I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC, first certified in 2006) located in Chicago. Prior to opening my own practice in 2013, I had the honor of working with both Lactation Associates and JOC Lactation Consultants, as well as Home Healthcare of Newborns and Families, which provided home phototherapy and breastfeeding support to jaundiced newborns. I have been working in maternal-child healthcare since 1995, when I received my Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) from Rush University. While working as a nurse in Labor & Delivery at Northwestern Prentice Women’s Hospital, I earned my Master of Science degree with a focus in nurse-midwifery from the University of Illinois at Chicago. I hold Registered Nurse (RN) and Advanced Practice Nurse (APN) licenses in the State of Illinois. While I no longer practice midwifery, I maintain that certification as well.
I am also a mother to 3 amazing children, and my breastfeeding journey started like most - confusing to say the least! Here I was - a labor & delivery nurse and aspiring nurse midwife - and I honestly didn’t have a clue! But luckily for me, breastfeeding was easy and worked very well, while fitting easily into my busy life as a full-time professional and student. I had my challenges, like all mothers do, but my children taught me so much about their needs, which encouraged me to learn everything I could about human breastfeeding - it is so much more than food to our children. Most importantly, I learned to trust my instincts and to trust my children, as they each breastfed far longer than I was aware was even possible. In fact, many mothers I have worked with also find that they breastfeed much longer than they anticipated, once they trust the process and know how breastfeeding can and does work. After all, we wouldn’t be here as a species today if it didn’t! Most IBCLCs come to the profession after their own experiences as mothers; I am no different. That is why I am passionate about helping you achieve the breastfeeding relationship you dreamed of when you became a mother.
My unique combination of personal and professional experience efficiently resolves most issues that a nursing mother may encounter. I am dedicated to my continued education in all aspects of lactation, from common challenges to more advanced issues such as tongue tie and related issues, and structure and function related to proper latch, as well as mother/infant microbiome issues. As a member of the International Affiliation of Tongue-Tie Professionals (IATP), I attended its summit held in Montreal in October 2014. I am also a member of the International Consortium of Anklyofrenulae Professionals (ICAP), attending its July 2018 conference in Toronto. These affiliations have provided and continue to provide me with a deeper understanding of the controversial topic of “tongue tie” and other tethered oral tissues and provide me with up-to-date knowledge and strategies to offer the increasing numbers of mothers and babies struggling with this anatomical difference. These issues, while often critical to breastfeeding success, go beyond the breastfeeding relationship and are also critical to optimizing future health. I am really interested in our design as a species, and as a science-minded professional, I want to know “why?”, not just provide a quick fix which will be only a temporary solution. My interest in mother/infant health, which impacts breastfeeding, stems from personal and professional experiences and drives my continuing education on nutrition and holistic approaches to handling common challenges breastfeeding mothers face. Whether it’s sore, damaged nipples, poor infant weight gain, supply issues, plugged ducts, mastitis, multiples, pumping, returning to work, or anything else, I am here to help you!
Congratulations! You have been through pregnancy and birth, and now you’re home. How’s breastfeeding going?
Even when things are going well, you may be wondering if your baby is getting enough to eat, or you’re in pain, or maybe your pediatrician suggested getting assistance from a lactation consultant. Or perhaps you’re concerned about a possible tongue tie, or engorgement, or plugged ducts. You might just want reassurance that your instincts can be trusted.
The key to breastfeeding success is to ensure a great start, or to get back on track quickly if obstacles arise.
Breastfeeding almost always “works” when appropriate steps are taken, especially in the early days of lactation. In most cases, a mother can be helped with proper positioning and understanding when her baby is getting milk. In some cases, mothers may need devices to help their babies to feed at the breast, but this should be determined by a qualified lactation consultant. The use of devices should be limited, temporary and always undertaken with the goal of removing them as soon as possible.
A lactation consultant is able to put the pieces of the puzzle together by reviewing the health history and the birth, assessing a feed, and making a plan to optimize the breastfeeding relationship. You and your baby each have roles in making breastfeeding effective, efficient and comfortable, and the IBCLC is the only healthcare provider trained to work with both of you.
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) is a health care professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding. IBCLCs are certified by the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners, Inc. under the direction of the U.S. National Commission for Certifying Agencies.
As an IBCLC, I have the clinical expertise, education and training to aid women in the management of breastfeeding issues, from the common to the complex. I am trained to help mothers prepare before giving birth, during the first critical weeks after baby is born, as well as with any issues that may arise in the months or years ahead.
I strive to provide compassionate support to lessen the challenge that breastfeeding can be for so many women. Humans have survived from the beginning of time by breastfeeding; it is a unique and beautiful relationship that we love to help establish by listening to the needs of mother and baby. I strive to find a plan that works best for my clients.
I am passionate about working with mothers to make breastfeeding fit easily and naturally into their lives.
sore or damaged nipples
poor infant weight gain
previous breast surgeries
reassurance and general information
There are many different ways to define breastfeeding success. Breastfeeding is more than providing milk, so in the rare instances mothers will not produce enough to adequately feed their babies, other ways of feeding at the breast can be employed to provide the nourishment baby needs while meeting the emotional and other developmental needs of both mother and infant.
I have been very successful in helping mothers to:
optimize their supplies
get their babies to feed directly at the breast for the most efficient and satisfying breastfeeding relationship
I focus on healing through more natural approaches; for example:
the addition of herbs and nutrients to support the mother’s health and therefore supply
application of non-pharmaceutical products for sore, damaged nipples
I have sourced highly qualified professionals to address some of the more challenging situations related to tongue tie with/without release and bodywork required after difficult births.
Laura is amazing! If it weren’t for her persistence and unwavering support, I would not be breastfeeding my baby today . . . and that’s the truth!
Our son lost 13% of his birthweight despite (my) having an abundant supply. Laura discovered a tongue tie, referred us to a specialist and then helped us wean from the nipple shield. We are now a happy nursing couple and I am so grateful to Laura for all of her help in this long journey of getting us here!
The minute I talked to her, I felt better. So comforting and encouraging, great advice and guidelines. My supply is increasing and I couldn’t be happier.
Laura is such a lifesaver! I highly, highly recommend her for any breastfeeding issues. She really takes the time to sit with you, listen and figure out what the problem is.
Message from a happy client:
Hi Laura! We got your "first birthday" postcard last week and I've been meaning to say hello and tell you thanks for a few things:
1) thank you for including baby-led weaning in your initial recommendations. I probably never would have heard of it on my own, and it's been the absolute BEST! We've had so much fun and our baby has such a lovely relationship with food.
2) thank you as well for including co-sleeping info. Again, one of the BEST parenting decisions we made as a result.
3) finally. thank you for offering homeopathic protocols for mastitis. I've talked to several women who really struggled through even with an IBCLC, but your advice took care of mine instantly last summer. (This one is on my mind because I woke up with mastitis today after baby was too busy and excited for milk during most of yesterday... )
Otherwise, we're doing fabulous!