Dawna Mangrum, IBCLC
If you had asked Dawna Mangrum what she wanted to be when she grew up before having children in her life, the answer would have been very different than what she actually became. Looking back over the few years preceding her becoming an IBCLC, she can now clearly see the path that #breastfeedingprovidence was laying out for her.
In March of 2015, Dawna found herself becoming a literal breastfeeding supporter as she helped hold her 5 month old nephew to his mother's breast. Thirteen months later, as a new single-mom, Dawna would then hold her own #miraclebaby, Charley, to her breast...yet face her own challenges.
Except Dawna doesn’t see challenges as obstacles-she sees things as opportunities to overcome. Dawna knew that even the bumpy beginnings of a traumatic birth, breastfeeding issues and post-partum anxiety & depression would not define her. Instead, she allowed her feelings to curate her heart and soul into becoming a resource for families. In realizing that impactful breastfeeding support for situations like hers weren’t as available as she needed them to be, she chose to become a resource herself.
By Charley’s first year, via the mentorship of San Antonio Birth Doulas, Dawna became a professionally-trained birth and post-partum doula and a certified breastfeeding educator. By year two, with her eye on becoming an international board certified lactation consultant, she honed her breastfeeding counseling skills by volunteering with and later working for WIC...in addition to graduating with two
associate's degrees-in biology and political science. On time with her goal, Dawna sat and passed her lactation board certification just before her daughter’s third birthday.
Because Dawna’s life-mission stems around impactfulness, she plugged herself in deeply into maternal-child health activism. Dawna has served as a board member of San Antonio Breastfeeding Coalition and the Texas Breastfeeding Coalition (she is the current incoming chair). After getting her IBCLC certification, Dawna spent just enough time as a hospital lactation consultant (a position in which she had short encounters with multiple families per day) to ultimately help Dawna decide that the path which would fulfill her the most was relationship-based role of a private-practice IBCLC...a role that she will start fulfilling proudly with Breastfeeding Housecalls in late January 2020.
When Dawna isn’t helping families, she can be found snuggling her own sweet baby—or possibly on a karaoke stage somewhere, belting out her fave #disneymovie theme songs. ;)