Changing the way we
think about feeding babies.
Let's move beyond "best" together.
Feeding your baby is no longer a clear cut choice of breastfeeding or bottle feeding. 82% of birthing people start out breastfeeding. Many of them had to supplement in the hospital for medical reasons. We pump, we work, we have complex lives. We deserve a complex approach to infant feeding.
I'm here to help.
the questions you need answered.
Understand the science behind feeding babies.
Offer Support in taking care of your mental health and your whole family's needs.
I am a lactation consultant and I failed at breastfeeding.
and then I gave up.
I am the lactation consultant who couldn’t feed her kid.
That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but this felt true to me once. I was a lactation consultant long before I was a mother. I was a postpartum doula before that, and a nanny before that. I had been feeding babies for a decade before I made and met my own. My daughter is bright, hilarious, beautiful and driven as hell. She was also born not breathing and as a result has cerebral palsy.
This kind of birth event is very rare, but as I had learned in the previous decade, feeding challenges are not. Despite spending my days with people crying over every possible feeding complication, I expected my experience to be different. I had the know-how to do it right. I knew how to prevent early engorgement, how to hand-express colostrum, I had AFFIRMATIONS, for goodness’ sake. I was prepared. I could latch a piranha on a watermelon, I’m that good at my job.
There I was, good at my job, having read all the books, two doulas, a midwife, an OBGYN and an awesome partner at my side and I still had no control of where I ended up. Which for me, was the NICU and unable to feed my baby. My head was swimming with hormones and confusion as my daughter’s neonatologist discussed feeding tubes and outcomes. I just stared at the PRN—weird and miraculous complete nutrition that looks like flubber—was injected into my daughter’s blood stream via her heart: thanks science. I turned to my sister and said, “I am supposed to be a feeding expert, and I can’t feed her.”
Of course, I did feed her. I fed her via a feeding tube, and then via bottles. I fed her breastmilk for 9 months and formula after that. I nursed her at the breast successfully exactly once. It was a tiny miracle that I will hold onto forever. It wasn’t a miracle because it was breastfeeding. It was a miracle because it was one tiny slice of the imagined reality I thought I would get.
I worked very hard on breastfeeding with some of the most amazing body workers, speech therapists, doctors and lactation consultants I know. Then I let it go. I pumped and pumped and pumped until I was so sick from mastitis and colitis from treating the mastitis that I was in a diaper and excruciating pain. Then I let the pumping go, too.
Letting it go was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I am so proud. I am also proud that I tried. I am proud that I pumped for so long. I am proud that I survived PTSD, a suicidal postpartum mood disorder, and all my grief to become a badass special needs mom.
My work focuses on
Failure to thrive is a real diagnosis. A serious and heartbreaking one that is given to babies who are not gaining weight well. As a special needs parent, I honor this diagnosis and celebrate parents who are grappling with it.
In my work I see a whole other group that is failing to thrive. Families who aren't getting the support they need. They may have chunky well fed babies in their arms, but aren't being given the tools to support their mental health, work life and family life without guilt and shame.
It's time to change that.