All of these roles are ones that I dreamed of starting from a young age. I attended babysitting camps and started working in childcare for families at age 11. Throughout my schooling I was a care-taker/nanny and had the opportunity to watch many children grow.
In 2016 I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of San Francisco and began working in San Diego as a nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). It was an honor to have the opportunity to care for the smallest patients. I learned how much strength newborns carry and how to care for many conditions.
In 2018 I was in search of a different work/life balance. The night shift in the NICU was taking a toll on me. I found myself thinking back to my years of babysitting and I wanted a chance to work with kids of all ages. Working in the NICU was such a limited amount of time with the babies, but an outpatient setting would let me watch my patients grow. This led me to School Nursing.
I worked for the San Diego Unified School district as a school nurse from 2018- 2021. The change in schedule was wonderful, and the new role let me get to know the students at each of my schools. Each day I was learning something new but then the pandemic hit. I had extra time working from home, as many of us did, so I began reflecting on my time as a school nurse. The job came with a lot of paperwork and a lot less time working hands on. I was missing the babies I used to work with and wanted to challenge myself.
In 2020 I joined the lactation program at UC San Diego and began my work towards my IBCLC. My classes were about a year of part time studies as I continued to work as a school nurse. In this time I also found out that I was pregnant with my daughter and due in the beginning of 2022. It made for a busy summer/fall but my husband and I were so excited for her arrival.
My daughter was born in January 2022 and I entered into my first breastfeeding relationship. The beginning of our journey had its challenges with latch issues, jaundice and a quick NICU stay for my daughter. I found comfort in support groups and working with a few lactation specialists along the way. Our breastfeeding journey came to an end around 18 months of age. We worked hard to achieve this goal through our later challenges of distracted nursing, biting and weaning. This personal experience gave me a new insight into the breastfeeding relationship and I am forever grateful for the time I had nursing my daughter.
With both personal and professional experience and years of knowledge, I am so excited to expand on this chapter as a lactation consultant. The breastfeeding relationship is all encompassing and working with families to find their groove is so rewarding. There are ups and downs within the journey and I am excited to help you find the joy in it all.