My name is Nicki, and I am Lactation Consultant and founder of Essential Lactation Support in Alpharetta.
When I began my journey into healthcare, I had intended on being a Chiropractor, which then turned into working in Clinical Pediatric Nutrition because my love for providing Chiropractic Care faded.
As I worked with babies and children, I began to love serving them and watching the little ones grow and thrive through the help I was able to give them.
It was good to be needed, and I wanted to do everything I could to help these families.
One day, I was in the NICU, with a mom who couldn't hold her baby, who was trying not to cry, and who felt completely out of control.
I started to see that the things biggest thing moms in this situation could do is to just show up. If they showed up, I could teach them.
I fell in love with helping moms. And as I found my calling, I began to meet more moms. Moms of babies with jaundice, moms who thought they had milk but accidentally underfed their babies, moms who were told to stop breastfeeding for some reason and had mastitis, moms who didn't know how to get or use a breast pump, and so many more.
I continued learning as I met and supported them, because Lactation was just a very small part of the Nutrition Department, and there was only one IBCLC, and as knowledgeable and amazing as she was, the load was heavy. She taught me everything I know (thanks, Debbie, and also Kelly, Emily, and Becky).
Over the next few months I took lactation classes, studied hard, and I had my own baby and opportunity to breastfeed. And let me tell you, it was was harder than any of the books said. I had to ask for help, and part of me died inside when I opened a can of formula. It is still hard for me to think about those times and how it broke me, but I made it through with the support of those around me. Shortly after, I took my big test and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant!
6 years later, I had another baby and started to realize that the need for me is not just in that hospital. The need is right here in my community. The need is in Cumming, and Alpharetta, and Milton, and Dawsonville. And what if we can prevent those problems that cause the hospital stays? What if a prenatal class teaches you how to tell when your baby is hungry or fussy, and you can give your baby exactly what she needs? What if a single consultation in your baby's nursery can keep you from going to the Emergency Room? Would that be amazing?! I think so!
So here I am, a mom of 2 kids, breastfeeding a toddler, running on coffee and baby giggles. I want to get to know you, and I want to help you feed your baby in a way that makes you happy.
Thanks to 10 years of hospital life, I have spent countless hours holding preemies, managing breast pump settings, retrieving pacifiers, and hugging crying moms.
I know more about bottle feedings, tube feedings, paced feeds, and abnormal breathing sounds from experience than normal people do... and I want to help you with it. And if I can't I will find someone who will. I have always loved feeding people, and I love babies. I can't wait to hear how I can help you.