new lactation consultant

Meet SDBFC's Newest Lactation Consultant - Ashley Tehrani!

We are so thrilled to introduce you to our newest lactation consultant at SDBFC! Ashley Tehrani joined our team in September 2017, as our Wednesday Breastfeeding Support Group leader and our Social Media Coordinator. After over a year of clinical hours and course work, Ashley is now ready to see her own patients at SDBFC and we couldn’t be more excited! We can't wait for you all to meet her!


Ashley, tell us about yourself!

I grew up in Southern California and moved to San Diego to attend SDSU in 2008. I enjoy playing beach volleyball, fastpitch softball, hiking, reading and a good television show. I love to travel and hope to visit more spots within the U.S in the coming years. I had my daughter in 2015 and was introduced to the amazing community surrounding conception, birthing and postpartum that we have in San Diego.

What inspired you to become a lactation consultant?

The birth of my daughter definitely thrust me into this passion for supporting breastfeeding/lactating families. I had no idea the changes, challenges, happy moments and sad moments that being pregnant and becoming a parent would bring. I am so thankful to have had expert lactation support while in the hospital when my daughter was born, and for being directed by online support groups to the San Diego Breastfeeding Center for when I needed help later on. I was fortunate to be able to stay home with my daughter for the first few years, but found myself wanting to begin working again. The birth of my daughter and many encouraging friends and family helped me to begin my slow progression towards becoming an IBCLC.


What are you most excited about working with SDBFC?

I am excited to join a group of practitioners who are highly trained and well versed in breastfeeding and in supporting families. I am thankful for this opportunity and look forward to learning from these amazing IBCLCs and from the amazing families I will work with. I look forward to helping new families navigate breastfeeding and parenthood.


What are you top 3 tips for a brand new breastfeeding family?

  1. While pregnant, go to breastfeeding support groups (especially if you’ve never really seen people breastfeed), visit with an IBCLC prior to having baby, have an appointment with an IBCLC booked for a week or so after baby is born, bring your partner or support person along for all of this – they will likely be the one there most while you are breastfeeding in the early weeks giving you encouragement and support. 

  2. Ask for, and or accept offered help (breastfeeding or not, new to parenthood or ‘old pros’…help is essential).  This was a personal struggle I dealt with early on and still do at times. If you want/need help, there is no shame in asking for it and no shame it putting boundaries around that help (i.e yes, you can bring over a meal for us, but we are trying to settle in so please leave it on the porch). 

  3. If you have challenges with breastfeeding in the beginning it is helpful to remember that this won’t be forever and that you and baby are new to this and learning together.

Welcome to the SDBFC team, Ashley!

Meet SDBFC's Newest Lactation Consultant - Michelle Clookie!

We are so thrilled to introduce you to our newest lactation consultant at SDBFC! Michelle Clookie joined our team in September 2017, as a lactation consultant intern.  Since then, she has joined our SDBFC Foundation Board, is one of our support group leaders, and started to see her own patients on May 7th. Here is my interview with Michelle.  We can't wait for you all to meet her!

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Michelle, tell us about yourself! 

I grew up in Southern California, and moved to San Diego 11 years ago after living in Austin, TX for 2 years. I met my husband, Jeremy, shortly after moving to San Diego and we have been married for 7 years. After 8 years in non-profit, where I focused on training, development and content writing, I decided to stay home with our little girl Charlotte when she turned 1. I fell in love with all things motherhood: the community, the support, and soon starting working for the Postpartum Health Alliance part time to help support Mamas. After having our son, Beckett, who is now two, I realized I wanted to go even further into supporting families. I decided I could combine my love for training, and supporting families, by becoming a lactation consultant. Supporting people through empowerment has always been my passion and my work, and this has by far been the most fulfilling. I work part time and then spend as much time as I can with my kids and husband at the beach! 


What inspired you to become a lactation consultant?

I had breastfeeding challenges with both of my children, and because it was so unexpected with my first baby, it took a long time for me to accept the situation. I tapped into a lot of support, and these struggles allowed me to see an incredibly supportive side of the San Diego mom community.  I quickly began doing all that I could to help normalize breastfeeding and motherhood challenges. This just feels like the most natural next step in my support of all things mom/baby/family. 

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What are you most excited about working with SDBFC? 

I have been a patient of the SDBFC two different times, and I am most excited to offer the same quality care I received to the families I work with. I am also really proud that SDBFC supports so many military families. I have a deep respect for the sacrifices military families make on a daily basis, and I feel honored to be able give back to their families anyway I can. 


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

  1. Surround yourself with people who have similar goals. There are many different ways to parent a child, and I have found it easier to achieve my parenting goals when I surround myself with others who share my same vision. Breastfeeding can bring on unexpected challenges, but when you are surrounded by people that understand your goal, it will be much easier to reach it! 
  2. Have a plan, but keep your expectations flexible. I LOVE planning, and learned within the first 24hrs of parenthood (actually birth) that sometimes your kids have other plans. That’s ok. I have found it much easier to offer myself grace (and others grace) when I am flexible with my expectations. Things may not look the way you wanted them to, but there is still beauty there! 
  3. Ask for help! There is a running joke not to ask me if I need anything, because I will gladly tell you my Costco shopping list. Motherhood wasn’t meant to be done alone, ask for help without shame. San Diego has the most incredible resources for families, if you are in need of support in any way, I can almost guarantee you that there is a loving person waiting to help you! A great place to start making those connections is in Breastfeeding support groups, baby classes (sign language, tummy time etc.), and baby wearing groups!