My Breastie!


As I think through the last 5 years of my life, I have so much that has happened that has brought me to where I am in my career. My Doula career is a direct correlation of my lactation career and that began about 5 years ago.  It goes something like this.

I was pregnant with my second son. I was determined to breastfed him longer than my oldest son. I started my research during my pregnancy and how to make this process easier than it was the first time. It all started in my WIC office when I went to pick up my WIC checks. I was introduced to a woman who was the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. She talked to me about my plans to breastfed, encouraged me and let me know she was there if I ever had any questions. She was always nice to me and never treated me as if I were just another WIC participant. It was a relief to know I had someone to ask questions and turn to if I needed support. It’s something that was lacking when my oldest son was born.

A couple months passed from my first encounter with her and then I gave birth to my son. He was just perfect! All 6 lbs of him. He nursed within the first hour and never had any issues. It was such a relief. When he was about 3 weeks old I returned to the WIC office to recertify. I had to see Millie, the Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. Since I was a breastfeeding mother, they connect us with the BFPC to make sure we don’t need additional support. I went into the nook, it was bright yellow and vibrantly decorated. I needed to nurse Caleb and that was a place just for me. Millie came in to see me. She immediately told me how beautiful my son was. She loved his thick dark black hair and the fact he was so teeny tiny. She held him for a brief second and gave him back to me. She told me I was doing a wonderful job.

She let me know that if I was returning to work or would be away from my baby for school I could get a pump. I was relieved because I couldn’t afford a pump and was planning to help my father do paperwork in his office a couple days a week. She got me a pump, showed me how to use it and let me know she was there if I needed her. Time passed and I would pick up my checks and see Millie for brief check ins. She was my support person I could always turn to. I had decided after my first son was about 9 months old I wanted to begin my career as a lactation professional. I sometimes wonder if she truly knows the impact her support had on my decision to continue pursuing my dream.

I found out there was an open position at my local WIC office to become a BFPC. I was ecstatic! Of course I applied. I got the job and began training. The training was amazing and then I began to shadow other BFPC’s throughout the state. Let’s just say Arkansas is so lucky to have so many amazing BFPC’s. I got to spend a lot of time with Millie since she and I would be sharing clinical duties. She always encouraged me to learn as much as I can. That’s exactly what I did. Even when she and I weren’t working together in the same building, we were always working together for the big picture purpose of lactation support in our area. Millie has gone on to become an IBCLC and she’s supported my journey to becoming and IBCLC. She pushes me to be the best, she challenges me to think outside the box and she encourages me to finish my dream of becoming and IBCLC. We often joke that we are Breasties. It’s totally true. It’s a friendship and comradery that I can’t match to any other. I am forever grateful and blessed to have worked with you Millie Goins. Your bright personality and love for people is one I am constantly impressed by. So in honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I raise my glass to you today Millie, my Breastie. 

Authored by: Sondra Rodocker