For Carrie Kimball, RN, BSN, IBCLC, the personal difficulties she experienced with nursing her first child and a lack of access to outpatient lactation consultants led to a career in which she helps parents undergoing the same challenges on a daily basis. With no outpatient lactation experts to help ease her difficulties or coach her through the process, Carrie set a goal for herself.
“The frustration, tears and pain motivated me to learn as much as I could about lactation care, and make it accessible to others,” shares Carrie, currently one of Burdett Birth Center’s two International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.
In Carrie’s role she facilitates the lactation program at Burdett for inpatient and outpatient cases. She also teaches monthly breastfeeding classes and leads support groups for new and expectant parents. During a typical day Carrie visits with patients who have delivered at Burdett Birth Center to assist them with learning about breastfeeding and prepare them for discharge home. Burdett has a phone line that patients who’ve been discharged can call with questions about breastfeeding, and she spends a portion of each day answering questions or addressing concerns for those who have already gone home. Sometimes these patients benefit from an in-person consult, so Carrie visits with patients as time allows.
It’s clear that these patients make as much of an impact on Carrie as she does on them, and for Carrie, working with new parents is the most rewarding part of being a lactation consultant. “Learning about peoples’ goals, professions, cultural backgrounds and interests broadens my own worldview and I feel very lucky to have this experience,” says Carrie.
As someone who’s worked as a member of the Burdett team since 2014, Carrie has seen firsthand why the Troy-based birthing center is a good choice for many parents. She emphasizes that a smaller community hospital means patients have a quieter setting to give birth in and patients may receive more individualized attention.
Above all, she notes, it’s important to choose a birthing center that’s the right fit for you. Carrie encourages parents-to-be to visit and tour various birthing locations, and make sure those tours match with your values and goals. “Don’t be afraid to ask a lot of questions about what’s important to you, and express your own goals as a family to discover if they are in line with the facility,” explains Carrie. “If breastfeeding is an important part of your parenting plan, ask about inpatient and outpatient services.”
For Carrie, the initial challenges she experienced while nursing resulted in rewarding career in which she gets to work directly with patients and help guide them through their breastfeeding journey. For her, that’s worth the initial frustration and tears she went through 14 years ago.
In her off-time, Carrie keeps busy with a number of hobbies and a busy family life. In addition to being a mom of two sons, aged 12 and 14, she enjoys fiber arts, like knitting and felting, and playing board games. She’s an avid reader, foodie and a beach person.
This profile is part of a series of blog articles about the doctors, midwives, nurses and other providers at Burdett Birth Center. We hope it helps you get to know us a little better.