What led you to become a lactation consultant/doula?
After I had my first child, I was shocked how unprepared I was for childbirth and the postpartum period. I foolishly assumed that because I was an RN, there wouldn't be much that came as a surprise. I was very wrong!! I dove headfirst into the birth world and have truly found my passion in helping other families thrive through their birth experiences and beyond.
How long have you been practicing?
I have been a childbirth educator and doula for four years. I obtained my IBCLC this year after a lot of training and couldn't be more thrilled to round out my knowledge base with those skills.
What advice would you give to a mom beginning her breastfeeding journey?
My biggest advice is see an IBCLC as soon as possible and whenever you feel a shift in your breastfeeding journey! Even more ideal would be to see multiple people along the way. There are many tips and tricks that you can learn. Take what helps you and your baby thrive, let go of the rest.
What is the most important postpartum care advice you would offer?
Give grace. I always remind families that this is new for everyone involved. It is new even for the baby or older children in your family! Be gracious with each other through it all but never feel intimidated to ask for help from someone outside of the house.
How do you help moms overcome their birthing fears?
I have found that just speaking their fears out loud and talking through what could actually happen really helps. The ideas and fears seem to grow and really take hold of your heart when you keep them inside, talking through them and exploring options with someone you trust can make moms feel more prepared.
Are you familiar with breast massage? Have you found it to be a helpful tool?
I am very familiar with breast massage. Massaging before feedings is crucial in the first week! In doing this, studies have shown that milk matures faster. Massage can also help those with more flat or short nipples in making them more erect prior to latching.
You can find Sarah on instagram at @nurturingbirthandbeyond where she shares a ton of tips and information. You can also read more about her and what services she offers on her website www.nurturingbirthrva.com.