Misti Ryan - BSN, RN, CCE, IBCLC, RLC
For as long as I can remember (early childhood), I have been fascinated with mommas and babies. My earliest memory of this fascination is when I was about 4 years old after I presumably saw a mom breastfeed: I tucked myself in a little corner of our living room with a blanket and my baby doll and proceeded to nurse my doll!
These early experiences fostered a desire to help mommas and babies in my adult years as I attended nursing school and specialized in obstetrics after I graduated. My career was my passion. Once I had my foot in the door, though, I plunged headlong into my primary goal in life: getting married and having a family of my own!
My wonderful husband and I were married in 1999. Baby number one was born the summer of 2001. My sweet little daughter was born at home with the assistance of my now life-long friend and midwife, Jackie Griggs. She nursed right away. I was in mommy heaven! Then, day #3 hit - the challenges! Nothing was going to keep me from nursing my baby, so I persisted through, and by 6 weeks we were nursing comfortably, and it was pure bliss!
As a labor and delivery nurse, I knew that after my personal breastfeeding experience I was in a unique position to help moms avoid the problems I had in the beginning of my breastfeeding journey. I took the childbirth educator position when it became available and added a breastfeeding class to my repertoire soon after. My job evolved, and I gradually began counseling in-patient breastfeeding moms as an educator. I made it my personal mission to educate myself on all things breastfeeding and the dream of becoming a lactation consultant was born.
La Leche League played a big role in my breastfeeding success as well as my dream. I became a leader shortly after the birth of my 2nd daughter in 2004 and have been co-leading the Pasadena group since then.
My family grew rapidly, a son in 2003, another daughter in 2004, third daughter in 2006, and a surprise daughter in 2009; all natural births and all breastfed. Needless to say, I stayed busy, and each year that passed I patiently postponed making the commitment to apply for the IBCLC exam. Then, in the fall of 2010 I met Leah Jolly while working on our La Leche League groups' treasuries. The rest is history, and here I sit, my dream realized.
I believe mommas are strong. I believe babies are smart. I believe birth is a dance. I believe breastfeeding is natural. And I am so excited to be a part. Let the adventure begin!