After years of globe-trotting, Theresa’s family put down roots in New Zealand in 2011. Their three children feel very much like Kiwis now, and are in the process of launching into the world of adulting.
Growing up, she lived in all four corners of the USA. After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English Writing and Communications, Theresa worked as a medical/technical writer in Michigan. A uni friend convinced her to take a wildly out-of-character leap in 1994, signing-up to teach English to adult learners in Moscow, Russia. That one-year contract turned into a 17-year deep-dive into the post-Soviet world – including a Russian husband and three bi-lingual children.
Becoming a mother in a country where she could hardly speak the language was a turning point in her career. She became absorbed with the universal experience of matrescence. Her first support group blossomed into an on-line community of more than 200 women, and eventually launched as Russia’s first La Leche League group. When her family moved to Belarus and Ukraine, she established similar support groups in those countries, as well as training local women to serve as peer counselors for their communities.
But the professional achievement she holds most dear is, in 2010, becoming the first IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) in the post-Soviet Union. Then, the following year, mentoring 12 native Russian-speaking women to pass the exam. She still lectures on-line and in-person for the flourishing community of Russian-speaking lactation consultants.
One of her favorite parts of having a multicultural family and traveling widely is seeing how families around the world share so many core values. In particular, she loves digging into the research revealing the biological roots of mothering. And how the infant’s developmental arc drives so many of the puzzling behaviors of the first few years. This interplay between culture, intuition, and biology informs all her work.
What do Lactation Consultants help with?
Lactation Consultants are specialists in infant feeding. This includes providing support and education for families regarding breast, bottle, and solid foods. They also help with a wide variety of feeding difficulties, including: painful feeds, not enough milk (or too much milk), colic & spilling, and all types of unsettled behavior. They also support mums planning a return to work, and educate families about introducing solid foods, and other developmental ages and stages. Concerned about baby’s sleep (or your own)? But also keen to protect your breastfeeding relationship and honor your connection with your child? Please get in touch.
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