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Tera Sheetz

IBCLC

Year of Certification

2015

Special Interests

NICU
Under/Over Supply
Special Needs/Weight Challenges

Language Spoken

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

Breastfeeding my own children was a natural choice for me, however, I struggled as a  mother with my oldest and a lack of support and knowledge.  I was sent home with a hand pump and ZERO education on breastfeeding/pumping.  My first night after delivering him, I was alone and the nurses took him to perform a weight check, they brought him back and told me he was hungry.  I looked at them with a fear and uneasiness I was sure they felt, but they handed him to me and walked away.  He cried, I cried and the feeling of defeat crept in when he would not latch.  I picked up the call light and a nurse came in.  I explained I was struggling to get him to latch and she said I can give him formula, and just like that she took him to the nursery and I did not see him again for 4 hours.  I was young, insecure and unsure of my goals.  I knew I wanted to provide breast milk, but I was unsure what that looked like for me.  I was able to provide milk for about 6 weeks.  After this experience I was more determined than ever to provide milk for my future children!

What excites you most about being an IBCLC?

It is exciting for me to use my knowledge and skill set to empower families while assisting them to reach their breastfeeding goals. 

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

NICU, Home Health, Outpatient, Mother/baby inpatient unit

What makes up your family (people & pets)?

I have 5 children, 2 dogs, and a parrot (the parrot is the loudest member in the family!)

What do you enjoy doing while not at work?

I love the outdoors, reading, sports, and spending time with my family.

Please share any additional education or certifications you have.

I am a registered nurse

What state do you reside in?

Iowa

When did you know you wanted to become an IBCLC?

After working in the NICU for several years and noting the lack of breastfeeding/pumping support to families.  

Why did you become an IBCLC?

I became an IBCLC after noting a significant lack of support for breastfeeding/pumping mothers in the preterm or ill term infant.   I have made it my own personal goal to do whatever I can to assist these mothers meet their goals for themselves and their infants.

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

Set goals.  When you begin your breastfeeding journey, set goals for yourself.  My job as an IBCLC is purely to assist you in meeting your goals-whatever they may be.  Goals change and I will change my recommendations with those goals.  There is nothing sweeter than helping a family meet the goals they set! 

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