I nominate Sara Rathmell, RN, Lactation Consultant extraordinaire for the Daisy Award. Sara is 1 of 2 International Board Certified Lactation Consultants at Medical Center of the Rockies. IBCLC is the highest level of certification that a Lactation Consultant can obtain and her knowledge was incredibly valuable when guiding my plan of care. I have been seeing Sara in the Wee Steps program for outpatient breastfeeding support for the past 12 weeks. Every day I came in to see Sara, she gave me hope, encouragement, and support to be successful in my breastfeeding journey. My daughter had lost 12% of her birth weight which is a significant amount, so I had to begin pumping every 3 hours and feeding her expressed milk. Throughout the process of trying to get my daughter to have a full feeding, I saw Sara at least once per week during the entirety of my maternity leave. Sara was there for me when I thought I couldn’t continue but she also knew that I wanted to make this work so badly. This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and Sara was there for me when I would come into Wee Steps crying with disappointment. Every time I left our appointments, I had a glimmer of hope that I could make this work and be successful.
That glimmer turned into reality because of Sara! She offered her expertise and encouragement and together we made a plan to trial my daughter by eliminating the pump. She involved us as the patients and made sure we were comfortable and safe. She had me coming in regularly for weight checks to make sure my daughter was still gaining the appropriate amount of weight. I realize that helping someone to breastfeed successfully may not seem like that big of a deal, but it was everything to me and it meant to world to me that Sara had the knowledge and patience to save our journey.
This nomination is long overdue as she did the same for my son who was a preemie and we struggled immensely to make breastfeeding work. With Sara’s help, I was able to nurse my son for over a year. Sara was there for me 3 years ago and again with my daughter now. She will forever hold a very special place in my heart for being the nurse that made this possible!