We are so excited to welcome Carlee Rivera-Sims to the Mamas & Milk team! She began her internship with Dawn last year and found out she passed her IBCLC exam in December. Along with her solid breastfeeding skills, Carlee comes with a listening ear and a compassionate heart. You can learn the basics on her bio, but we wanted to give you an opportunity to get to know her a little better here:
Let's start at the beginning - what did you think you would be when
you grew up?
When I was a child, I always thought I would be a nurse. In college, I thought I would be a social worker that worked with adoption. However, I always knew that I wanted to be a mama!
What made you decide to become an IBCLC? Any other training you have?
I made the decision to become an IBCLC after having my daughter and experiencing all there is to experience as a new breastfeeding mother. My real ah-ha moment was when I realized that friends, family members, and co-workers were coming to me for breastfeeding advice. I had become, without knowing, a breastfeeding advocate and educator based on my own experiences. With that motivation, I decided to look into what it took to become an IBCLC. I took the leap of faith, went back to school for the additional classes and started the clinical hours and three years later, I passed the board exam! My other credentials are Bachelor of Arts from SDSU, Infant Care Specialist, BLS CPR certified, and certified newborn hearing screener.
Why were you drawn to Mamas & Milk?
Mamas & Milk has as a unique value in the relationship and vision of women supporting women. There is a beautiful balance of support, empowerment intervention, education, encouragement, and trust given. I am beyond overjoyed to be welcomed into the circle of trust and harmony at Mamas & Milk.
What is one thing you knew before you were a parent that you have had
to relearn now that you have become a parent?
I would have to say myself. I thought that I knew myself well prior to becoming a mother. Stepping into the roll of motherhood and parenting changed my being, it challenged me to my core, opened my heart and soul, made me look deeper within, it reframed my thinking patterns. It has made me relearn about attachment, anger, love, devotion, joy, strength, fear, faith and so much more.
What is something that will make you smile every time you encounter it?
Kittens and babies!
How do you do to refill your cup?
I recharge my coping cup in a few different ways, depending on the need. I love going to the movies by myself, taking a walk (with or without listening to a podcast), acupuncture treatments, time spent with family and friends, cleaning and organizing (yes, I said that!), journaling (my all time favorite) and there is nothing that a phone call to mom can’t fix!