hello world!

Debbie Thenutai


Year of Certification


Special Interests

Establishing, maintaining,
and increasing milk supply;
latch issues; social-emotional support for first-time parents

Language Spoken


Please share anything you'd like from your own personal breastfeeding experience.

When my son was born almost 9 years ago, we were using a nipple shield and supplemented him with a tube and syringe at the breast followed by pumping around the clock for 2 weeks (starting with formula which progressed to expressed breastmilk). My husband and I were at the end of our rope. My son had a lip and tongue restriction released via clipping. I developed mastitis from delayed breast emptying while trying to get out and about (Seahawks training camp practice) with a 2.5 week old while knee deep in feeding challenges. By 6-8 weeks we were rid of the nipple shield and supplementing. My son grew to be a very healthy 6-month-old, at which time a sleep consultant convinced me I had an insufficient milk supply and should wean—we did around 7 months. Fast forward 3.5 years to the birth of my daughter. With all the gained knowledge from baby #1, I felt confident in the skills I had learned. At 9 days old, my daughter also had a lip and tongue restriction released via laser. Aside from a short 24 hour period of supplementing, my daughter exclusively breastfed for 3 years and 3 months. Along this journey I encountered an infant who refused to take a bottle or expressed breastmilk of any kind, pumping at work on the evening shift and missing 3 bedtimes a week at the start of the pandemic, milk blebs, social pressure to wean and nursing an older toddler.

What excites you most about being an IBCLC?

I love the opportunity to help, support and try to simplify life for families at a time when they are exhausted and overwhelmed (I've been there, too!).

In what types of settings have you supported patients in lactation?

Hospital - Mother Baby Unit as a Staff Nurse

Outpatient Postpartum Clinic - Newborn wellness exams and lactation consults as a Lactation Nurse

What makes up your family (people & pets)?

My incredible husband and two kiddos (5 & almost 9).

What do you enjoy doing while not at work?

Spending time with family and friends, long walks with girlfriends to catch up, hiking, book club, Peloton and volunteering at my kiddos' school

Please share any additional education or certifications you have.

BSN and RN

What state do you reside in?


When did you know you wanted to become an IBCLC?

After the birth of my daughter 5 years ago.

Why did you become an IBCLC?

After my own 2 very different breastfeeding experiences, I was drawn to help other families on their breastfeeding and infant feeding journeys.

What do you wish you could tell every parent (that they would actually do) and why?

Listen to your inner voice and heart -- we are in constant conflict with our biology and social structure. Our babies know what they need -- follow their cues, carry them, hold them. We are a carrier animal and our babies belong on our chest (endless skin-to-skin) and in our arms.