I’m so thrilled to introduce you to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center’s newest lactation consultant! Ashley Treadwell joined us on September 1st and will be doing home visits and joining me at our weekly support group in South Park on Wednesdays!
Here’s my interview with Ashley. I can’t wait for you all to meet her!
Ashley, tell us a little about yourself.
I am a San Diego native, and in fact live only about ¼ mile from the house I grew up in. I walk my kindergartner to the same elementary school I went to. I graduated high school and left to go to school at UC Davis, returned to San Diego upon graduation. Soon after, I met my husband, Tim, a member of the military. Shortly after we started dating, he was discharged from the Navy and began his education, starting in Humboldt, CA for his undergrad degree and ending in NY for his graduate degree and I tagged along for all of it! We lived in a few different places over the next 8 years. My favorite was our 1.5 year stay in Brooklyn, NY, where my first daughter was born. Though I was so happy to return to my hometown of San Diego in early 2009, I am so grateful for the experience of living in different places around the state and country.
I’m a mom of 2 girls, ages 2 and 5 and love to spend time with my family, both at home and around town at many of the beautiful spots San Diego has to offer. I’m so grateful for my wide circle of mama friends who provide a huge amount of social support and advice – I’d be lost without them. During the times I’m not chasing my two girls around, I enjoy running and exercise, cooking, and reading.
Tell us a little about your breastfeeding experiences with your girls.
My first was a very rocky start – I gave birth in a large hospital in Brooklyn, NY and the only Lactation Consultant on staff was in a car accident the morning I gave birth to my daughter. We had challenges breastfeeding in the hospital for over two days, resulting in bleeding and cracked nipples and a large dose of anxiety surrounding breastfeeding. I saw a private IBCLC upon returning home and she was a huge help. After a few more days of pain while feeding (probably from residual damage), I decided to pump and exclusively bottle feed my daughter breastmilk. I felt good that she was getting her nourishment from me but always felt I was missing out on the experience of breastfeeding. With the help of the same IBCLC, after four and a half months, my daughter was able to transition to exclusively breastfeed and I got to put away the dang pump! She nursed until 14 months.
My experience with my second went much smoother and after a few days of getting the hang of things, she nursed until a year when I weaned her due to supply issues. I experienced a large dip in supply when I returned to work, a challenge I hadn’t met with my first as I was home with her until she was 2. It was a challenge to pump what she needed while I was away from her, but I feel that I learned so much from that experience.
What inspired you to become a lactation consultant?
You! I am so inspired by all you’ve done to help mamas here in San Diego. I was so saved by the help of the IBCLC in Brooklyn with my first, and then again with your help with my second, I decided that I wanted to learn how to help moms in the same way. The months following the birth of a baby are such an intensely exciting and emotional time and I’m looking forward to supporting moms during this period.
What are you most excited about working for the San Diego Breastfeeding Center?
Helping moms! I think one of the things that is lacking in our culture is the idea of a “tribe” – a group of women to help a new mom navigate the first few months (and beyond) of her new role as a mother. I am excited to be able to provide this for women in San Diego.
What are your top 3 tips for a brand new breastfeeding mama?
- Take one feeding at a time. Know that with time and patience, things will get better and easier!
- Enjoy your baby. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of your new role and the anxieties with breastfeeding, so take time to relax and enjoy this new bundle of love.
- Seek help! Other mamas, sisters, mothers, aunts – they’ve all been through this. And when it seems the problems are too complicated and the advice isn’t helping, contact an IBCLC.
Welcome to the team, Ashley!!!