I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Licensed Massage and Bodywork therapist. I have provided lactation support since 2013 and massage and bodywork therapy services since 2006. I spent 3 years pursuing IBCLC through a degree program where I obtained a Master of Arts degree in health and wellness with a concentration in lactation consulting. During my time in the program, I completed a 150 page thesis project on Ankyloglossia or "tongue tie" as most know the term. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in speech and hearing science from Penn State University as well as a license in massage therapy and bodywork. Additionally, I trained in Beckman Oral Motor Therapy and have completed Tethered Oral Tissues specialty training (TOTS). I also sit on the leadership board for Upstate Birth Network where I help to advocate for Mother-Friendly care in the Upstate.
My personal breastfeeding journey began in November 2011 with the birth of daughter. She was born via cesarean section and we had a bit of a rocky start. I will never forget my wonderful lactation consultant, Lauren, who encouraged me in those first days after I had been separated from my daughter and did not get to experience the "magic hour" and immediate skin to skin like I had envisioned. Our first latch was about 12 hours after she was born. Through it all, we persevered and had a wonderful breastfeeding journey together.
Breastfeeding was such a healing experience for me after not having the birth I had imagined. I was inspired to become an IBCLC so that I could help other mothers the way Lauren had helped and inspired me. In 2014, my son was born via vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) attended by wonderful midwives, my husband, mother and doula. My son was breastfeeding 22 minutes after birth. Having experienced birth on opposite ends of the spectrum, I feel I can really connect to mothers who have had both vaginal births and cesareans and understand the unique circumstances regarding their birth experience.
The way in which you birth does have an impact on breastfeeding, but it does not make or break your ability to successfully breastfeed in the long run. No matter how you birth, or where, you can have the amazing experience you deserve with the right support system in place. I am here to to be that support for you and help you to have the wonderful breastfeeding experience you desire. I look forward to working with you and your family!