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In this bonus episode of Ask the Expert, Annie & Leah interview Nichelle Clark, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, about her amazing story of relactation during the pandemic. Nichelle offers valuable insights on how lactation consultants can support families who are providing their babies with expressed milk. As Nichelle puts it, “Pumping is breastfeeding” and Annie & Leah are here for it!
About Nichelle Clark, CBS: She is the owner of Sunshine and Rainbows Lactation Services. Nichelle’s journey is unique in that not only did she solely pump for 17 months, but she has started relactation during the pandemic.
Nichelle focuses on normalizing exclusive pumping because it is not something that is usually talked about. Nichelle struggled a bit to find a place where she felt connected to the breastfeeding community. By sharing her store, she helps other families feel less alone and inspires other lactation professionals to push themselves to be better able to support these families.
04:59 Finding support for the journey of exclusive pumping
08:45 The things no one tells about about weaning
10:30 Destigmatizing the use of expressed milk
18:35 Raising awareness that lactation consultants are not just for feeding at the breast
20:12 Creating the community for others she wished she had
06:50 “And that’s why like being told you’re wrong can be one of the best experiences you can have in your life.”
10:30 “It’s just really not something that we talk about a lot in our community. And so I thought why not share my journey? Why not bring awareness and then moralizing it because a lot of the moms, I was a donor, I still am. I’m a donor now.”
14:09 “I want them all to know that pumping is breastfeeding. And then if you say it, you’ll begin to believe it and you’ll be able to live it.”
15:53 “I think it’s that compassion. Stepping away a little bit from what the book says. We know what the book says. We are the professionals. We, you know, we have the access to the resources, but really that compassion asking how they’re doing.”
20:12 “And now you’re creating that support space for other people with the work that you’re doing. And it’s just, that’s what it’s all about is we take what we’ve gone through and we like to show the greatness of it as a way to help other people.”
Nichelle’s website: sonshineandrainbowslactation.com
Find Nichelle’s training “Pumping IS Breastfeeding” + 12.25 more CERPs inside Running Your Private Practice.
Find our Deeper Dive into Private Practice with Nichelle Clark IBCLC, CBS + more in the Lactation Business Coaching Deeper Dive Vault. Memberships start at $15/month.
Leah Jolly is a private practice IBCLC with Bay Area Breastfeeding in Houston, Texas. Annie Frisbie is a private practice IBCLC serving Queens and Brooklyn in New York City, and the creator of the Lactation Consultant Private Practice Toolkit.