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Inspiring Conversations with René Moore of First Food For Baby

Today we’d like to introduce you to René Moore.

Hi René , it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I guess you could say I grew into the profession I love so much upon becoming a mother. I began supporting other new mothers through volunteer work which was also my way of giving back to the organization that helped me through one of my most challenging times ever. I was able reach my personal goal of giving my baby the healthiest start possible. However, I truly did not want anyone else to struggle as I had. Breastfeeding was not a popular concept in the 90’s and a lonely journey for the few that chose it. I’ve continued providing free support to other breastfeeding families for 25 years now, and still find it very fulfilling. I currently serve on the local subsidiary Board guiding, supporting and educating volunteers for Arizona.

This volunteer role shaped my identity from the very beginning, so much so that I ultimately became a professional in the “field of breastfeeding”. The credential is called International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. There are only 33,492 of us in the entire world so you are not alone if you’ve never heard of the IBCLC. In this role I still help mothers struggling to feed their babies, but as a skilled medical provider with a master’s level education specific to lactation, so I’m able to also support the clinical management of breastfeeding.

My most recent endeavor has been to support underserved populations including uninsured/underinsured families. Babies don’t get to choose the circumstances into which they are born and often need access to skilled lactation care. Born out of this need, the 501(c)3, American Breastfeeding Foundation, was created in the Spring of 2020. Although a very difficult time to start a non-profit organization, we will one day be able to provide access to much needed care for families across the country.

I also enjoy attending as well as presenting at healthcare conferences around the world.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Although it might seem like the job of a lactation consultant is all about getting to hold cute little newborn babies, the reality is that it is difficult work. For me it often means sleepless nights with worry for struggling babies and their families as issues are diagnosed and resolved. And as if breastfeeding in general not being widely accepted hasn’t been hard enough, there are the controversial issues like tongue-tie that are often unrecognized or denied by Pediatricians and other healthcare workers. It has been difficult dealing with all of this pushback for 25 years. I always say that being an IBCLC is not for the faint of heart, especially when you support tongue tie procedures. Becoming an advocate for current best practices for this issue and insisting on certain laser procedures has also been a constant challenge for about a decade, now. But I believe that someone must pave the way, and I’ve always been up for the challenge!

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
An IBCLC is a healthcare professional who specializes in the clinical management of breastfeeding and is the gold standard credential for lactation care. I enjoy the occasion to meet with families before baby arrives to help ensure breastfeeding gets off to a good start. My specialties include anatomical, genetic and breathing problems, increasing milk production, inducing lactation and re-lactating, premature and pre-term birth, frenectomy procedure and management, support for bottle feeding and returning to work and weaning. I also love working with growing families that have previous babies with oral restrictions to help determine if their newest expected edition might also be showing the same genetic tendencies and how to help these families feel best prepared for breastfeeding in this often challenging situation.
I’m very fortunate to have certain experiences both personal and professional that help further enrich my scope of practice. This is what sets me apart from other IBCLCs and what I am most well known for.

Let’s talk about our city – what do you love? What do you not love?
I’ve always loved the Cave Creek/Scottsdale areas of the valley. I am one of the very few who LOVE the summertime here with its 100-plus degree weather from May to October. I tolerate the winters here since we almost never get snow! Summers here also mean all the snowbirds disappear and therefore the traffic reduces. In all seriousness, I feel grateful to live in a beautiful and popular vacation location.

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