By Kathy Chouteau
Becoming a first-time parent can be daunting, but add to that experience some difficulty breastfeeding, and there’s a whole other set of unique challenges. Fortunately, lifelong Richmond resident Brandi Flores—a pediatric nurse and the mother of four children—is answering the call of parents in need by launching a new self-named business as a lactation consultant.
As an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), Flores offers “a source of support for families that are breastfeeding, chest feeding and needing support and education in human milk for their babies.”
Lactation consultants often work with first-time mothers who are acclimating to breastfeeding their first child, said Flores, and they also help same-sex couples adopting a baby learn how to chest feed with donor milk via the help of a supplemental nursing system (SNS). She added that people also often reach out to a lactation consultant if they’re having difficulty producing milk or breastfeeding.
Flores’ work also extends to offering postpartum doula services, which, after a baby is born, entails helping the mother with her recovery and with the baby, as well as teaching the parents about all-around caring for their baby re: safe sleeping, breastfeeding support, etc.
After experiencing personal challenges breastfeeding her own children, Flores found that she didn’t have anyone to turn to for ongoing support regarding lactation.
Recalling that she “felt very alone” during her breastfeeding journey, Flores said things could have been different for her if she “had that support…someone to say ‘hey…let me come over and show you this is what you do, this is how it’s done. Let me answer your questions.’ It would have been better for me with my own kids.”
“As a mother of four kids, a pediatric nurse, who knows firsthand the struggles of trying to breastfeed [while having] no support, I just want to give back to the community and help in any way that I can and be a source of support that I didn’t have,” said Flores about the impetus for starting her business.
Flores offers her lactation consulting services at people’s homes or via phone, text, email and video support. To inquire about the pricing for her various consulting services, call 510-334-2412 or email [email protected]. She is committed to working with people from all socioeconomic backgrounds, so at times will provide free and sliding-scale lactation support. Flores also accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Signa health insurance.