Featuring today’s article is Sylvia Boyd IBCLC, PT, LCCE. Sylvia is a Lactation Consultant and owner of Sylvia’s Lactation Office, located in Hayward, California. Aside from being a consultant, Syliva is also a Lamaze instructor and a physical therapist which is where her passion to educate and help parents about their choices in birth and breastfeeding come from. This, along with experience, gave her extensive knowledge of both the labor and birthing process and she knows how much birth can affect breastfeeding and this is what separates her from other lactation consultants.
Every consultant has different approach in giving their service as a consultant. For Sylvia, she looks for physical issues that may be hindering a mom’s success with breastfeeding such as tension due to a traumatic birth. She explains that this is something that can be alleviated with physical therapy on the baby to allow them to feed better. It is rare that the problems lie with the mother.
Her greatest achievement as a consultant was being able to assist the 2nd generation of babies whose mothers she once helped when they were infants.
According to her, the biggest mistake parents make is not enough preparation. She explains that birth preparation is more than just learning how to breathe. There are so many changes that occur within a woman’s body as they create a new life that having a comfortable birthing experience can be difficult. To fix this problem, she encourages mothers especially new expectant mothers to research their options in regards to what kind of care they will receive based on where they decide to give birth. They are their own best advocate. Even with all the help, at the end of the day, they still know themselves better than anyone else so it's up to them to choose their best option. Whatever that option is, Sylvia will definitely be there to help every step of the way.
This year, she plans on teaching more parents about birth and breastfeeding in addition to post birth child care.
So how did she get involved with this business? Sylvia tells us that when she was an intern at UCSF, her mentor would talk about her Lamaze classes which inspired her to become a Lamaze instructor herself. As she helped new moms and dads throughout the years she found that they also had challenges with parenting and breastfeeding.
She acquired her IBCLC license to become a lactation consultant so she could further help new mothers. Even after 40 years of working with numerous couples, her enthusiasm has continued and made her very happy.
As a lactation consultant, Sylvia shares her best breastfeeding tip: “Skin to skin is so important and the best way to stimulate the mother’s milk post birth in addition to making breastfeeding easier for the baby. I would recommend doing skin to skin immediately after birth for at least 1-2 hours uninterrupted.”
Sylvia studied extensively with Upledger Institute on Cranial Sacral Therapy in addition to training to obtain her IBCLC license in 2000. She has flexible hours to help mothers who have complications at the start of breastfeeding or those who need guidance on how to handle breastfeeding/pumping at work.
In addition to this, she also offers a free Mommy & Me support group within her community in the San Francisco Bay Area.
To end this interview, Sylvia simply says “My passion for assisting mothers hasn’t waned over the passage of time and every time I learn that a baby has been able to successfully breastfeed, it brings joy to my heart.”