"My journey to becoming a lactation counselor and postpartum doula has been a very personal one. To understand how I got here, and how I became so passionate about this work, I have to first introduce you to my son, Avi.
When Avi was born, I had been working (quite happily) in the non-profit field for over 15 years. Like many new moms, I assumed that I would breastfeed Avi for as long as it ‘worked’ and tried not to put too much pressure on myself. At about 30 weeks pregnant, I got my first breast pump through insurance and stowed it away in Avi’s room, without giving it much thought.
Breastfeeding went well for a while and I even pumped occasionally so that my husband, Jared, could feed Avi at night. Then, when Avi was around 12-weeks old, things started to go wrong. He stopped gaining weight and became fussy when nursing. It seemed like he had forgotten what to do! After several consultations, it was decided that Avi had a tongue tie that needed to be corrected. The procedure went well but, unfortunately, now that he was almost 4 months old, Avi had learned some bad habits and couldn’t get his latch right. I was faced with a choice - I could wean and move to formula (Make no mistake, this would have been a great choice and I felt lucky to live in a place where this was available.), I could spend an untold amount of time and money on various therapies to reteach Avi how to latch, or I could exclusively pump. Thus began my over 6-month exclusive relationship with the breast pump.
At first, I didn’t consider myself an exclusive pumper. I didn’t know that this was a method or a label that I could even give myself. I just knew that I wasn’t ready for my breastfeeding journey to end and I knew that nursing wasn’t working. Given that I had just returned to work and didn’t know how I would fit in multiple therapies to reteach Avi to latch, pumping just seemed like the best option for my family. It took hours of research and reading on websites, social media, and books to teach myself how to provide breast milk through pumping. It was through that research that I learned of the term ‘exclusive pumping’ and began to use it proudly."
"Looking back, I can’t help but wonder how much easier, smoother, and less stressful this time would have been if I had had a professional to help me. But unfortunately, I had to figure most of it out on my own.
Over the next several months, I was able to build my supply from 25 ounces per day to over 35 and built a freezer stash with over 1000 ounces in it. I pumped in countless situations - on planes, trains, and the back of Ubers. I pumped in hotel lobbies, restaurants and at my Grandmother’s birthday party. I pumped at business meetings and in foreign countries. I pumped in airport bathrooms, on FaceTime calls (from the shoulders up!) and for hours in my car. I once went on a 6-day business trip and flew home with almost 250oz of milk! And through it all, I meticulously researched everything I could. I picked up every tip, trick, and strategy to make this journey as easy and fulfilling as possible. Through my blog, I started to share my story and became the ‘go-to’ person in my community for pumping questions.
Through my role as the ‘unofficial pumping expert,’ it became clear to me that there is a real need in our that wasn’t being met - the need for knowledgeable, professional, and compassionate support for moms who want to provide their babies with breast milk through pumping.
Now, as a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and a Postpartum Doula, I’m using my personal experiences and professional expertise to help moms from all over the world have successful and positive pumping experiences. When I was pumping, I was surprised by how difficult it was to find a Lactation Professional who also had a deep understanding of the needs of pumping moms. In founding Taking Care of Mama, my hope is that I’ll be able to help fill that gap and ensure that all breastfeeding moms find the support they need."
Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC)
Breast Pump Expert
Read more about my personal pumping story on my blog -