I have the best job in the whole world.
I don’t know what I did right in a past life to have fallen into this profession but I am eternally grateful! Through my own personal struggles with breastfeeding and my hunger to do a better job supporting breastfeeding parents in the hospital, I racked up lots of education and experience. Before I knew it I had enough credits and clinical hours to actively pursue certification as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I could not have stumbled into a more rewarding and satisfying profession.
2. I have a 3-legged blind dog that melts my heart.
My 3rd baby is a 13-year-old blind Boston Terrier with 3-legs. He is the sweetest elderly puppy with a giant heart of gold. Though his vision is minimal, his wit is abundant. I wasn’t much of a dog person until I met Dex and now one of my favorite parts of doing home visits is meeting my clients, their infants and also their fur babies.
3. I really struggled with breastfeeding but I made peace with it and felt triumphant in the end.
My personal struggles with breastfeeding helped shape how I practice as a lactation consultant. I know that there are times when breastfeeding doesn’t work for every parent and child. I am also keenly aware that when breastfeeding challenges are met with skilled compassionate care they can be overcome to reveal a feeling of triumph and pride in oneself as a parent.
I have a condition called Insufficient Glandular Tissue. Basically, if I breastfed or pumped all day-everyday, I would never make enough milk to feed my babies. This was a painful reality to accept after both of my births.
When I had my first child I was 22-years old and raising a baby on my own while working and going to nursing school. Needless to say I did not have the time or resources to meet the challenges of breastfeeding with IGT. I also *really* struggled to find caring providers that could deliver the clinical and emotional support necessary to help a young single mom with IGT.
After the birth of my second child I was prepared to make breastfeeding work for as long as possible. I breastfed using a Lact-Aid and Supplemental Nursing System until my son self-wean. Although I reached my breastfeeding goals, once again I had to confront the painful reality that I would never be or have enough, to feed my baby alone. On top of our supply challenges my little guy had Jaundice and a Tongue Tie that made latching painful for a few weeks. We relied on the generous milk donations from friends and family to make breastfeeding work. This experience taught me that breastfeeding is more than nutrition, it is a relationship between parent, child and community.
Exclusively formula feeding was the best that I could do for my first child and I am proud of that decision. Exclusively breastfeeding for over a year without 1 drop of formula was the best I could do for my second child and I am proud of that decision. I have no guilt about my breastfeeding choices and encourage the same resolution for my clients.
4. I’m dyslexic and that’s ok:)
I say a lot of things backwards and spell a lot of things wrong. My 12-year-old loves to interrupt me and quote Willy Wonka “Strike that. Reverse it!” It’s worse when I am tired or stressed but in my head it all makes sense :) I’ve made peace with my dyslexia and ultimately I think it helps to deepen my curiosity and knowledge. Since it is hard for me to learn new things without seeing the whole picture, I love to dive deep into topics and learn as much as I can about any particular interest. In fact that need to understand things inside and out is probably why I became an IBCLC
5. I support your breastfeeding agenda not mine.
As I mentioned in fun fact number 3, I know how hard breastfeeding can be for some parents. I tell every single client “The first rule of breastfeeding is feed the baby. The second rule of breastfeeding is stay sane doing it.” It is my job to help you find that balance for your family.
I am nervous about starting a blog!
My intention with starting this blog is to create a community and educational resource for infant feeding with an open minded view about parenting. I feel compelled to represent my own knowledge, in my own words. I hope to offer practical solutions for common hurdles in infant feeding with the understanding that every parent has their own unique journey and that there is no such thing as a one-size-fits all approach for feeding challenges.