Pursuing new areas of interest
Starting a family can be a huge blow to your career. For both me and my husband, having our daughter means that career can’t always come first, we need to adjust our work schedules to accommodate family time, and we need to worry about both arranging and paying for child care.
However, for me there has been an unforeseen benefit of becoming a mom. Since starting a family, it has become clear to me what other areas of nutrition besides Intuitive Eating are of interest to me. For example, I’ve become really passionate about child feeding practices. Since having my daughter I’ve read extensively and taught classes about Baby Led Weaning and Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility. Another area that I’ve become interested in is lactation and breastfeeding.
When my daughter was born, I was absolutely determined to breastfeed. It’s a LONG story, but her birth didn’t go as planned, so I think that made me all the more adamant about making this breastfeeding thing happen…no matter what I had to do! Unfortunately, my girl didn’t crawl to the breast and latch like a pro as I had hoped she would, and I found myself struggling quite a lot. It’s amazing how it doesn’t matter how many classes you take on the subject– I took classes both in nursing school and while obtaining my Masters in Nutrition, as well as classes for expectant moms– until you actually do it, you have no idea what it’s going to be like! Who knew this supposedly “natural” thing could be so damn tricky?!
When my daughter was found to have lost a ton of weight at her first pediatrician appointment, it was clear that something wasn’t right. Thankfully, on the recommendation of my midwife, an amazing Lactation Consultant (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, or IBCLC) came to my house and helped me to work through our problems. She correctly diagnosed my daughter with a posterior tongue tie, directed me to someone who could treat it, and in the meantime helped me to use various pieces of equipment (like finger feeding, a supplemental nursing system, and a nipple shield) until she was able to latch correctly on her own (which didn’t happen until about 2.5 to 3 months). I am forever indebted to the knowledge and compassion my Lactation Consultant displayed to me, and I credit her with giving me the opportunity to finally develop a lovely, normal breastfeeding relationship with my daughter. Thanks to her help, breastfeeding finally felt natural and easy, as I had always imagined it should be!
Having gone through this experience, and watching other mom friends struggle in similar ways when trying to breastfeed their newborns, I’ve come to appreciate how vital it is for moms who would like to breastfeed to have a knowledgeable support person to assist them if they should have any issues. Because of this, I’m very excited to announce that very soon I will be a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)! At the end of this month, I will be taking a 5-day course to achieve this certification, with plans to complete the required hours to then become a full-fledged Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) over the next year.
My vision for my practice is to be able to assist entire families to achieve balance and peace in their eating, beginning from pregnancy, to postpartum (for both mom and baby), into the introduction of solids, and throughout childhood and adolescence. Of course, I am still passionate about helping those individuals who need assistance with healing their relationships with food, but I am looking forward to taking a holistic approach towards eating relationships within the context of the entire family, regardless of life stage.
Stay tuned for more details as I embark on this new professional adventure!