Meet Amy & Mindy
I’m Amy, a mother of four. I had my first baby living far away from home. With no family or friends close by, it felt like I was re-inventing the wheel at every turn. Have you ever felt like that? Thankfully, I plugged into a great support group, and within a year became a volunteer breastfeeding helper. I didn’t want any mama to struggle and feel alone the way I had.
A few years later, I felt the need to move from volunteer to professional (IBCLC) so I could effectively walk alongside families and mediate/communicate with health care providers. Fast-forward 3 more babies and several years, I became the go-to lactation consultant in our area, the one to turn to when no one else could help.
When I came to the end of my knowledge, I found Mindy, a mom of two, and a beautiful partnership was formed. Mindy was (and is) a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist who approached the mouth and feeding with a different skill set. We began working together helping clients who wanted to breastfeed, but whose babies had significant feeding difficulties. Mindy could give these babies the skills needed to improve feeding, while I supported moms’ milk supply and helped babies transfer back to the breast.
During this time we began studying the qualities of bottles and flow rates. This information allowed us to quickly select the appropriate tool to support breast and bottle feeding while supporting each babies’ unique sucking qualities. It was also during this time we had the realization…
We used bottles all the time to “fix” breastfeeding. So why was the lactation world so afraid of using bottles?
Our practice continued supporting medically fragile babies, but we had an influx of breastfeeding moms who wanted to learn how to use a bottle without messing up breastfeeding, as well as moms whose babies had feeding difficulties even with the bottle. As we supported more and more families, we found ourselves answering universal questions about bottle use. The first edition of our book Balancing Breast and Bottle: Reaching Your Breastfeeding Goals was born. The publication of our book coincided with a 10 year speaking tour. Our goal was to shift the lactation world to see bottles as helpful tools, and to know how to support families achieve their feeding goals, even when it included a bottle (gasp!). We succeeded.