Anna Choi is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), writer on the topic of breastfeeding, and advocate for breastfeeding families.
Anna completed her lactation consultant training and certification at University of California, San Diego. She also holds a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science from University of California, San Diego. Her interest in working with infants and children began during her undergraduate studies in Psychology when she chose an emphasis in child development, and her passion for helping breastfeeding mothers arose during her own breastfeeding journey.
Anna lives in San Diego, CA with her husband, Frank, and their three daughters, Piper, Paige, and Juniper. She loves traveling, hiking, reading, and going on adventures with her daughters.
When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I knew I was going to breastfeed her. I was naive, however, in my thinking that everything would just happen naturally, and that I didn't need to "prepare" for breastfeeding. I didn't even take a breastfeeding class or read up on what to expect! Looking back now, with all the knowledge I have, I just can't believe the mistakes I made, not setting myself up for success. My husband and I did so much to prepare for the birth: two separate hospital tours, a six week hospital birth class, a twelve week Bradley Method birth class, and a CPR refresher course. Breastfeeding though, I barely thought about it. Needless to say, when my daughter was born, I was ill-equipped to help her breastfeed. I didn't know what to look for in a latch, I wasn't certain how long or how often I should feed her, and I thought the excruciating pain I often felt during feedings was normal. We fumbled our way through the first month and she gained weight fine and my breasts survived. However, it all started to go downhill around the 4-6 week mark when her feedings became increasingly short, her weight gain slowed, and her colicky behavior intensified. As a new Mama, I had no idea where to find support. I took my daughter to her pediatrician, to urgent care, and finally to the ER, because I had no idea who to go to for help with breastfeeding. None of these visits helped us and I was told, "she's not losing weight, babies cry, she's fine." My instincts told me otherwise. Finally, I remembered that I had the business card of an IBCLC who had come to our Bradley Birth class and I called her for help. I can honestly say, she saved our breastfeeding relationship.
After my experience breastfeeding my first daughter, I was impassioned! When my daughter was a little over a year old, I began to research how to become an IBCLC and everything began to fall into place. I really felt as if I had finally found my calling in life. I enrolled in the Lactation Consultant program at University of California, San Diego and loved every minute of it. My internship experience confirmed my desires to be in this line of work and when I passed my board exam, I could not have been happier! Eight days after finding out that I passed my board exam to become an IBCLC, I gave birth to my second daughter. Needless to say, my breastfeeding journey with her was night-and-day different than the journey my first daughter and I took. I knew about all of the great resources available to us, I knew what to expect, what was "normal" versus what was cause for concern, and I was so much better prepared. When we needed help, I got it.
I am thankful for both of the breastfeeding experiences I have had and know that they've made me a compassionate and determined IBCLC. I want to help every breastfeeding woman I meet surpass her breastfeeding goals!