Background/Experience that you think is beneficial to Doula work: Hello! My name is Sara, and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and certified Infant Feeding Specialist (IFS). I am also a Registered Nurse (RN), specializing in Maternity, Newborn, and Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing.
What led you to become a Doula?: My passion for helping families with infant feeding began shortly after the birth of my first child in 2012- my daughter, Adalynn. My goal was to breastfeed, but at the time I did not have much knowledge of breastfeeding, nor did I have a very good support system. I did not know where to go for help with the challenges I was faced with. I felt overwhelmed and alone. Luckily, a friend of mine directed me to a couple of local nursing moms groups. I quickly found the support that I needed, and I. Was. Hooked. In the spring of 2013 I completed coursework to become a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). Shortly there after I obtained an RN position working with moms, babies, and families postpartum. In December of 2014 I had my second child, Elijah. As a CLC and RN who worked with breastfeeding families frequently, I felt very well prepared to breastfeed this time. Little did I know, I was in for quite a struggle. Fortunately, a mom friend suggested that I meet with an IBCLC in private practice. The limitless knowledge of the Private Practice IBCLC, her genuine desire to help me, and the benefits from all of the advice that she provided while I was having such a difficult time, further fueled my fire to delve into the world of Lactation Consulting. I wanted to be Just. Like. Her. She was remarkable. So, while still nursing my son, I completed hundreds of hours of coursework and clinical experience, and in October of 2016 I passed the IBCLC board examination with one of the top scores of any candidate internationally. In June of 2018 I was a NH Breastfeeding Taskforce award recipient for my work promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding in NH. That same day, I was asked if I would be willing to step in for a local Private Practice IBCLC, who was moving out of state. ...OF COURSE I would! Since that time I have significantly expanded my work to include not only supporting breastfeeding families, but ALL infant feeding families. I have been blessed with two step-children, Nathaniel and Gabriella, and I have birthed a third child, Charlotte. I have taught breastfeeding, newborn care, and sibling classes, and I have led and spoken at postpartum support groups. I am a member of the NH Breastfeeding Taskforce, the NH Association for Infant Mental Health, the Holistic Moms Network, the United States Lactation Consultant Association, and the International Lactation Consultant Association. I have professional interest in epigenetics, cultural anthropology, the biology of breastfeeding, supporting family dynamics, and maternal mental health support. I am active in a local natural parenting group, and in numerous online parent support groups. I have received advanced training in the areas of infant development, infant feeding techniques, infant oral assessments, tongue tie assessments, low milk supply, trauma informed care, birth story listening, effective communication skills, and crisis intervention. I have completed advanced coursework and in-person training from Advanced Practice Lactation Consultants, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Physical Therapists- among others. It is because of this training that I am able to provide the highly specialized care that I excel in. In my personal time I lead a Girl Scout troop for the town of Bedford, and I enjoy spending time with my children and family- camping, traveling, gardening, crafting, cooking, and photography. In feeding my own babies I have struggled with latch refusal, low milk supply, tongue tie, nipple trauma, oversupply, food intolerance, food allergy, breast refusal, bottle refusal, pumping, and bottle feeding. I have experienced the same lack of support and misinformation that most of my clients have, and that is why I work so hard to be the best practitioner that I can be. I believe that every family has the right to make their own informed decisions about the way that they feed, raise, and nurture their children, and that every family should have access to high quality support to achieve those goals. I am here to help, and I absolutely love what I do.
What are some positive comments made about you by other people?:
“Sara is absolutely amazing. She is so knowledgeable, positive, and supportive! I almost gave up on breastfeeding… but with her knowledge and help, breastfeeding is now something I am able to enjoy.” – Vanessa
“I can’t say enough positive things. I feel so blessed to have had the help and encouragement. Sara was amazing and I will forever be thankful for her help and time.” – Jaqueline
“I really can’t explain how appreciative I am of you taking the time to hear my struggles & help me create a path towards a solution. I’ve spent months feeling frustrated that I couldn’t find the answers we needed and I finally feel listened to, validated & reassured. I am so impressed with the depth & breadth of your knowledge. I learned so much from you in just one visit. The thorough evaluation, explanations, recommendations and planned guidance are exactly what I have been looking for and I feel so grateful to be working with you.” – Jessica