"Can I take you home with me?"
When I worked as a hospital bedside lactation consultant, "Can I take you home with me?!" is something that I heard over and over again from new families. This plea from mothers is what inspired me to take my lactation consulting out of the hospitals and into my community. Breastfeeding Housecalls & Lactation Clinic, LLC (BH) was born precisely because I was shown an unmet need and felt called to meet it.
To make BH a long-term and sustainable resource for San Antonio families, I always knew it would take more than me. For seven years I have worked super. crazy. hard. taking steps backwards, making leaps forward, putting on blinders, and remaining hyper-focused on laying the foundation for what would become a better resource for my city.
But it wasn't as simple as hiring a handful of lactation consultants...
The truth is that outpatient clinical lactation skill-sets are hard to find-even in a robust community of IBCLCS...and as is my typical mode of operandi, I made things even harder by wanting the outpatient clinical lactation skill-set in a particular type of lactation consultant, the kind who meets the same "Can I take you home with me?" criteria of kindness and relatabilty. To do this, I have been listening closely for years to the desires of contemporary families, learning from parents about who in my professional community had the gentlest of hearts at the bedside so when the time came to put a cadre of responsive IBCLCs together-the members of the BH Team were who I thought of. What I wanted were hearts with enough space in them to download BH's care model and promise of providing expert, objective and loving support while being God's hands and heart in the lives of new families.
I hired each of these sweet and knowledgeable women for their passion to support mothers and babies, to embrace new families, to remain curious, and to bring strengths and interests in to the practice.
So with that...
I present to you Breastfeeding Housecalls' very awesome home-visiting team! I pray that San Antonio families and providers will receive them the same open arms with which I have been received for the past seven years.
Thank you to those who believed in and have encouraged BH always.
laura maría gruber, IBCLC, RLC
Feeding Your Baby During Mass-Emergencies: Tips for Evacuating-Families, & Practical Area-Specific Resources to Help Guest-Families in San Antonio
Having been born on an island (Puerto Rico) there's a higher-than-most likelihood that a mass emergency would be a part of my story, and it is. One of the reasons my family ended up in Texas was the result of flooding from a major tropical storm in 1980. Despite me being barely two years old, I remember the flood, and remember being carried to my grandparent's home, in a trash bag. This early experience with adrenaline and near-total loss I'm sure in some part contributed to me generally being calm under pressure, and being a need-meeter, instead of a need-creator. And interestingly, while growing up I joined the Police Explorers in high school knowing I wanted to eventually enter into the mass-emergency world, then later in my mid 20s decided to live this out by changing my school major to Emergency Management...and I did that exactly two months before Hurricanes Rita and Katrina hit.
But what does all of that background have to do with me being a lactation consultant now? How did I go from working for FEMA as a disaster reservist to helping moms with breastfeeding?
Because nothing feels more like a disaster or emergency than a mother desperate to breastfeed her child...
Helping moms troubleshoot their breastfeeding scratched the same exact itch that helping families recover from major disasters scratched: I was able to help someone overcome.
Now that I'm on the breastfeeding side of it, one can see where meeting the needs of families with babies during emergencies would be high on my list of passions.
Because of that, being available to support the needs of evacuating-families with infants and making sure they have the resources they need is important to me. Families evacuating to SA and needing assistance with technical or logistical help with finding pump-parts, etc. will be able to count on Breastfeeding Housecalls.