Meet Stephanie Johnson, IBCLC, MPHMar 24, 2021
By: Alexis Wheeler
Stephanie Johnson, board-certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), gives us an inside look at the comprehensive approach to assisting families with lactation care.
Read her thoughts below:
Alexis: What made you become involved in telemedicine?
Stephanie: In some ways telemedicine sort of fell into my lap. I had recently had my second baby and was anxious to stay current in the field of lactation. I started to look for positions that would give me the flexibility of working from home because I was desirous to stay mostly home with my 2 young children. I was familiar with telemedicine from the time I had spent working at a WIC breastfeeding clinic and knew it was a great way to reach moms who had difficulty coming to the clinic for their appointments. When I came across a position to do telehealth visits with breastfeeding moms, I knew it was the perfect opportunity. It provides me a way to stay engaged and active in helping mothers and also a way for moms to more easily take advantage of the help that IBCLCs provide.
Alexis: Do you believe the COVID-19 pandemic eased the applicability to gain access to your services?
Stephanie: Even before Covid-19 I feel like our lactation services were well utilized. However, I do feel Covid-19 brought telehealth to center stage and normalized the telehealth experience.
Alexis: Should I see a Lactation Consultant before birth?
Stephanie: Seeing an IBCLC before birth is a great idea. It helps a lot to normalize what your breastfeeding experience will be like in the first few days and weeks and it also helps to establish rapport with someone. Then, if you run into any troubles or have questions you know exactly who to reach out to the moment those concerns arise. Early breastfeeding help can make a huge difference in breastfeeding outcomes.
Alexis: How can an IBCLC help me through my pregnancy + postpartum journey?
Stephanie: I feel as an IBCLC my main goal is to listen to your concerns. I try not to be overly prescriptive in my approach to working with a new mom. I know there is always a lot on a mom's plate and a lot of emotions that surround a woman's breastfeeding experience. I see myself as a mother's advocate, confidant, and support throughout her entire breastfeeding journey. I hope she will feel trusted in the process and always know I'll provide a listening ear and evidence-based guidance.
Alexis: What resources or teaching materials do you provide at a visit?
Stephanie: Depending on the nature of the mother's concerns I try to provide specific guidance and education that helps to best answer her questions. Sometimes this involves showing different positions with a baby doll or showing a mom how her pump should work. Each visit is unique and specific to that mother's questions and concerns.
Alexis: When should I call a Lactation Consultant?
Stephanie: There's no concern that's too little or too insignificant. If you find yourself googling breastfeeding information and finding a million different answers chances are there's an IBCLC who can help you sift through all that you've been trying to learn about in a simpler way that will get you on track to have success in your experience.
Alexis: What is something you want our readers to know about you?
Stephanie: I love connecting with mothers and that is why I do what I do. Motherhood is one of the most exciting, vulnerable, and overwhelming adventures I've ever undertaken. My main goal in every visit aside from answering and listening to a mother's primary questions and concerns is to leave her feeling empowered and confident in braving her motherhood journey.
When you need an extra level of support to help solve your biggest breastfeeding worries, Sonder Health’s board certified lactation consultants are here to help.
So stay comfy in your favorite pair of sweats, and don’t worry about trying to schedule an in-office appointment (in between nap time, playtime, and feeding time).