Paula Clay BA, IBCLC, RLC
The best things in life are often unplanned. I have a degree in French and English from the University of St. Thomas; I taught English in France; and, I worked as a legal assistant in a large law firm. Never did I think that breastfeeding would be my passion and joy. I don’t think I’d even heard or read the word until my first friend to have a baby gave birth a few years after we’d graduated from college. This dear friend guided me through my first pregnancy and gave me all the support that I needed to be successful with breastfeeding. We had a pact that I did not need to worry because if anything went wrong with labor or breastfeeding, she’d do the research for me and find the expert help and information that I needed. Although I experienced no major challenges in breastfeeding my two children, supportive friends made it much easier for me to meet my breastfeeding goals.
My journey to becoming a lactation consultant began when I attend my first La Leche League meeting in 1995 when my oldest was 3 months old. As an “experienced” mother of 3 months, I could encourage the newer moms at the meeting and learn from those with older babies. I became a Leader after my second child was born, and I’ve been learning and helping moms with breastfeeding ever since. All mothers need help with breastfeeding—sometimes they just need reassurance and a safe place to complain, sometimes they need more experienced help. At BABE, we do all of this.
My babies are now young adults working in Chicago and New York City. Being with new families takes me back to my happy place when they were little, and nursing or a snuggle solved all of their problems. I do remember the challenges of little ones, and feel a duty to support those still in the trenches—I sit near the kids at church or on a plane, and specifically welcome babies and children on the free tours I give of the Menil Museum/ University of St. Thomas neighborhood. Read more here: https://www.houstongreeters.org/listings/1520-sul-ross/ It is my pleasure to be a small part of the parenting journey of new families and see their joy in the new life entrusted to them.