I am a lactation consultant; I am also a registered nurse; I have been working with mothers and babies since 1976. I have many years under my belt, but I am not a doctor. Not to discount my knowledge, skills and expertise, but I am not a doctor. The day I hung out my shingle for my private practice as an IBCLC, I felt like an imposter and realized that I did not know everything there was to know about breastfeeding, but in particular about how babies breastfeed and what new moms need and how they feel in the post partum period. Simply stated I needed a breastfeeding medicine doctor to latch on to.
The chosen host? Dr. Christina Smillie: Pediatrician, charter member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and IBCLC- a real jewel and such a real person. Her approach to mothers and babies is unique, calming and fun and it works- successful, satisfying breastfeeding relationships. Her knowledge from research, as well as her many years of working as a Pediatrician and an IBCLC, put her on the pedestal for me. I have learned more from her than I could ever begin to say. Her thoughts, wisdom and way with mothers and babies have permeated my life, both as a lactation consultant and a mother.
I find myself saying to my clients, "Because Dr. Christina Smillie does this or says this." And to my fellow co-workers I am forever saying, "This is what Dr. Smillie does." And remember that Dr. Smillie says, "We don't have to turn mothers into lactation consultants. They don't need to know everything we know in order to breastfeed. Their hormones are keeping them more in their right brains.
When I first created my online breastfeeding class, I started with over a hundred slides and each week I decrease the number, as well as simplify the message. At the recent Nursing Mothers Council Conference in Boxborough, MA, where Dr. Smillie spoke, I found myself telling the women coming to our exhibit that my webinar and my practice are Dr. Smillie centric. And then I went home and proceeded to make it even more centerd around Dr. Smillie's way of thinking and practicing. I will never be Dr. Smillie, but I am so thankful everytime I am with a breastfeeding mom and baby that she has taken the time to research and understand this very unique dyad. Thank you!
Have you heard of Dr. Smillie? Have you watched her DVD "Baby-led Breastfeeding"? Join me for one of my live breastfeeding webinars to see a clip from her DVD.