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The mom behind the milk...

If you know me already and you're reading this, then thanks for checking in to see what interesting and (hopefully) funny and inspiring things I might have to share with you! If you have happened upon this page via rabbit hole looking for information on why it hurts when you pump, or your baby is biting your nipples, or your milk is a funny color of whatever, then you are in the right place!

I'm Nicki, and I am the owner and Lactation Consultant at Essential Lactation Support. And I want to tell you where I came from, and why you can trust me with your baby and your breasts!

I didn't come into this by accident. Oh, wait, yes I did. Funny story- I wanted to be a Chiropractor, because I love the idea of the body healing itself with minimal intervention, and everything natural. And then I found myself uncomfortable....touching people.... So I went back to one of my first loves, and studied nice, safe... Nutrition. I took a job in Pediatrics, in the Clinical Nutrition Department, which I thought would look excellent on my resume.

And then I got to know kids. And babies. And I hadn't really done that before. And they were sick, or born early, or victims of accidents or genetics. And they became my life for a long, long time. In that building, where the walls were brightly colored, and there were clowns in the elevators and celebrities roaming the halls, there were families who needed me. And it was good to be needed! I wanted to do more, and better. I wanted to help the ones who I was really capable of helping. And that's when I found my way. It was in the NICU, with a mom who couldn't hold her baby, and a mom who was trying not to cry, and a mom who didn't plan for things to go this way, but she didn't have control. And I started to see that the things these moms could be responsible for are SHOWING UP, and if they showed up, I could teach them. And I loved them. And I met more moms, with nearly full term babies with Jaundice, and moms who thought they had milk but accidentally underfed their babies, and moms who were told to stop breastfeeding for some reason and had mastitis as a result, moms who didn't know how to get or use a breast pump and so they just hand expressed into the sink as needed. I learned as I met them, because Lactation was just a very small part of the Nutrition Department, and there was only one IBCLC, and she couldn't do it all. And she taught me everything she knew. Thanks, Debbie. Also thanks to Kelly, and Emily, and Becky.

And so I took the classes, and I studied, and I had my own baby. And breastfeeding was not what I read in the books. And it was harder than I thought. And I had to ask for help. And part of me died inside when I opened a can of formula. And it is still hard for me to think about those times and how it broke me. I took the test, and I passed. I'm an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant!!!! And still there are groups (particularly one) that I will never be allowed into because I have used formula to feed my baby. And I am more than that. More than them. And so are you. And I know now, that my perceived breastfeeding failure has given me what I need to help other families succeed. I had to fail, because you needed me! I am not a Chiropractor, because I need to do something else. I need to help families feed their babies. And I am so happy to do it.

Then (6 years later) I had another baby, and I 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, just 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. Take care my friends, and check back soon!

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