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As most people in this field, my journey started with my first pregnancy. I received the breastfeeding support I needed and trained for two years before achieving the goal of becoming a breastfeeding counselor in 2003. I have two children, ages 17 and 13. I have been working in in the field of lactation & breastfeeding since 2000. I then trained for a further 8 years before achieving the goal of becoming an IBCLC.
Further inspired by the over 1,000 mothers and families I supported with breastfeeding in England and in the U.S.A., I decided to work toward the rigorous goals of becoming a International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Certified Postpartum Doula, so I could have the honor of walking through those first several miraculous days and weeks of a family’s new life. I’ve been working with breastfeeding families since 2000. In 2014, I attended an additional course entitled Advanced Clinical Concept in Lactation for fun, and because it’s important to me to keep my skills up to date.
I am a very experienced, knowledgeable and professionally trained postpartum doula, highly skilled in helping a new family after the birth of the baby(ies). A doula provides knowledgeable, caring and personal support during those first several weeks.
A doula is a gentle care-giver who gives guidance with breastfeeding and with infant care. A doula makes sure you are taking it easy, getting enough rest and enjoying bonding with your new baby.
The postpartum period can be a time of uncertainty for new parents. The doula guides and shares her knowledge in kind and non-judgmental ways, empowering parents to develop their own special style of nurturing and parenting their baby.
My personal style involves helping to maintain a peaceful place for the new parents and new baby(ies) to get to know each other. This can mean practical things fielding telephone calls, running small errands, and keeping the baby-related clutter to a minimum. More importantly, this can mean helping to integrate the new baby into the family, helping with breastfeeding, helping siblings with the transition and meeting their practical needs, while making sure they’re getting their emotional needs met by their loving parents. I especially enjoy working with families with extra challenges, families from outside the USA, families of twins, re-lactation, induced lactation, traumatic birth, anxiety and depression, and situations where breastfeeding is difficult or didn’t work out with prior babies.
I practice the less is more approach to life. Our babies don’t need things, interventions or training. They just need us.
I have a deep commitment to serve my community and am currently involved in many volunteer and paid activities. I volunteer my time with my children’s schools and local and national charities, run several breastfeeding support meetings each month, mentor breastfeeding counselor trainees, give hours of my time providing on-online and telephone breastfeeding support and provide support for parents who have had a traumatic birth experience. I am Vice-President of Northern Illinois Lactation Consultant Assn.(NILCA) and I volunteer with BreastfeedingUSA. I am an original founding member of BreastfeedingUSA. I work with Doulas for Surrogacy www.doulasforsurrogacy.com I teach beginning breastfeeding classes, breastfeeding & returning to work classes, provide workshops on breastfeeding for doulas and breastfeeding counselor trainees and am a compassionate listener for those in need.
Beth with her family (2014)