WBWC is been pleased to welcome another experienced women’s health nurse to our staff! Tiffany graduated from UNC Chapel Hill’s School of Nursing in 2009. While in nursing school, she attended the birth of a friend’s son, which happened to be at Women’s Birth & Wellness Center. At that time, she became hooked on the beauty of an out-of-hospital birth experience. After graduation, Tiffany began working as a maternal-child public health nurse in an intensive home visiting program where her passion for improving maternal and child outcomes blossomed. Tiffany’s career has always focused on women’s health and she has carried her public health roots with her in her work as a Labor and Delivery nurse in both the hospital and out-of-hospital setting. Tiffany is continuing to pursue her passion for maternal child health as she studies midwifery at East Carolina University. In her free time, you will find her spending time with her three nephews, learning new languages, discovering the Triangle’s great eateries, or planning her next trip abroad.
In honor of IBCLC Day, we’re celebrating our wonderful Lactation Consultants! Nancy Albrecht, Ellen Chetwynd, Rebecca Costello, Elley Schopler, and Deborah Adler work tirelessly to make sure every mother has the best available breastfeeding assitance. Here are some of the ways they’ve helped women navigate the sometimes difficult world of breastfeeding:
“We are a few days away from our 6-month nursing anniversary. We would not be here without Ellen. By the time I saw Ellen, my daughter was one month old and the nursing struggles had left me an emotional mess. Ellen was so kind and invested so much time into figuring out what was going on – after a few visits and a tongue tie clip, we have not looked back and breastfeeding became a wonderful, pain-free experience. I treasure my time nursing Zoya, because it helps me connect with her, and I would not have this opportunity if we hadn’t met Ellen. Her attentiveness and thoughtfulness are something I will always remember.” – Haniya Mir
“The wonderful IBCLCs, especially Rebecca since that’s who I saw mostly, always helped to ease my worries. They made me feel like I was doing an awesome job nourishing my baby, as I pushed my way through diet restrictions, constant nursing, pumping at work, and low supply. The best advice I got from Rebecca was that breastfeeding is not all or nothing. That statement helped to normalize how hard breastfeeding was for me at times and made me feel better about having to use donor milk.” – Sarah Jackson
“Sometimes I worry Rebecca will think I’m a total creep for the amount of praise I give her. I was probably at my most vulnerable after Rowan’s birth when I went to see her. He was born at 31 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia. Nothing had gone right, or even right-adjacent. We were finally home from the hospital (I was inpatient for three weeks, owan for almost six), and he was really struggling to nurse. He was not transferring much milk and was choking every time he ate. I was falling apart emotionally from the trauma mixed with sleep deprivation from trying to pump, nurse, and bottle feed.
The first thing Rebecca did was give me permission to skip the nursing part during the middle of the night. She spotted the same tongue and lip ties that I had suspected, but been told not to worry about by the NICU. She wrote her “prescriptions” down on pieces of notebook paper for me. Not just ways to change the way we nursed, but ways to slow down the bottles. I believe one note said to make bottles ‘tortuously slow.’
After a few visits and a tongue/lip tie clipping, everything started to fall together. When my insurance refused to cover the visits, she worked so hard to try to fix it. Rowan will be two in April and is still nursing. And I am 100% sure that would not be the case without the WBWC IBCLCs.” –Rhiannon Giles
“I am so thankful to Rebecca! She helped out many times: teaching me new positions, reassuring a new
mom, getting rid of a milk bleb that I couldn’t do myself, and establishing this amazing group for us. Thank you Rebecca!!” – Jenae Delayen
“I can’t say enough about the IBCLCs at WBWC. Between my two babies, I’ve seen all of them at least once. My first was a traumatic delivery which resulted in pituitary damage and delayed/insufficient milk supply, and by the time we realized there was a problem, my daughter had lost over a pound and had forgotten how to eat. We sat on Ellen’s couch, often sobbing, at least once or twice a week until Ada was about 12 weeks old. Ellen reassured me that we were doing everything “right,” that it was more important that my baby was fully fed than that her food came completely from me, and that my worth as a mother wasn’t measured in ounces of milk – all of which I desperately needed to hear at the time. We also saw each of the other LCs with my daughter (incidentally, I think she might have been the first birth center client that Rebecca saw! If not THE first, certainly on her first day there), and they were all wonderfully supportive and helped us figure out how to maximize my supply while re-teaching my kiddo how to nurse. I should add that this was at a time when many folks, even lactation specialists, didn’t believe that low supply was real. We got a LOT of inaccurate information from well-meaning supporters of breastfeeding, but the WBWC IBCLCs never questioned that what I was experiencing was real, or that it was devastating. My daughter nursed until she was 28 months old even though I never achieved a full supply (and would have gone longer, but I was pregnant and had to stop her because my pituitary condition precludes nursing while pregnant), and I’m positive that would never have happened without the support we received in the beginning – I didn’t think we’d make it to six weeks at first.
My second is a completely different story, but we’ve received just as much support this time, mostly from Rebecca. Simon was born via a dramatic VBAC, so no trauma or damage this time, but my milk still was delayed (not surprising, given my history). So we had a prenatal appointment with Ellen to make a plan and saw Rebecca on day 3 to assess his latch and transfer – he had lost almost 10% of his body weight, so we began donor milk immediately. It wasn’t enough to prevent a readmission to UNC for jaundice, but he never forgot how to eat, and we realized very early that he was tongue tied. Our weekly visits to Rebecca from the very beginning have gotten our nursing relationship off to the best possible start – he’s got a fantastic latch, we addressed my supply concerns very quickly, got his tongue tie revised, and this baby is a committed and enthusiastic nurser. He has gained four pounds since he was born… and he hasn’t gotten any donor milk in over a month! More sobbing on the couch this time, but now it has been happy tears as we’ve celebrated the completely different path that this journey is taking. Rebecca finally told me this week that it’s silly for me to keep making appointments when the baby is consistently gaining over an ounce per day. It has been a lovely security blanket, but I’m excited to be out on my own, just feeding my baby the way that I’d hoped I’d be able to. The phrase ‘EBF’ is not something I take at all for granted, and again, I’m sure that I wouldn’t be here if not for the support and guidance that I’ve gotten from the amazing MILC IBCLCs.” – Sarah Stokes
“I’m very grateful for the support and care I got from Rebecca and Elley with my son Mason. Since I had had some difficulties with early latching and mastitis with my first baby, we scheduled an early (day 2) lactation visit for Mason. When I arrived, Rebecca immediately noticed that Mason’s color was off; she helped me me positioning and latch then called the midwives in to check on him. Sure enough, his bilirubin levels were super high and we needed a direct admit to UNC. Her acute observation, outside of strictly breastfeeding, got him into the hospital quickly. He was barely under the level at which he would have been put in the NICU for a blood transfusion. On the second day of our stay at UNC, Mason was improving, and I was desperate to get home. Elley came for an LC visit and really listened and validated my distress about being in the hospital and unable to care for my postpartum needs. She suggested we do a weighted feed, which Mason passed with flying colors, so she then helped advocate for me to be able to be discharged that day rather than staying another night. Both Elley and Rebecca’s help with breastfeeding was great, but it was their care and attention to me and Mason’s health as a whole which made an immense difference for us, and I’m extremely grateful.” –Sarah Marsh
“I was an emotional wreck in week 2 postpartum as the result of 1) being on my own for the first time after all guests left and 2) reading very unhelpful not breastfeeding-friendly resources in my panic. Rebecca reassured me and turned my panic completely around! Did the weigh-in before and after feeding and turned out my baby was getting everything she needed, told me to throw out those unhelpful resources, and gave me better things to read instead. Left visit so grateful and 180 degrees different than when I came in. Thank God! And thank you, Rebecca !!!!!!!!” – Nancy
WBWC’s nursing staff is expanding! Tianna Dean, RN moved to NC from Texas to join us as a full-time nurse. Since September, she’s been providing labor, delivery, and postpartum care, as well as doing home visits. Her warm, comforting bedside manner, thorough knowledge of women’s health, and dedication to the midwifery model of care have made her an excellent addition to our team.
Tianna graduated from Southern Union State in Alabama and has been working as a nurse since 2013. Her husband’s career as a US Army Ranger has given her the opportunity to provide nursing care across the country. She has worked at large Level I trauma centers in Columbus, GA and El Paso, TX, and has served our military women and spouses at Martin Army Medical Center.
She gained invaluable experience as a labor and delivery nurse in a high-risk setting. However, her strong desire to provide nursing care in an out-of-hospital setting inspired her to make the big move when an opportunity to work at WBWC arose. She is passionate about supporting women through empowered birthing choices, education, and excellent quality care. Tianna is continuing her commitment to women’s health care by pursuing her Master’s at Frontier Nursing University and plans to become a midwife.
Outside of work, Tianna stays busy raising her 5 amazing children, ages 7 months to 17 years, entertaining, and decorating her home.
“I am blessed to be able to serve women every day, and I gain a wealth of wisdom from the amazing midwives and nurse practitioners I work with!”
Nancy Albrecht, RN, BSN, IBCLC is celebrating her tenth year as a WBWC clinic nurse and lactation consultant! Over the past decade, she has made extraordinary contributions to the WBWC and its clients.
In many ways, Nancy has been the face of the birth center. She is the kind nurse on the phone, patiently and thoroughly answering questions about pregnancy, health concerns, and breastfeeding. She is the knowledgeable and compassionate lactation consultant helping a new mother work through a difficult breastfeeding challenge. She is the leader of breastfeeding classes, teaching groups of parents the ins and outs of feeding their newborn. She is always willing to help wherever and however she is needed; she has even worked as labor nurse on a particularly busy day, attending a birth with her daughter, midwife Jessica Albrecht!
But her behind-the-scenes work at the birth center has been equally important. Nancy’s hard work and dedication led to the birth center being designated as a Baby Friendly facility in 2010. There are multiple criteria that must be met to earn and maintain this designation — including continuing staff and patient education, helping to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth, and establishing breastfeeding support groups — and Nancy has helped to ensure that WBWC has successfully met these goals year after year. She has played a key role in establishing birth center breastfeeding policies. She is continually improving documentation protocols for LCs and finding ways to integrate communication about breastfeeding issues among LCs, nurses, and midwives so no client is left unsupported. She has placed emphasis on providing both staff and patients with areas where they can comfortably breastfeed. As a result of her efforts, the WBWC received the Breastfeeding Friendly Business & Employer Award from the NC Breastfeeding Coalition.
Nancy has also built an incredible community of support for new mothers. She spearheaded efforts to start the Breastfeeding Café, an informal group for nursing mothers, and the Coping with Motherhood group, which offers support and coping skills for mothers dealing with depression. Her vision of a community where women come together and support each other has been realized and has made a lasting impact.
Nancy’s work as a breastfeeding advocate and educator has spanned more than three decades, and we at the WBWC are so grateful that she has spent the last ten years with us! Her passion and dedication are inspiring to everyone who has had the pleasure of working with her.
by Tori Hinde
If you’ve been in the boutique in the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ve met store manager Holly Lindsay-Miller, who celebrates 5 years of working at Women’s Birth and Wellness Boutique this month. If you came in to shop, you likely left feeling like you just made a new best friend after she fit you for a bra, taught you everything you needed to know about cloth diapering, or helped you find just what you needed. Holly has a way of talking to you and listening that makes you know she hears you and understands.
“I love to learn the specifics about people. Every family’s story is unique,” says Holly. “There’s more than one way to parent. I’ve learned a lot about empathy and compassion – I know pregnancy and motherhood aren’t simple.”
When asked about her favorite part of her job, Holly says, “Connecting with moms. Hands down. And bra fittings – a good bra can change a woman’s day. It’s the best when someone walks out of here happy, standing a little taller and feeling more confident.”
Holly initially started as a sales associate in the boutique, coming in afternoons and staying after closing to place orders. She took over as store manager two years ago. Since then, she’s focused on expanding the selection of bras, carriers, and cloth diapers and always bringing in new things.
“If I mix it up, people come to check it out,” says Holly. “We’re growing. We have more women-owned and local business now.”
Holly also appreciates the supportive environment at WBWC and that she can bring her daughters along to work if she needs to, and no one blinks an eye.
“To come to work with people I love and respect means everything,” she says. “My kids were born here, and I work here. It feels very cyclical. It’s the best care you can find – you just don’t get that time anywhere else.”
Thank you, Holly, for all you do, and for 5 years of making all of us here feel loved and respected, too.
If you’ve been with WBWC for a while, you might recognize our newest CNM, Lydia Dominic. She was a labor and delivery nurse here from 2009-2012, and now she is returning in her new role as midwife!
Lydia earned her BSN from Case Western Reserve University and began her 14-year nursing career in 2002. She dedicated most of her nursing career to maternal-child health. Upon graduating from nursing school, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Nepal, providing health education on multiple topics, including neonatal resuscitation. She then returned to Ohio and began working on a medical/surgical unit. She spent the next several years gaining experience in caring for women and babies in a hospital setting, first as a postpartum nurse, and then then as a postpartum nurse, and then as a labor and delivery nurse.
In 2009, Lydia and her husband moved to North Carolina. Lydia’s desire to witness birth as she felt it should be – guided by the woman’s desires and intervening only when necessary – led her to join the staff at WBWC as a labor nurse. While working at both WBWC and Wake Med, she found herself drawn to WBWC’s model of care. In fact, she gave birth to her own son in the peach room!
In 2012, Lydia and family returned to Ohio, and a year later, she began midwifery school at Case Western. She completed her MSN in 2016. Her graduate school experience included a mission trip to Guatemala, and clinical rotations in a hospital-based birth center, and a homebirth practice.
Lydia is ecstatic to return to WBWC to continue to care for and empower women and their families. Her midwifery career has been off to a great start so far – she caught five babies on her first call shift!
In her free time, Lydia enjoys hiking, cycling, and being with her friends, husband, and son.
WBWC has a new Family Nurse Practitioner! We are excited to annouce that Wendy Fields, FNP, has recently joined our staff.Wendy grew up in the Boston area. She began her journey in women’s health after giving birth to her first child in 2000 with the assistance of a certified nurse-midwife in Philadelphia. For Wendy, the experience of becoming a mother was so life-altering that she left her career as a writer and PhD student in English to pursue a career that would come to revolve around partnering with people and communities to improve their health and well-being.
While mostly staying at home with her first two young children, she became a childbirth educator and birth doula. She taught Birthing from Within at her home, and later Prepared Childbirth at UNC Hospitals. She also attended births as a doula at hospitals, homes, and birth centers, including WBWC, after she moved to Durham in 2005. She returned to school for her ABSN degree at Duke University, graduating in 2009, and worked as an RN at UNC Hospitals. She then returned to school and earned her MSN and Family Nurse Practitioner certification at UNC in 2013.
Her third child was born at WBWC, with Allison and Emily in attendance, in 2012. Prior to joining WBWC, she worked as a family nurse practitioner for two years, providing full-scope primary care to families at the Caswell County Health Department. She joins WBWC thrilled to be “coming home” to the holistic model of health. She is happy to provide all of your primary care needs, whether or not pregnancy is in your future plans. Particular interests include preventive healthcare and wellness, and working with marginalized communities, including people of color, religious minorities, and LGBT individuals. Wherever you are today with your health, Wendy looks forward to walking with you toward better health and more happiness!
We are pleased to welcome Belinda Lashea, CNM, to the WBWC staff. Many of our WBWC families have gotten to know Belinda during her time here as a student midwife. Now that she has graduated from ECU’s Nurse-Midwifery program, she is making the transition to full-time WBWC Nurse-Midwife.
Belinda has dedicated her life to midwifery and serving women and is an experienced birth attendant. A mother of three, she became fascinated with midwifery after the homebirth of her second child in 1998. Over the next eight years, she apprenticed and assisted two Certified Professional Midwives and attended homebirths in East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and Western North Carolina. In 2007, she moved to Chapel Hill, and earned her BSN from UNC Chapel Hill in 2012, and then began her studies at ECU.
When she’s not attending births, Belinda enjoys travel, her horse, hiking, camping, and Carolina Women’s basketball. She is excited to be starting this new phase of her career. “I already feel that I am part of the family at WBWC. I look forward to getting to know each of you, the women and families that make up our beautiful woman-centered community!”
Nora is a writer, oral historian and doula. Born and raised in upstate New York, she has spent some of her most valued years traveling, singing, and collecting stories in varying cities, villages and rural outposts around the globe. She has lived in Germany, Bolivia, The Republic of Georgia and a handful of places in the Northeast.
Nora first began attending births in 2003. She is a ToLabor (formerly ALACE) trained doula and has been involved in birth work in a variety of settings. She has provided education and advocacy for women and their families through pregnancy, birth and postpartum and has facilitated birth story circles and other related community events. She believes deeply in encouraging opportunities for people to make informed choices.
In December of 2010, she graduated from The New School University in New York City where she studied writing, documentary methods and oral history. In 2012, Nora moved to Durham to pursue a Certificate in Documentary Arts at Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies which she completed in May 2013. Nora is the creator and director of The Birth Narratives Oral History Project www.birthnarrativeproject.org that collects archives and produces stories about childbirth from women and men around the United States.
She is very excited to be joining Women’s Birth & Wellness Boutique team!
Jane Gledhill, RN
Originally living in Chicago, IL through her high school years she attended the University of Tennessee-Knoxville which brought on opportunity to live a rural life and spend weekends in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Having earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition she and her husband moved to the North Carolina side of the mountains onto a 60 acre farm. They grew vegetables, kept chickens, dairy goats, and honey bees.
During that time her first pregnancy ignited a passion for normal, physiological birth. In Asheville at Memorial Mission Hospital with her midwife’s support she delivered her baby breech. Their second child was born on their farm at home into the hands of a midwife as well. After the death of her first husband, Jane met Geof. They were married and she moved with her two children, (and her goats), to his farm at “Cedar Grove” in Orange County, NC. Jane’s third child was also born at home, attended by her midwife, and caught by Geof. Her passions of breastfeeding and natural healthcare continued throughout the following years of childrearing, homeschooling, and volunteering until finally it was time to get back to school!
Through UNC-Chapel Hill’s fourteen month accelerated nursing program Jane earned a BSN in 2004. Her work became as an RN on the Physical and Medical Rehabilitation Unit and on the Labor and Delivery Unit at UNC Hospital from 2004 through 2010. Then, in 2009 she graduated from ECU’s MSN Midwifery program! Jane moved on to work as a home birth midwife (2010 – 2012) and traveled on two medical mission trips to Haiti as well.
Currently her passion is striving to update the NC CNM practice law through her work as a member of the NC ACNM Legislative Committee. Two of her loves are playing with her three grandchildren and making goat milk soap. She’s so happy to now be caring for the women, and their families, of WBWC.
Kiah Sell-Goodhand, Front Desk Coordinator
Although born in Boston, Kiah is a proud and active citizen of Durham, she returned to the Bull City after receiving B.A. degrees in Sociology and Spanish from the University of North Carolina at Asheville.
After returning to her hometown, Kiah worked with an AmeriCorps program that assists early childhood education programs across the triangle. Prior to joining the WBWC family, Kiah worked for several years as a teacher at Primary Colors Early Learning Center. Although she misses her class of three year olds, Kiah loves learning more about Women’s Health and alternative birth methods. Her favorite part of working at WBWC is meeting all of the wonderful families and getting to hold so many beautiful babies!
Kiah lives with her partner, Allyson and their grumpy tuxedo cat and sweet black Lab. In her free time, Kiah enjoys spending time with her family, biking to the farmer’s market and dog park and exploring the ever evolving downtown Durham.