RN, BSN, IBCLC
Debbie Murai is a Registered Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Debbie completed her lactation consultant training and certification at the University of California, San Diego. She holds a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from San Diego State University.
Debbie lives in North San Diego County with her husband Mark, their youngest son Miles, and their dog, Yumiko. She enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, gardening, and knitting.
When I was pregnant with my first child I was still in college. I was so busy finishing up my last semester in school, I didn’t really think about preparing to breastfeed even though that was my goal. When my son was born, I thought breastfeeding would come naturally. It didn’t at all and we really struggled those first few weeks. On my second day at home, my breasts became so engorged and painful and I didn’t know what to do. I was also in a lot of pain because his latch was very shallow. I was even unsure how to hold him to breastfeed him. Lactation consultants were not easy to find 27 years ago when I had my first baby so I called my obstetrician and pediatrician for help. My pediatrician was a great help with my engorgement issue and with latching my baby. Breastfeeding became much easier and we really got to know each other and get in sync. It was amazing to me how different my breastfeeding experiences were with each of my children. My daughter was such a quick eater compared to my first son that I thought she was not getting enough. But when I took her in for a weight check, she was gaining weight faster than my son did. When I gave birth to my third child my other 2 kids had the chicken pox. I stayed with my parents for a week until they were no longer contagious, which was great because all I had to do was breastfeed. This really helped us connect and breastfeeding was much easier with him.
I had such great experiences breastfeeding my children, but many of my friends did not and they did not have anyone to turn to for help. This is when I decided I wanted to focus on lactation as a profession. About 10 years ago, I noticed UCSD was offering a lactation consultant program, but I was not able to attend at that time. When my daughter started attending UCSD herself, I saw they were still offering the program and was so excited because the timing was right for me to begin my training. From the first day of my classes and internship I knew I made the right choice to follow my passion in becoming a lactation consultant.