Life is a Highway

Nora Holland’s life as a Lactation Consultant on the road

Most medical providers spend hours in one location, at times living a nine-to-five life.  However, this is not the case for Nora Holland, RNC-MNN, IBCLC. She drives her Volkswagen Sportwagen, which she calls her office and puts at least 2,400 miles on it each month.  The back of her car? Storage! Passenger’s seat? Filing cabinet! What does she do? Nora is a lactation consultant helping families and mothers with breastfeeding techniques in the comfort of their own homes.

Working in lactation since 1999 as a lactation counselor and as a consultant since 2011; Nora finds lactation counseling to be important for the health of both the mother and baby.  She explains, “if that’s [breastfeeding] not going well, then mom and baby aren’t happy. Family’s not happy, they’re not getting sleep.” Families will stress over things such as why the baby is gaining weight.  Nora explains that it can be life changing for people to see a lactation consultant. The outcomes are different, it feels different, and lots of self-confidence gets built.

Nora explains that there is a difference between reading a book on parenting and actually taking care of an actual baby in real life.  Also noting that if the mother has been hospitalized for two days, she has likely heard multiple opinions on lactation. Nora’s job is simple!  She takes all of the “mumbo-jumbo” out and turns it into simple and easy solutions for the mother and the baby. “To know that to connect what they read, what they heard, there’s so many conflicting things that they hear.”  Even if it’s just formula, which is something that families are often afraid of mentioning to a lactation consultant.

“It takes a strong woman and couple to acknowledge that lactation assistance may be the answer to the difficulties.  There may be a simple explanation for the difficulty or it may not be a real problem, just a perceived problem.” In Nora’s words, “Women need a support system for the journey of motherhood,” and feeding the baby is a crucial part of that journey.

Nora enjoys her job as a lactation consultant, she explains, “Getting to know families, just seeing how something just little can change a lot,” is what she enjoys most about the job.  “Just giving somebody the confidence that you are doing it all right, you’re on the right track.” 

Aside from being a lactation consultant, Nora teaches CPR classes at various locations as well as clinical nursing at UMASS Amherst.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, sewing and being near a shoreline watching and listening to water.

AFP has a longstanding tradition of covering the cost of one home visit by Nora for new parents. Talk to your provider if this is a service your family needs.

-Alex LaMarche, AFP Communication Coordinator