Meet SDBFC's Newest Lactation Consultant - Nicole Kreps!

We are so thrilled to introduce you to our newest lactation consultant at SDBFC! Nicole Kreps joined us on April 10th and started to see her own patients on May 8th. Here is my interview with Nicole.  I can't wait for you all to meet her!

Nicole, tell us about yourself!

I was born in New Jersey but raised in the Los Angeles area. After high school I moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State University where I graduated with my Bachelors of Science in Nursing.  I worked as an RN in the Emergency Department, Intensive Care Unit, Recovery Room and as a critical care transport nurse. I have 6-year-old twin boys and a 4 year old daughter. After my youngest was born I took a couple years off to be a full time mom. I eventually complete my Lactation Consultant training at UCSD Extension and am happy to now be working in a field that I am passionate about.

 

What inspired you to become a lactation consultant?

I faced several challenges in attempting to breastfeed my twins. I was at the point when I thought I was going to quit, but then I remembered that I had been given the phone number for a lactation consultant. Working with her was a turning point for me. She was an important piece of my support network as a new mother. I would like to pay it forward and help other mothers overcome their challenges.

What are you most excited about working for the SDBFC?

I am excited to be part of a group of lactation consultants that are compassionate and knowledgeable. The SDBFC has a strong reputation and therefore also has a wide reach on the population of new mothers in San Diego. I have the potential to help a lot of people reach their breastfeeding goals.

What are your top 3 tips for a brand new breastfeeding mama?

  1. Surround yourself with supportive people. Whether it is friend or  breastfeeding support group being able to relate to other people who know what your are going through can be very therapeutic.

  2. When people offer to help, take them up on it. Having someone bring dinner or lunch is always a great idea. Keep your body nourished. Breastfeeding is hard work!

  3. Cut yourself some slack. We all have an idealistic image of how we would be as a parent and you will be getting lots of advice about what your “should” be doing. No one is perfect. We are all doing the best that we can. Do what works for you. Just keep trying and keep moving forward.

Welcome to the team, Nicole!

IRC Donation Drive Success!

Written by Anna Choi, BS, IBCLC

On March 1st, we asked our community of mothers, families, and friends to help us #givehope to refugee families in San Diego by supporting our effort to collect diapers and women’s hygiene kits for the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. Our initial goal was to collect 500 diapers and 50 hygiene kits in 50 days. Within the first ten days, we had surpassed our diaper goal and were overwhelmed with gratitude as more diapers and hygiene kits continued to be delivered to our office throughout the following weeks. We are thrilled to announce that our final totals were as follows:

3,050 Diapers

40 Women’s Hygiene Kits

$400 in Walmart/Target Gift Cards

We appreciate the generosity of everyone who donated during our collection drive and feel very fortunate to work with such a wonderful community of people. 

On Friday, April 28th, we delivered the donations to IRC staff, at their office on University Avenue, and were greeted with smiling faces and words of gratitude. Elated to see the many boxes and packages of diapers, IRC staff happily restocked their supply room shelves as they discussed how helpful it is to have diapers readily available for refugee families in need. Sainab Warsame, Immigration Case Manager at the IRC, was quick to comment on how nicely put together the women’s hygiene kits were and let us know of her plans to hand out a few of the kits to recently arrived Congolese refugee women on Monday, at the IRC’s Vocational ESL class.

Sainab Warsame, Immigration Case Manager, Anna Choi, and Piper Choi

Sainab Warsame, Immigration Case Manager, Anna Choi, and Piper Choi

“The hygiene kits will also be given to many women the day they arrive so that they have what they need to hold them over until we take them on a bigger shopping trip,” Chris Williams, Resettlement Director for the IRC in San Diego, tells us.

Chris Williams, Resettlement Director at IRC San Diego, Anna Choi, and Piper Choi

Chris Williams, Resettlement Director at IRC San Diego, Anna Choi, and Piper Choi

If you would like more information about how to make a one-time, or monthly, donation to the IRC in San Diego, please visit: https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-san-diego-ca?ms=ws_resq_top_nav_btn_161010&initialms=ws_resq_top_nav_btn_161010

The San Diego Breastfeeding Center is also happy to continue to collect diapers throughout the year, to be delivered to the IRC on a quarterly basis. Diapers must be in sealed, manufacturer’s packaging in order to be accepted for donation. Larger sized diapers [sizes 4-6] are always in high demand and appreciated.

Thank you again for helping us show our support for refugee families in San Diego!

Meet SDBFC's Newest IBCLC - Debbie Murai!

We are so thrilled to introduce you to our newest lactation consultant at SDBFC! Debbie Murai joined us on March 6th and will be doing office visits starting today!  Here is my interview with Debbie.  I can't wait for you all to meet her!

 

Debbie, tell us about yourself!

I was born and raised in Southern California and grew up in Orange County. I moved to San Diego after marrying my high school sweetheart, Mark. I attended San Diego State University and enjoyed working at the Fallbrook Community Clinic. One month after graduating from the nursing program at SDSU I gave birth to my first child, Kyle. About 2 years later I had my daughter Katie and 5 years after Katie I had my third child, Miles.  I really enjoyed being home raising my kids, but I always had the desire to return to nursing when they went off to college. Now that my youngest child is attending college, I am looking forward to helping moms start their journey into motherhood too!

 

What inspired you to become a lactation consultant?

While  working at the community clinic in Fallbrook, I really enjoyed working with mothers and babies and this first sparked my interest in helping moms with their breastfeeding issues.  When I had my three children and dealt with the challenges and triumphs of breastfeeding, I knew when I would go back to the nursing profession, I would make lactation my focus.  

 

What are you most excited about working for the SDBFC?

I am excited about being able to help moms meet their breastfeeding goals. I am also really excited about working in the San Diego community.

 

Debbie family photo 2.jpg

What are your top 3 tips for a brand new breastfeeding mama?

1. For the first few weeks, ask for help with cooking and cleaning from your friends and family when they visit.  Spend as much time as you can connecting with your baby instead of doing chores.

2.  Trust your instincts.  There will be friends and family giving you advice with the best of intentions.  You can always listen to them, but do what works best for you and your family.

3.   Try to meet other new moms either through a breastfeeding support group or play group so you have other moms to get together with and share experiences.    

 

Welcome to the team, Debbie!

Donate to the SDBFC Foundation just by shopping on Amazon!

Donate to the SDBFC Foundation just by shopping on Amazon!

DO YOU LOVE SHOPPING ON AMAZON?

Did you know that you can donate to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center Foundation with every purchase you make through Amazon?

You can help low-income women gain access to critical breastfeeding support just by purchasing Amazon items online.

Wondering how to do this?

Read More

Donation Drive to Support the International Rescue Committee of San Diego

Anna Choi, BS, IBCLC

Here at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, we love women; we love moms; we love our community. And perhaps most of all, we love helping the women and mothers in our community. When we heard about the recent travel ban put forth by President Trump’s Executive Order, we knew it was time to reach out to our friends at the International Rescue Committee of San Diego to see what we could do to help. In our discussions with IRC San Diego staff, we learned about the devastating effects the Executive Order was having [and would continue to have] on the ability of the IRC to provide support and basic necessities for refugee families who have resettled in San Diego.  As we read about the decision of the U.S. Appeals Court to uphold the suspension of the Trump travel ban, we celebrated with our friends at the IRC. 

David Miliband, President and CEO of the IRC, tells us:

“We are grateful that we can get back to work resettling refugees who have fled the terrors of war and violence, while also caring for those who remain trapped in conflict zones. As this ruling will almost certainly be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, in the meantime, the IRC remains committed to serving our refugee clients here in the U.S. and in more than 40 countries around the world.”

What does this decision mean for the IRC? It means that refugee resettlement cases that were put on hold due to the travel ban can now continue to move forward. Families who have spent years in refugee camps, fleeing war and oppression, can once again look forward to a new life in a safe community. For the IRC San Diego Resettlement Team specifically, it means the arrival of 78 new refugees in the coming days, weeks, and months. Those arriving in San Diego include wives reuniting with husbands, children with parents, brothers with sisters, and friends with friends. It also means an increased need for donations and support from the community. That’s where we, at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center, and you, come in!

Some of the more common needs of the IRC San Diego [aside from monetary donations, which you can contribute here: https://help.rescue.org/donate/us-san-diego-ca ] are diapers and women’s hygiene kits. Those arriving in San Diego include three 2-year olds, two 1-year olds, and several pregnant women. As mothers ourselves, we know firsthand how expensive diapers are, and what an impact the expense can make for those on a fixed income. The first few days in San Diego are very transitionary for newly arriving refugees, and as permanent housing and living expenses are arranged, it can be very helpful for IRC staff to have hygiene kits on hand to distribute, helping newly arrived refugees get through their first few days in a new place. 

So, we’ve challenged ourselves to collect 500 diapers and 50 women’s hygiene kits in 50 days. Donated diapers can be any brand and any size, in unopened packages. Hygiene kits should include the following items: 

  • 10+ sanitary pads
  • wet nap towelettes
  • kleenex
  • deodorant
  • soap
  • lotion
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • toothbrush/toothpaste
  • $10 Walmart Gift Card

Today is day 1. Here is a picture of the hygiene kit I created to give you an idea of what the finished product looks like. Kits can include travel sized portions of the above items, or full sized containers, packaged into a gallon ziploc bag or a grocery bag.

Having visited the IRC San Diego offices and spoken with staff members, I can’t tell you enough how much these donations are appreciated and needed. All donations can be dropped off at our weekly Breastfeeding Support Group, held at our office in Hillcrest {3355 4th Ave SD 92103} every Wednesday from 11:30am-1pm. We will also have a Saturday donation collection on Saturday, March 25th from 10am-12pm, also at our Hillcrest office {3355 4th Ave SD 92103}. The last day to drop off donated items is April 19, 2017.  We hope you will help us reach our goal and stand with us as we support the refugee women and mothers in our local community.