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Our Team of Lactation Consultants

Mellanie Sheppard, IBCLC, RLC

I am a board-certified, registered lactation consultant and member of the International Lactation Consultants Association (ILCA), as well as the United States Lactation Consultant Association (USLCA).  I am the proud mother of 3 breastfed children and have been assisting breastfeeding mothers for more than 10 years. After much hard work, I became an IBCLC in 2004.  I have supported breastfeeding mothers and babies in many situations, including low milk supply, tongue-tie, mothers returning to work, adoptive mothers, mothers and babies struggling with latch issues, babies with special needs and multiples.  I love to work with moms in difficult situations that may seem unsolvable to others, so if you have been through other health care providers who have not been able to help with your difficult situation, give me a call. I constantly strive to stay current in breastfeeding research and am constantly gathering new information and techniques to assist breastfeeding mothers and babies.  

Deirdre Cannon, IBCLC, RLC

I have been working with nursing moms since I became a La Leche League Leader in 2005 and became a board-certified lactation consultant in 2009. I am the proud mommy of three beautiful breastfed children. My first son and I struggled greatly to establish our nursing relationship. The struggles I had with him taught me a lot and gave me a desire to help other mothers in similar difficult situations. Nursing was and is one of the most gratifying experiences in my life and I strive to help other moms have similar wonderful experiences. I have assisted moms in all kinds of situations from basic latch issues, low milk supply, returning to work, tongue and lip ties, and even emotional support. Always keeping in mind that every nursing couple is different, I continuously strive to learn as much as I can to help moms and their nurslings. My goal is to help you have the best nursing experience you can have. 

Kara Rosales, IBCLC, RLC

After the birth of my first child I felt intuitively that breastfeeding them was the way we were designed not only to feed our babies, but also to mother and parent them. Seeking support, I attended the For Babies' Sake support meetings when my children were babies, and was constantly in awe over the way Mellanie and Deirdre helped the mothers and babies that came to them. Inspired to support mothers in a similar way, I became a La Leche League Leader and sat for the IBCLC board exam a few years after that. I feel so fortunate to have learned so much through the mentorship Mellanie and Deirdre have graciously given me. I would not be where I am today without their support and guidance. It's a gift for me to be able to help moms overcome any obstacles they may face to reach their own goals in breastfeeding and mothering.

When might you call a lactation consultant? 

    • if you are experiencing persistent nipple pain, cracked or blistered nipples
    • if you have or suspect you may have a breast infection
    • if baby is not able to latch
    • if baby is not gaining an appropriate amount of weight
    • if you have been told to supplement with formula but want to preserve breastfeeding
    • if you want to develop a plan for returning to work
    • if you need a quality, personalized prenatal breastfeeding class
    • if you feel that breastfeeding is just not going well, or you are not enjoying breastfeeding
    • if you suspect baby has a tongue or lip tie
    • if you are planning on inducing lactation for an adoptive baby or a surrogate baby

A visit with a lactation consultant is generally cheaper than the cost of just one month of formula.  It is well worth the investment to seek the help that will allow you to continue to breastfeed, not only to save  the cost of formula, but also for the money you will save in doctor visits, dental care and the priceless emotional and psychological advantages of breastfeeding for both mom and baby. 

Why should you trust us with your breastfeeding journey? 

We know it can be confusing, CLC (Certified Lactation Counselor), LLLL (La Leche League Leader), CLEC (Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor), CBE (Certified Breastfeeding Educator), Lactation Nurses, Baby Nurses, Postpartum Doulas, or others.

Those supporters can be very helpful in the normal course of breastfeeding by telling you what's normal or giving invaluable support. Many of those designations have 2-5 days of training, and usually no hands on clinical experience is required. Some people want to rely on their Pediatrician or OB, but breastfeeding is really not their primary concern or expertise. They also may be looking at just the baby, or just the mom and not the two together.

IBCLC stands for International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. IBCLCs are required to have specific college credits including Nutrition, Anatomy & Physiology, Sociology, Child Psychology, and others. We are also required to have 90 hours of Lactation specific education, and medical courses like Ethics, Medical Documentation, and Medical Terminology. That also includes 500-1000 hours of clinical, hands on experience with mothers and babies. Each of the For Babies' Sake IBCLCs spent 3-5 years earning our certification.

We also have to re-certify with continuing education credits every 5 years. We personally invest our time and income to our continuing education, by choosing conferences and workshops that we feel will benefit the families we serve.

Even if you have seen another IBCLC, we have completed Advanced Level IBCLC courses so that we may be able to offer another perspective. We all have different experiences in our backgrounds that help shape our knowledge base and specialties. Different IBCLCs are able to offer different perspectives and often times a second opinion leads to new solutions. Breastfeeding problems are not always straight forward and are often multifaceted so many issues can be easily missed. Just because your problem persists does not mean breastfeeding is not possible for you; it just means maybe you need to add someone else to your troubleshooting team.

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