Today we’d like to introduce you to Judy Teibloom-Mishkin, RN, IBCLC.
Judy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
At my first RN position in maternal-child health at Evanston Hospital 29 years ago, I met one of the first internationally board-certified lactation consultants, Peg Jansson, and my journey began. I apprenticed with her and became certified within 4 years. I worked for many years in private practice doing home visits as well as in public health. In April, 2011, I established Lactation Partners with my then partner Kathy Lipke who has since retired. Soon after, we were joined by Elizabeth Sjoblom and Joan Kessler and currently we three are the Lactation Partners.
We live in a country that does so very little to support new mothers and babies which makes this work quite compelling. I love everything about lactation consulting; practicing fairly autonomously, being part of a collaborate health care team, doing home visits, looking at moms and babies through the intersection of all the different lenses: the biological, the psychological, the emotional, the physiological. It is demanding, it is rewarding, and it is enriching. I have learned so much from the many moms and babies I have been honored to work with over the years.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I think that the single largest challenge is the one that doesn’t seem to improve; the almost complete lack of social support for new moms and babies in this country.
Research shows that learning to breastfeed is quite difficult in every culture in the world but that most cultures do a much better job supporting moms and teaching moms. It is frustrating to see how little progress we’ve made in the U.S. and yet the demands on young mothers are greater now than ever before.
Another struggle is that with cuts in health care costs, supports to mothers and babies in hospital and at follow up appointments has led to less support and more misinformation than I have seen in previous years. It also troubles me that some people are insensitive in the way that they speak to new mothers and are unaware of the profound and painful impact they can have when speaking to them during this fragile time in their lives.
A personal struggle is work life balance. I am a mother of three sons and have a full life and it’s hard to balance the needs of my family with the needs of my clients and then also try to squeeze in meeting some of my own needs. It’s difficult to practice self-care and yet that is what I teach my clients so I could do better in that.
Another aspect of this stems from the accessibility that technology has provided my patients. I view my role as much like a doula in that I am nurturing the mother so that she is available to nurture her baby. Because I take this role so seriously and try to be very responsive to my patients, I find it hard sometimes to protect my personal time and space.
Lactation Partners – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I am very proud of Lactation Partners which is three parts equally run and contributed to by myself, Liz, and Joan. I am most proud by the outstanding level of care and commitment we provide our clients. We only provide evidence-based information to our patients and we are quite serious about the fact that it is that which guides our RN/IBCLC practice. Our lactation support has a lot of depth and breadth; in addition to the all the aspects of breastfeeding that we cover, we teach about infant care as well as postpartum recovery and the transition to parenthood.
Our mission is to support new mothers to make their own choices and we do not judge our mothers; it is our role to support the mothers in whatever way they need to best meet the needs of their families. We try to meet the mothers where they live and help them find their own path.
I am also quite proud of our follow up care; we respond to calls, and emails, and check in with our patients. If something isn’t going right we’re not going to give up on a mom but help her find the support she needs. If we don’t know something, we try and find out or refer to another resource as needed.
I’m proud of the fact that we’re practical and real and we try to help mothers survive the very demanding early weeks of breastfeeding and living with a newborn. We’re all about helping moms survive the very real physical and emotional demands of early breastfeeding and living with a newborn during the 4th trimester.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I think success is doing the best that you can with the resources that you have. Giving your best self to your work and to the people you love. Always acting with integrity no matter what others are doing so that at the end of the day you can be proud of the work you do. Always speaking your truth but always trying to act with kindness and compassion.
Success is when your actions are consistent with your values, when you live a life that reflects the things you care deeply about and spend time with the people you love.
Success involves always growing and learning from others and not getting stuck in a mindset. Success includes acts of kindness and moving through the world with an open mind and an open heart.
- $225 for a home visit (90 minutes av) includes travel time and follow up support
- $40 for our drop in clinic at Sprout on Division and at WeOrbit in Highland Park
- Website: lactationpartners.com
- Phone: 847-679-5358
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lactationpartners/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lactationconsultation/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/LactationP?lang=en
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/lactation-partners-chicago-4?osq=Lactation+Consultant