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Jennifer Willeford

IBCLC

Year of Certification

2014

Special Interests

Under/Over Supply
Back to work
Special Needs/Weight Challenges

Language Spoken

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

Breastfeeding has become an important part of my journey as a mother and IBCLC. I have breastfed three beautiful boys all with their own unique struggles and challenges. I am looking forward to continuing learning through my own breastfeeding experiences with a fourth boy. I breastfed my first never knowing where this would all lead but breastfed him until he was two and my second until he was three. My third son was born with some congenital conditions including a cardiac condition that once again challenged me and added to my drive for helping other families through their lactation journey.

What excites you most about being an IBCLC?

I love working with mother and baby dyads and watching mothers and families become empowered through their breastfeeding journey. Learning to trust their instincts and body and what works best for them. No two families are the same and finding your own path in raising a family is life changing.

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

Hospital, Clinic, Outpatient, Home Visiting and Telehealth

What makes up your family (people & pets)?

I am a mother of three boys ages 12, 10 and 1 with another boy on the way with a loving partner and dad to our boys. Our family has a small backyard chicken coop and a small mixed breed dog.

What do you enjoy doing while not at work?

I love to garden in the summer, bake and cook and in the winter attempt to cross country ski and go ice fishing.

Please share any additional education or certifications you have.

I have a bachelor's degree in Counseling and Health Science and a master's degree in Special Education. 

What state do you reside in?

Alaska

When did you know you wanted to become an IBCLC?

After the birth of my first son, I had immediate complications in our breastfeeding journey. After working with a nurse and overcoming some obstacles I knew that I wanted to pursue my certification as an IBCLC. Working at many different levels of lactation education and counseling allowed me to become passionate about working with moms and babies. 

Why did you become an IBCLC?

I saw how valuable a lactation professional could be and wanted to give back to other families and continue the work in our community in promoting lactation care, education and advocacy.

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

Every parent should follow their instincts and know they don't have to have all the answers. Loving your child and reaching out for help and finding tools and tricks and tips that are useful is so beneficial to not feeling isolated during such big life changing transitions. Even the small hiccups can feel big and using all the resources can be so helpful.

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