Combining Lactation and Maternal Nutrition

Today, I'm thrilled to introduce a new guest blogger, Lindsey Hurd, MS, RD, LDN, IBCLC.  Lindsey is the owner of Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition, LLC, a business in Wilmington, NC that specializes in perinatal nutrition and lactation services.   Over the next several months, Lindsey will be sharing her brilliant knowledge about breastfeeding and nutrition, including multiple articles about breastfeeding children who have food intolerances.  

Before Lindsey starts writing her monthly articles, we wanted our readers to have the opportunity to get to know her first.  Welcome to our blog, Lindsey!  We are so excited to have you share your passion and expertise!

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Tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Lindsey Hurd and I am a registered dietitian (RD) and board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) working in private practice in Wilmington, NC. My business, Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition, LLC, specializes in providing perinatal nutrition and lactation services. Consultations are offered in a home or office setting. Skype consults are available for families who are not local or are in need of flexible scheduling. Locally, I offer grocery store tours to instruct families on how to navigate their food selection and how to prepare foods that taste good and fall within their nutritional goals. Overall, I am here to support moms and babies, uniquely catering my advice and suggestions to fit their needs. Families trust Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition to provide specialized counseling for food sensitivities in baby, gestational diabetes, lactogenic (foods that enhance milk supply) meal planning, and nutrition support from infancy through preschool.

My journey began with an undergraduate degree in Exercise Science. In learning about the powers of exercise, I found a passion for instructing individuals on the role of nutrition, the biggest contributor to one’s overall wellbeing. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I continued to expand my knowledge in health and wellness by completing a Master of Science in Nutrition and a program in dietetics to become a Registered Dietitian. To provide comprehensive care from preconception through preschool, I chose to become an IBCLC, the expert in lactation support. I completed the Mary Rose Tully Training Initiative through the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute at UNC- Chapel Hill and successfully passed the boards, fulfilling my goal for the future. With my career path set, I continued to work in nutrition and lactation for more than 4 years.

 

Why did you decide to focus on perinatal, postpartum, and pediatric nutrition?

I quickly became fascinated with perinatal and pediatric nutrition as I progressed through my studies. The most noteworthy experience was completing my master’s practicum with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in private practice. I fell in love with her job and was amazed at the impact she had on infant nutrition. I immediately realized that I would never find another profession to fulfill my aspiration of providing families with the tools necessary to find their perfect balance of health and happiness. I truly believe this stage of life ‘chose’ me!

From establishing childhood eating habits to the physical demand of sustaining a pregnancy, family planning naturally becomes one of the most important seasons in our lives. Offering education, counseling, and individualized support to those who wish to make the most of this opportunity fills my heart with joy. I am motivated to improve my practice daily to better serve families needs, large or small. Currently, I am very active on Facebook, posting educational resources, up to date research, and a little something fun every now and then. I enjoy connecting with my followers who simply wish to further educate themselves or find a little motivation to continue achieving their goals. Clients teach me how their passion and determination can improve personal habits, overcome speed bumps, and create a ‘new normal’ with the ideal support in place. I am honored to receive an invitation into the lives of each family as a trusted resource in helping them meet their feeding goals. 

 

What role does nutrition play in breastfeeding and making milk?

From flavor learning and brain development to boosting milk supply, each bite directly affects baby from conception to weaning, and some even argue beyond. Enhancing maternal nutrition to balance foods mom needs with foods she loves will directly change the outcome for mom and baby alike. Nutrition plays a huge role in our lives beginning with the first feeding at the breast to the last bite of your favorite meal - mine would be ground honey almond butter on fresh bread from our local bakery! On a physiological level, pregnancy and lactation are two of the largest periods of nutrient demand for a woman’s body. Naturally, it makes great sense to say nutrition plays a strong role in maintaining the health and wellbeing of a mother and her baby. The two are largely connected throughout the perinatal period with mom’s diet providing the foundation for baby to grow in pregnancy. 

Lactation quickly follows this period, requiring enough nourishment to triple the baby’s growth within the first year and establishing his or her immunity throughout the first two years of life! Beyond providing nutrients for baby, mom must also support the needs of her own body. Fortunately, a woman’s body is built to increase the absorption of nutrients, the efficiency of energy metabolism, and to put the baby’s needs first, ensuring optimal development.  What does this mean for the mom’s body you might say? It means that she must increase her awareness of proper nutrition to keep this well-established process functioning at full capacity! This is often easier said than done, especially as a family multiplies. This is where I feel the most effective in my practice, bringing clarity and assurance to women as they progress through the childbearing years. 

 

What type of guidance do you offer to breastfeeding moms whose babies are dealing with food intolerances?

Food sensitivities in our littlest ones can often be a challenging and stressful event for families. The sudden onset, the varying symptoms, and the persistent nature make this speed bump hard to navigate for families in today’s society.  I found a need for diving deeper into food intolerance within the breastfed baby and toddler as I saw more and more families struggle with elimination diets, unnecessarily removing critical foods, and navigating the world of food selection with restrictions. In hopes of enhancing my understanding, I completed a certificate of training in food allergy management and many days of self-study to learn how milk transfers food components from mom’s diet and how maternal and infant immunity play a role in the progression of sensitivities. My goal with each family is to educate moms on how to restore balance, to find replacement meals for foods they love, to honor breastfeeding, and to get baby symptom free. Overall, I am here to support moms and babies - uniquely catering my advice and suggestions to fit their needs.

 

What type of services do you offer?

Angel Food Lactation & Nutrition, LLC offers nutrition and lactation assessments for the whole family. Skype/web based consultations are available for those who are unable to schedule a direct face-to-face visit, or wish to have flexible scheduling.  Have more availability after bedtime? Wish to schedule on a weekend or when both parents are home? Want to schedule, but live in another state? This offering is best for you! Consults are held in the comfort of your own home, using your preference of video chat or voice only.

Classes, small group consultations, and professional seminar presentations are additional ways Angel Food Lactation and Nutrition, LLC, aims to serve those interested in nutrition and lactation for families local to the Wilmington NC area.

 

Want to know more about these topics? The how, what, and when? Stay tuned for more posts to come and visit my webpage www.angelfoodlactationandnutrition.com for individualized counseling to meet your unique goals.