Note: This post was guest written by our IBCLC, Victoria Facelli, but she writes words that ring true for all of the Emerald Doulas.
Wednesdays are my favorite day of the week at Emerald Doulas. In case you haven’t heard: New Parents Hangout is on Wednesdays at 11, and it is awesome. Each week, our office fills with parents, coffee and tea in hand, with their babies. Babies are lugged up in car seats, some showing off a new wrap or baby carrier they just figured out, some walking in fresh off of a stroll on the nearby American Tobacco Trail.
Some breastfeed, some bottle feed. Sometimes we talk about hacking breast pumps, sometimes we talk about birth recovery, sometimes we talk about TV.
You might notice that New Parent Hangout isn’t advertised as a "breastfeeding group". That's an intentional choice. And, it's because Hangout is an extension of everything we do here at Emerald Doulas including one of our most guiding principles: non-judgmental care.
That principle extends into my office, the Lactation Room. We call it the Lactation Room because I am a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and it's true that I do help a lot of people breastfeed. But really, this room is so much more than that. It's really the Baby Feeding Room. Or better yet, the Following-Your-Goals-Not-Mine room. That's because I run a goals-based lactation practice. I support and teach formula feeding. I support exclusive pumping. I support breastfeeding for as long as it feels right to you.
How you feed your baby is extremely personal, and that's why our only goal, whether for birthing or feeding your baby, is to set you up for success and then help you achieve it.
But what success means exactly...that's up to you.
I think this is the most important thing I do. Supporting people in their own decisions and dismantling shame around feeding choices is so important.
While we can’t always determine the culture outside of Emerald Doulas, we do get to build it in here. And, we have consciously chosen to create an affirming culture. Sharing advice and helping each other extends beyond our clients and into our support groups.
So, whether you need help setting up a great plan to pump-on-the-go, so you can exclusively pump but still leave the house, or want help reducing milk because you plan to formula feed, or need a guide to help you figure out which infant feeding choices to work for you: come on in.
That's what a goals based practice means to us and we are here to support you.