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#MilkyGoodness: Journey to IBCLC

Becoming a doula was always about helping families enter into their parenting in healthy, nurturing ways. I think about what was poured into me and want to do that for others. After many years of guiding families I knew there would come a time to transition into the work I was meant to do. I love birth, but there is so much more we leave untouched after delivery. Postpartum.

I've dreamed of creating a community and levels of support for families to connect with community-led services to aid parents with necessary assessments, referrals, resources, and in-home guidance. My first attempt was NOURISH. I partnered with Chocolate Milk Cafe to create 4 peer support groups across the state. With anything new, we did a great job creating a virtual community during COVID-19. Since then I've parted ways with a few organizations supporting these efforts and took a hiatus to reevaluate what is next. My dream never went away.

After my miscarriage, I noticed I was lactating. I watched the milk come from my body, and that pain sparked a reality. How alone I felt in that moment. What would my journey be like as a lactating parent? Sweet Milk and Oats stood on the backburner for a year, and here I was, ready to bring it to light. I'd put so much positive energy into this initiative. I created a budget, guides, posts, purchased tools, held training...the list goes on. I fell in love with lactation again. I decide to pursue becoming an IBCLC. Why not? It's not just about lactation but cultivating the entire postpartum experience. Creating unique care, services, and education for families, not limiting it to breastfeeding. I'm big on nutrition, postpartum doula services, and workshops (I call them 'skill centers' because I love creating that don't center a singular person as the knowledge holder). I also thought about how I could engage organizations and businesses to create more family-friendly workspaces. My dreams grew, and I could be more excited for the rollout.

This year, as I continue to work through my dissertation, grow the Double Up Food Bucks program (yes, I have a full-time job at a non-profit that I love), and create meditation and movement spaces, I will introduce you more to Sweet Milk and Oats. I can't wait for you to join this #MilkyGoodness.

"Sweet milk and oats" is a popular phrase to describe a traditional remedy or diet believed to help increase breast milk supply in lactating mothers. Oats are known to be a galactagogue, meaning they have properties that can help stimulate milk production. "Sweet milk" refers to the nutrient-rich breast milk a mother produces for her baby. Therefore, the phrase "sweet milk and oats" is often used in the context of promoting a healthy diet for lactating mothers to support adequate milk production for their babies.

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