Today we have something new for you - we are very excited to interview Leigh Anne O’Connor, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) from New York City. As a private practice lactation consultant, Leigh Anne offers consultations in the comfort of your own home and helps new parents achieve their breastfeeding goals. Leigh Anne offers professional counseling regarding breastfeeding but above all she listens. She listens to her clients’ stories and helps them find their way in the sea of parenting advice from all different sources.
Leigh Anne believes that what separates her from other lactation consultants, is all of her years of hands on experience. She learned from her personal breastfeeding experience, nursing all three of her children, that every baby is different and that each present different challenges and rewards. Leigh Anne practices this approach when working with new parents, explaining and demonstrating to them the best way to handle their baby.
Leigh Anne is a blessing for new parents. She has the ability to put people at ease so it’s easier for new parents to learn to trust their instincts. Teaching others does not only mean being a mentor for her students but it is a way of making herself better, making a difference for other families. Living in New York City, gives her the privilege to have a peek of other people from all over the world, and to see a variety of family situations: traditional families, same sex families, single parents, multi-generational families, adoptive families, multiple babies, tandem nursing families, and so on.
The little things she does which creates a big impact for others, is what Leigh Anne considers her greatest achievement as a consultant. She loves seeing the families she had helped along the way, and feels very proud when the parents says to their child: “this is Leigh Anne, she helped you nurse when you were a baby.” That's when she knows she made a difference.
When asked what is the biggest mistake she sees parents make and how to fix it, she pointed out how so many parents are more fixed on their apps instead of on their babies. She encourages parents to look at their babies, learn to read them – not the apps. Another thing she sees parents do is imposing rigid schedules. She reminds the parents that babies do not read parenting books or looks at their clocks. They are just trying to communicate their basic needs. If she had it her way, she would want parents to find their way and meet the unique needs of their family.
Leigh Anne tells us about Master Classes she developed where she shares her years of experience with new lactation consultants. This is her goal for this year - to develop more educational content for her peers. Aside from the master classes, she also started a VLOG on YouTube – MamamilkandMe where she’s sharing her lactation and parenting tips.
We asked her how she got involved with this business. She recalled how she struggled in the early days of nursing her eldest child. Her sister-in-law encouraged her to attend La Leche League Meeting and this is where she found herself. She felt like she was heard and was doing a good job and from then on she was hooked. She became a La Leche League Leader and fell in love with helping empower new families. She then decided that could be a great career for her so she started studying and attending as much educational opportunities as she could. She passed the IBCLC exam in 2002 and opened her private practice.
Leigh Anne’s best breastfeeding advise: “Find your community of encouraging moms – peer and family support is key to breastfeeding success."
In a final note, Leigh Anne proudly says, “I have always loved babies and I find it a privilege to be in the company of babies on a regular basis. I never stop learning.”
For more information on Leigh Anne O'Connor, you may visit her website at www.leighanneoconnor.com,
www.mamamilkandme.com or www.mamamilkandme.com, call her at (917) 596-3646 or email her at [email protected]