Having a strong support system is important in anything you do. Pursuing IBCLC is a huge time commitment. I’m lucky to have awesome family and friends supporting me. I completely quit my job to invest fully into the breastfeeding community and to have minimal barriers of completing my hours and prerequisites. I’m also a single parent to my amazing son. I could not do it without my village especially my amazing mom. Shout out to her. My mama ya'll...
I am also grateful to begin to work in a community where moms are celebrated. Jenn and MIBFN (my other work) have been incredibly welcoming to my son. They have made it clear that he can be present with me at meetings, consults, etc. Although I prefer to be child-free while working so I can be most focused it is so reassuring to know if I could not find someone to keep him that I wouldn’t be forced to sit out of whatever is going on.
If you are reading this, no matter what you are doing, if you have a village lean on them! And when the time comes for you to be a part of someone else’s support system, be as active as you can and remember when you needed a village to show up for you. It makes ALL the difference.
I am a life-long student. Literally. I have never really been “done with school.” Would I like to be? YES! But like I said my career path has a mind of its own. I have what I call non-specific degrees. I’m that person who always falls into the “or other related field” portion of the education requirements on a job application. That’s why becoming an LC was that much more appealing. I am excited about having a career, not just a degree. So, I went to IBCLE’s website and read everything I could. After reviewing the different pathways, I determined pathway 3 was most sensible for me. I already had a lot of the 14 required courses complete and could focus on the clinical hours and lactation specific education. I just needed to find a mentor.
Whew chile…. easier said than done! In my mind, one of the about 5 LC’s I saw during my own care was going to help me. I was so wrong. I called, emailed and text all sorts of people. Some I knew and some I didn’t. I had been a patient at St. John’s Breastfeeding clinic and found out they had a lactation college. I called there and was basically told to just watch the website and apply for our next lactation intern position…it will be up eventually. From a lot of other people, I got “I would love to help you but…” (insert myriad of reasons here). I just kept going, I started contacting friends. Less than friends really lol just anyone who I thought may have a connection. A young lady I went to college with who worked on a post-partum floor provided me an email address for this beautiful spirit by the name of Sekeita. I sent a pretty long email and was surprised to receive a pretty quick response. I was so excited. Mostly because Sekeita was black and so accomplished in the breastfeeding community. I opened the email and she says, “I would love to help you but…” this one was different.
Sekeita forwarded my email to Jennifer and that connection would set me on a trajectory to get where I am today. Later I found out that LC’s get these emails quite regularly from people seeking mentorship and asking someone they barely know for help. Sekeita told me that she rarely acts on them, but she felt something different from mine which prompted her to reach out to Jenn. The next day Jenn and I talked by phone for about two hours. It was so refreshing to speak to a black woman about what I had been through and how it manifested in me by wanting to pursue IBCLC. I felt like she could really hear how serious I was, and she offered to mentor me. I did a lot of searching for a mentor, but the universe brought me Jennifer.
My professional bio can be found under the "about" tab. Here I will be capturing my growth in the breastfeeding community on my way to IBCLC. Join me in experiencing high and lows. I promise to be as raw as possible. This journey is so closely tied to my experiences as a new mom so you will also find that aspects of motherhood sprinkled in here too. Happy Reading!