Your newborn session with me might be one of the first times you’re really getting to chat and share about your birth experience (with someone other than your care providers). I love sharing that intimate space with you – hearing about your birth story, how your partner held up, your recovery, and how your other children/pets are handling the transition.
Moms who have chosen to breastfeed will often share about their experience – whether things are going smoothly, or if they feel like they’re struggling. As a mother of twins, I had a very difficult time breastfeeding my babies. The first 3 months were heartbreaking and defeating as I struggled through the nurse, pump, supplement cycle. I had friends encouraging me to keep it up, I had a doctor telling me I shouldn’t have ever bothered. What I was doing wasn’t working for any of us, but asking for help felt like admitting I wasn’t a good enough mother to my babies. I felt like if I was meant to be their mother, I would be able to provide for them. I became more and more unhealthy with exhaustion and frustration. When I finally let go enough to bring in a lactation consultant, the relief was almost immediate. Someone who knew exactly what to say and do. Someone who could gently and expertly guide me forward.
What a different experience those first 3 months with my newborns would have been with a strong support system in place!
For those of you hoping to breastfeed, I can’t recommend enough having a lactation consultation on your support team well before you deliver. I recently had the opportunity to witness Amy, of Thrive Breastfeeding, a Washington, DC and Northern Virginia lactation consultant, work with a veteran mother who was having a few challenges with her second baby. She is such a gem! Truly an expert and incredible resource (and she’s super impressive with breastmilk math!).
I asked her to share a bit about herself with me, so that I could share with you. Maybe you’ll find that she’s the perfect fit for you!
Tell me a little about your background (like where’d you get that accent!).
I’m a born and raised Jersey Girl, went to The University of Alabama (Roll Tide!), then on to graduate school in Monterey, CA. After settling in the DC area 22 years ago, I had three kids in 39 months and was pregnant and breastfeeding for almost 5 years straight. Becoming an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) was a way to help young families navigate a very exciting, but
often overwhelming time.
What led you to choose to pursue providing lactation support? How long have you been doing it?
I started the IBCLC certification process shortly after I had my third child. Certification requirements are grueling – courses, 500 (mostly unpaid) clinical hours, and passing the board exam. I spent countless weekends at Sibley Memorial Hospital, The Breastfeeding Center, and the INOVA NICU to get hands-on experience helping moms and babies breastfeed. In 2011, Thrive Breastfeeding was born. I’ve supported well over 1,000 families throughout the DC Metro area.
Biggest myth surrounding breastfeeding?
Many moms think breastfeeding will be intuitive and come easily. However, issues like a painful latch,
low milk supply, clogged ducts, oversupply, and mastitis (to name a few!) can make breastfeeding
challenging, especially in the beginning.
Any tips for breastfeeding moms who are heading back to work outside of the home?
If you’re planning to head back to work outside the home, I recommend starting to stockpile
expressed breastmilk in plenty of time to have an adequate stash. Pumping in lieu of nursing can
impact your supply so it’s best to have extra milk on hand. Make sure you have a quality breast
Have you ever needed to tell a mom that breastfeeding wasn’t the best option for her and her baby?
I have. If breastfeeding is taking a toll on Mom’s mental health – especially when it inhibits her from
being present, caring for, and enjoying her baby, it may make sense to reevaluate nursing goals.
What can moms gain by having a relationship with you as their lactation consultant?
Client testimonials provide the best insight into having me by your side on your breastfeeding journey.
What’s the number 1 piece of advice you could give to moms planning to breastfeed their baby?
Forget the Instagram-inspired nursey, the clothes that will hang in the closet with tags long after
they’re outgrown, and the fanciest stroller on the market. Invest in a support team. Use those resources for a lactation consultant, birth and postpartum doulas, domestic help (house cleaners, meals, dog walker), and anything else that will make life easier for you. A supported, less stressed, and more rested most is a confident and empowered mom. And the entire family benefits!
Jan 27, 2023
Becca is an award-winning maternity and newborn destination photographer serving Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and surrounding areas. She offers a tailored experience with a full client wardrobe, stunning light-filled studio, and unique locations locally and worldwide.
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