As long as I can remember, I have always had an amazing passion for childbirth and all that it entails. I can honestly say that the two things I wanted most in this world was to be a mom and to work with mommas and babies. It wasn’t until the birth of my first child in 1992 at the age of 21 that I would discover just how passionate I would become about childbirth and breastfeeding. As I moved through the early years of my career in the maternal child health field I became increasingly fascinated with childbirth education, lactation, and nutrition, as I saw a great need for this in our community. It was then that I decided to pursue my degree in health Psychology with concentration in maternal –child health and nutrition education. After graduating with my bachelor’s degree in Psychology I moved forward with my certification as Doula and Childbirth Educator, and Certified Lactation Counselor.
In 1999 I gave birth to my second son after 7 years of unexplained infertility. It was during this time that I found that childbirth and breastfeeding did not always come so easy, in fact, it was the exact opposite. Even though I had the education and the skills to help myself, it just wasn’t enough. The one thing that I was missing was outside support and resources. It was then that I decided I wanted to be a part of something bigger to help moms and babies have access to the support they need.
In 2001 I had a unique opportunity to leave my hometown of Snellville, Ga and become part of a grant funded maternal-child health project in Tampa, Florida. It is there that I spent the next 14 years working with a group of the most amazing people helping to better the infant mortality rate through Doula supported births, Childbirth education, and clinical lactation. During my time in Tampa, I had the opportunity to work in several leadership roles, partner with many programs working with diverse populations, and attend midwifery school. In 2007 I gave birth to my daughter, which proved to be by far the most difficult breastfeeding experience for me. After several years of clinical lactation experience in and out of the hospital setting, it was then in 2009 I was able to sit for the International Board Of Lactation Examiners, thereby earning the credential as an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). As my passion for lactation grew stronger, I knew that I wanted to provide access to non-judgmental, evidenced based clinical lactation care. In 2010 Maternal Instincts was birthed. Since that time, Maternal Instincts worked with many grant funded programs and several local hospitals in the Tampa Bay area to provide services to woman and babies at a low cost and in some cases free. We partnered with Champions For Children, ABC Program, Baby Café USA, Healthy Start, and many local pediatricians and dentists.
With all this said, in 2015 my family and I decided to move back to Georgia to be closer to family. Even though Maternal Instincts continues to be a successful lactation clinic in Tampa, I have decided to leave it in the good hands of my business partner, and embrace the possibilities of serving moms and babies in my home state. It is with great passion that I look forward to reconnecting with old colleagues and making new ones.