informed choices and will feel good about those choices going forward.
Birth Boot Camp Certified Doula (BBCD)