I've been thinking a lot about #life lately and the journey I've taken to get where I am today. If you asked me 10 years ago if I would be fulfilling my life passion or even found my life passion or life calling, my answer would have been much different than how it turned out. Even 5 years ago, I would have told you what my passion was, but not seen myself fulfilling that. Today I can say without any doubt that I am fulfilling my passion and what I was put here on earth to do. Helping families meet their #breastfeeding/#chestfeeding goals is my passion and my calling in life. Had I not had my own children, I would not have discovered this about myself. #Kids are such blessings, and in so many more ways than I can write about here (thats also not the topic of this blog post). I'm so thankful for my own breastfeeding journey and all of the people and families I have met along the way to make me come to the realization that this is what I am here to do. So lets get into 10 reasons (although there are a ton more than just #10reasons) why I love what I do as an IBCLC.
Reason number 1:
I LOVE #babies. Babies are wonderful. I love the smell of their heads and their sweet little faces. I love holding them. I love seeing them grow from these little #infants just a day or two old into #toddlers and then #children. How can you NOT love that?
Reason number 2: I love the vulnerability I get to be experience and be a part of. There is nothing like a fresh new baby and parents bonding with that baby. The look in their eyes. The stress, the anxiety, the happy feelings, the experience of #oxytocin flooding the new nursing parent for the first times. Those first few days are so exhausting. The impact I feel I have on these new families is so great. They are learning their new baby, and their new baby is learning them. The relationship of trust and love is so new and impressionable. I love being a part of all of that and so much more, especially for first time parents.
Reason number 3: The #breast is the baby's new home outside the womb. Teaching #parents this point, helps them realize their breast isn't just their baby's new #food source. Its their baby's comfort, the center of this new world which is full of unfamiliar noises, lights, smells, tastes. Everything out here in this world is new and their bodies are on sensory overload. No wonder babies never want to be put down! The breast allows them to be close and hear the familiar sound of their parents #heart. Skin to skin provides warmth and helps regulate their body systems which never had to work to regulate themselves before. The breast fulfills a baby's need which can be insatiable to simply suckle. Its comforting for them. It helps them feel secure and loved and build that bond between caregiver and baby. Watching that bond forming is absolutely raw and amazing.
Reason number 4: I like to help people meet their #goals in life, especially when it comes to being the parent they want to be.
Reason number 5: I love the people I have met along the way, both on my own #parenting journey as well my #professional journey. I have met some of my best friends and most supportive colleagues through various breastfeeding organizations. What better thing to have in common with people than your life passion and calling?
Reason number 6: I catch many issues other providers do not catch due to time. As an IBCLC I see clients for 2-3 hours at their initial consultation. I don't know any other specialist #provider who spends that amount of time with their client in one sitting and gets to know them on such a personal level. I absolutely love this aspect of my job. Lets be honest and transparent here, that responsibility and weight can be emotionally taxing. However, this aspect of the job is what gives me one of my greatest senses of #satisfaction. This is when the parents come back to me at a later date after they saw the #specialist I referred them out to and thank me for speaking up and helping them advocate for their baby. There is no amount of money which creates that type of feeling when you help a client help their baby.
Reason number 7: Being an #IBCLC challenges me. It challenges me mentally. It challenges me academically. It challenges me as a person, a parent, and a professional. I'm constantly continuing my education to gain more knowledge and become a stronger professional. My parenting has evolved over time as I have learning about why the little humans we birthed do and say some of the things they do. As I grew and continue to grow professionally, I grew and grow personally as well. Though these challenges to varying degrees have been tough, they always improve me once I reach the other side of the challenge.
Reason number 8: I'm required to think outside the box. I've always been someone to find creative solutions to problems or issues in life. This job requires me to use the tools I've been given and tweak them and cater them to the families needs I serve. Sometimes I have to downright go against things I've learned to get parents to where they would like to be or on the path to be where they want to be. This goes along with reason number 7, but I decided to put it as a separate reason and specifically point this out. Not all things are one size fits all in this profession. Each dyad I work with is unique and has unique needs in their care plan.
Reason number 9:
I love how the human body works. Its amazing to me even though I work in this field how the birth parents body, once it delivers the placenta undergoes this whole cascade of hormonal fluctuations which triggers it to begin milk production (in most cases). Its amazing to me that our human bodies can make such perfect little human beings from just two cells with our bodies. The whole process is amazing! The more I learn, the more amazed I am. I hope this never becomes something I become less amazed with. I think its part of the reason I am so passionate about what I do.
Reason number 10: It gives me a huge sense of #gratification to hear at the end of a consultation or weeks, months, or years down the road the impact I had on the amazing families I work with. No amount of money can give me that type of payment. When I hear the feedback that a family made it to their goals or even beyond their goals knowing all the stress, pressure, and anxiety some of them had, my heart just swells. It fills my cup knowing I had such a great impact on them and was able to give them the support they needed at such a pivotal and vulnerable time in their life.