Adrianna Halstead, RDN/LD
Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Specialist, WIC Service
12 years of service
Got any favorite quotes?
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Theodore Roosevelt
Who inspires you?
My peers inspire me every day. Many mothers assume breastfeeding is a natural process that will come easy to them — and for many women, it does. However for others, breastfeeding is actually quite challenging. Some women find it to be painful, others do not produce enough milk, or they may have difficulty getting their infants to latch. Women may agonize over these frustrations, not knowing what to do, and some parents switch to formula, frustrated by the process of breastfeeding altogether. Peer counselors and IBCLCs help parents who are having difficulties figure out the breastfeeding process. They talk to parents, listen and validate their goals, and help them come up with solutions. They help parents understand how they can still breastfeed while attending school or going to work and assist with breastfeeding equipment. Therefore, the community of breastfeeding support inspires me the most.
If someone was interested in a public health career, what advice or encouragement would you give them?
The field of health and nutrition are blossoming in unique and exciting ways. We all want to live longer, healthier lives, avoid disease and feel happy with the bodies we have been given. And yet, there’s still a mountain of work to be done in educating people about the simplest of nutritional concepts. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) you will have your work cut out, but it is definitely rewarding!
International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are specialists in breastfeeding that help new mothers learn to breastfeed and help troubleshoot when problems arise. They provide care in a variety of settings, while making appropriate referrals to other health professionals and community support resources. Working together with mothers, families, policymakers and society, IBCLCs provide expert breastfeeding and lactation care, promote changes that support breastfeeding and help reduce the risks of not breastfeeding. IBCLC is a relatively new credential, but this medical profession is gaining in popularity. This is a great career choice for somebody who wants to help other moms, enjoys the medical field, is passionate about breastfeeding and is good with problem solving.