By Ali Weatherford with Cassie Terrillion
Lactation consultants are truly helpful people. I might even go so far as to call them heroes. I am not a lactation consultant, I just work with about 50 of them! But I did experience some personal struggles with breastfeeding my first baby, and a lactation consultant completely changed the direction of my journey. She gave me just what I needed to continue. She did give me plenty of great tips to help with discomfort and timing, but mainly she showed me–and really made me believe–that my baby and I were doing okay and that things would get better. She gave me the confidence to believe that things were working and that it was NORMAL for it to take a little while to get easier.
Lactation consultants see just about everything, and International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) get the most extensive training and testing. They work with so many people before they see you. They understand the hardships, they listen, they offer advice, and share their technical skills training. They can set you up for success with simple tips to get started, and they can help diagnose problems. They can coordinate care with other healthcare providers, and they can offer lots of helpful advice that WORKS when normal problems come up. And of course, they can be a comforting shoulder to cry on when things feel hard. They can give us just the boost we need to meet our breastfeeding goals.
On my quest to find out more about the life and work of a lactation consultant, I spent a little time talking to one of our Breastfeeding Success IBCLCs with TONS of professional and personal experience. I thought it would be fun to share the perspective and insights of a lactation professional while I’m praising the work that they do. Cassie has helped people in the hospital, in their homes, at our outpatient clinics, and is currently doing all of our Telemed consults. She also teaches all of our breastfeeding and pumping classes as well as our newborn care classes. AND she leads our free virtual support group for expectant or new parents called Bosom Buddies, where people can ask all of their questions about feeding babies and newborns and early parenting! So you’re very likely to meet Cassie at some point if you’re a Breastfeeding Success client.
Here are a few highlights from my interview with Cassie. And you can also watch the whole interview here!
When asked “What has made you keep being a lactation consultant?” Cassie says, “Honestly I love every single piece of it. This is my life’s calling. Nothing else quite makes sense like supporting families”. She loves “protecting the birth space” and witnessing new parents finding their power and their confidence. She feels inspired by every person she sees.
I asked Cassie, “If you could give expectant parents one piece of advice about breastfeeding, what would it be?” She suggests getting prepared through knowledge. That can be through reading books, or taking classes (Cassie’s breastfeeding preparation class is GREAT!), or joining groups.
Finally, I asked Cassie “If you could give expectant parents one piece of advice about ANYTHING, what would it be?”. She suggests that new and expectant parents trust their intuition and instincts. You know your little person better than anyone else so listen to that little voice.
If you’d like to meet with a certified lactation consultant, please reach out to schedule an appointment.