Monday, December 5, 2011

My first local workshop...

I am thrilled to share that I will be holding my first local workshop as an official IBCLC!  Please help me spread the word to mamas-to-be in the San Joaquin County area. 

On Wednesday, December 14th, I will be holding a Prenatal Breastfeeding Workshop in Lodi.  It's an opportunity for expecting women to learn the basics about breastfeeding their newborn, get their questions answered, and meet other mommies-to-be, all in a nurturing environment. My yoga instructor teaches a prenatal yoga class on Wednesday nights, so women can come for one or both!Space is limited, so asking people to register in advance by calling or emailing me...
The flyer below has all the details.  Thanks for helping me empower new mommies!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Find a Lactation Consultant Near You

Many people ask me, "I have a friend that lives in (another region/state/country), how can she find a lactation consultant near her?" The answer is simple. Thanks to the International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) all anyone has to do is go to:, click on "Find A Lactation Consultant" type in your city and ta-da!...a list of Board Certified Lactation Consultants near you!

And you can also search for lactation consultants by name...including...ME!

First person to look me up and post a comment to my blog with the words directly underneath my name will win a prize from my stash of breastfeeding goodies...

Friday, November 11, 2011

Celebrating Our Military Moms: Breastfeeding in Combat Boots

Today, in recognition of Veterans Day, I wanted to especially acknowledge the all the moms that have and are currently serving in the military.  I salute you for your double service to our country: serving in active duty and raising your family.  Many of our military moms are breastfeeding moms too, which comes with a whole different set of workplace challenges as they try to balance motherhood and their jobs. 

For our women in the military who wonder how will it be possible to breastfeed their child while on active duty, I offer you this resource:

From the website: "The book and website have been created to offer a practical and field-tested guide that will help military mothers from all branches of the armed forces find the information and support to successfully breastfeed with confidence. Is it possible to work full time on active duty and still be there to nurture and nurse your baby? YES!"

My many thanks to all the women and men of our armed forces, past and present, for your commitment and sacrifice.  And especially to my cousin Jessica, serving in the Air Force, who is a wonderful new mom.  

May you all be kept safe.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Monthly MythBuster #1

Paying homage to one of my hubby's favorite shows, The Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," I've decided to introduce a new recurring post to my blog - the Monthly MythBuster, where I debunk the most common misconceptions about breastfeeding.  It'll be an evidence-based explanation mixed with some of my common sense and often humor-filled reasoning that I hope my readers will be encouraged to share with others.  Because, as we know, myths are usually spread by word of mouth and we can help bust them just the same.

Monthly MythBuster #1: Many Moms Can't Make Enough Milk for Their Baby


In fact, the percentage of women world-wide who are not able to produce enough milk for their baby is LESS THAN 1%. 

Yet, a majority of moms stop breastfeeding because they THINK they don't have enough milk.  As a mom, it seems like our "Mom" job description says we must worry about everything, and sometimes that worry is justified: Maybe baby is losing too much weight or gaining weight slowly.  If so, we should look for the reason why.  A common reason may be that baby is not getting a deep enough latch which makes it difficult for baby to transfer mom's milk.  Learning how to tell if your baby is latched properly; the sounds and signs that baby is actually drinking milk while at the breast; how baby's output (poops and pees) can tell you about how much they are taking in; and proper follow-up with your baby's healthcare provider, may help ease the worry.

As Dr. Sears says: "Breastfeeding is a confidence game, and nothing undermines a mother's confidence like being afraid her baby isn't getting enough milk."

To my readers: Please leave a comment with your suggestions for future Monthly MythBusters!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


I've been on cloud 9 all weekend after finding out I PASSED my exam and am now officially an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant!

Huge THANKS has to go out first to my hubby, for all his encouragement and support as a true partner while I've worked towards this goal. And, I also could not have done this without the support of my family and friends, especially my son for being so flexible with Mommy's busy schedule, and my mother-in-law and my Dad for all the extra help taking care of my little guy so I could study, go to class and clinical. Plus, my girlfriends who listened as I endlessly spouted out all the new trivia about breastfeeding and cheered me on all along the way. I am forever grateful...

Stay tuned as I explore... "Now what?" and for a new regular post I'm adding to my blog: The Monthly Mythbuster...

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 Weeks and Counting...

I can't believe that in 2 short weeks I will be sitting for the IBCLC exam: the Global Certification for Lactation Consultants.  It's amazing to think that all on the same day - July 25th - I will be taking the same IBLCE exam as every other aspiring lactation consultant around the world.  Talk about a global community!

I started this blog with the intent of chronicling my journey as a student, and well, my plan to post weekly has proved challenging due to the intensity of my coursework, while trying to balance being a mom, wife, La Leche League Leader, volunteer with my local breastfeeding coalition, and friend. 

I must give thanks to my fantastic teachers: Kayellen Lascheck from the Grow Our Own Program and the infamous Gini Baker from UCSD Extension, plus the many moms who came to me for information and support.

Kayellen, as an IBCLC with Riverside County WIC, had a spunk and collaborative can-do attitude that I immediately connected with.  Her frank, yet friendly approach to first relating to moms and then assisting them with their breastfeeding goals was reminicent of my LLL training.  Acceptance into her program was the inspiration and catalyst I needed to jump start my journey.

Gini, with her infinite wisdom from her decades as a hospital RN and IBCLC working with some of the most at-risk populations in our state (I think her hospital NICU now has 100 beds) really challenged us to be advanced practice lactation consultants.  She pushed us to think critically, read between the lines of research, taught us how to identify reputable sources, and gave us the hands-on clinical experience that allowed us to put into practice all that we were learning. 

How gratifying it is to go to school for something you are truly passionate about!

Now it's "game-time."  Putting all that learning together and getting test-ready, physically and mentally.  The exam is only given once a year, so after working towards this for the past three years, I better be ready.  The last time I had to sit for such an important proctored exam I think was the SATs.  (Just a few years back.  *wink.  *wink.)  I mean, this is serious business - you get an escort to the bathroom if you have to go during the exam!  No pressure. 

Wish me luck!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Photo contest open to San Joaquin County Moms

It's time to enter our county's 2nd Annual Breastfeeding Photography Contest!   Win great prizes, plus promote the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding in our community! 

The mom in the winning photo will recieve:
  • $100 from the Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County
  • Custom-framed enlargement of winning photo from The Galeria
  • Free photo session with 16" x 20" print from Elaine Begley Photography
Moms who live in San Joaquin County can submit either their own photos or those taken by a professional photographer. Deadline to enter is June 30th.  Visit for complete contest rules and entry form.

*Special Offer* Elaine Begley Photography is offering a free mini photo session for moms who want to enter the contest. One day only: Wednesday, June 29th. Space is limited. Call Elaine at: 209-403-0932 to schedule today!

The Breastfeeding Coalition of San Joaquin County

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Speaking up for Breastfeeding Support

Recently, I had the opportunity to exercise my lactivist "title" by giving public testimony at a Sacramento County Board of Supervisors meeting.  As part of my clinical internship, I attended the meeting with my mentor lactation consultant on April 4, 2011.  With very short notice, I scratched out a 2 minute speech (the normal allotted time of 3 minutes was cut to 2 because there were so many people who wanted to speak.)

I was one of numerous individuals (the most of any agenda item) who got up to give testimony in support of Sacramento County WIC's breastfeeding support programs funded by First 5.  We were all there to urge the Board to re-prioritize the breastfeeding programs as "high priority" and reconsider the proposed 50% cuts to the much needed and utilized programs serving the county's most at-risk children.

Energized and a bit nervous, I walked up to the podium and shared my observations and opinion.  It was a daunting moment, standing in front of the microphone speaking to the Board with a room full of people listening.  It had been over 10 years, while as a student at UC San Diego, since I had spoken publicly in support of a cause I cared deeply about.  In college, I was the Executive Director of the student volunteer center and sole speaker asking the associated student government to re-consider proposed cuts.  This time I was a mom and intern urging funds for breastfeeding support to be continued.  My testimony at UCSD worked and we received the funding.  I can only hope this time around my decision to speak up for breastfeeding along with the voice of many others may have a positive impact as well.

You can watch all the testimony (including Laurie True from CWA at 2:35:30 and mine at 2:38:05) here:  and click on "View Video" for FIRST 5 - 4/4/2011

Lastly, I urge you as a member of our great democracy to use your voice to speak up for the causes you care about.  Breastfeeding is truly a public health issue which affects us all.  And as a community of lactivists, with our voices joined together we can help to ensure better health for all moms and babies.

What can YOU Do?  
Keep up with the latest breastfeeding-related legislation and happenings in your community:

1) Become a member of your local Breastfeeding Coalition.  Find yours here:

2) Sign up for the California WIC Association FLASH e-newsletter here:

3) Sign up for the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee Action Alerts here:

If you have other "lactivist" suggestions, please share with a comment on my blog.  And...

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead

Monday, March 28, 2011

The Beginning

Becoming a mother for the first time was a transformative experience.  Carrying a life for 40 weeks and then giving birth was the most gratifying and amazing moment of my life.  I was a mom!?  Unbelievable.  Surreal. 

And not only did my body give this little boy life, it could also sustain his life with my own milk.  Absolutely amazing.  Our breastfeeding experience was not without challenges, however our family traveled a pretty smooth road thanks to the supportive and resource-rich environment of Santa Monica, California where my son was born. 

We were fortunate to start our journey with our doula, Heike, who was present at his birth and helped make sure we got our first chance to breastfeed in the delivery room shortly after he entered the world.  Plus, her gentle wisdom and guidance during those crucial first few days and weeks at home gave me the confidence that I could do this.  In addition, the breastfeeding support groups I attended connected me with other moms and showed me that I wasn't the only one who was wondering: "Am I doing this right?"

Before having my son, I had never really been around women that breastfed and didn't know much more than what I had learned in my childbirth classes and a few suggested books on the subject.  Yet, I knew my own milk was the best for my baby and I was determined he would only get breastmilk.  As our breastfeeding relationship developed, the more in awe I was of this amazing gift only I could give my son.  For me, breastfeeding helped  me create a beautiful bond with my son that I can already tell will last his lifetime.

This is the nurturing, loving, bond I want to help other moms experience with their children.