A note on language and inclusivity:
My work is divided into two separate practices.
Most of the pages on this website describe my nonclinical work as a teacher, exploring the identity transformation of motherhood. The "Breastfeeding Home Visits" page describes my separate, clinical practice as an IBCLC.
In my nonclinical practice, I help mothers explore identity issues. This could be women who are mothers, or mothers of any gender description. Motherhood is a role, and I invite all who are curious and eager to investigate the nuances of that role in a supportive atmosphere. Motherhood, the identity, is not confined to one gender.
In my clinical practice, "breast feeding" is a word I often use to describe the infant feeding project I help with, because it is a well-recognized term, but some trans and gnc parents, some individuals who have had a mastectomy, and various others, may seek the services I provide but not think of themselves as breast feeding. In such cases, we might call it "chest feeding" or use any other term that makes the parents comfortable. My preferred term is "nursing," but that, too, is problematically ambiguous sometimes. "Lactation," equally, might not accurately describe the situation, as I often provide guidance for parents who nursed with donor milk or other substitutes. Words are difficult. I look forward to a time when none of this will confuse anyone; meanwhile I try to help all who need clinical support in the care and feeding of their little ones.
I did not begin my clinical practice as an IBCLC until many years after I was already working with mothers, by which time I already had an established nonclinical practice, with this domain name and niche (and an old and ugly geocities version of this website). Most of my IBCLC clients describe themselves as mothers, but some individuals who need the careful and sensitive support of an IBCLC do not find themselves in that role, apart from whether they also don't identify with "breastfeeding." I serve them as well; my clinical practice is not restricted to mothers although my career began solely as a nonclinical exploration of the identity "mother."
My business name "A Mother Is Born" is not a business name I use for my clinical practice. If you work with me as an IBCLC, your receipt will not come from "A Mother Is Born" but from Meredith Fein Lichtenberg, IBCLC, RLC. I considered taking my clinical practice to a separate url for clairty, but have, for the moment, decided not to, and, instead, try to invite all my students and clients to embrace the messy reality of my having two distinct practices, and try to make this clear:
MY CLINICAL PRACTICE IS not limited to mothers. it is FOR PEOPLE OF ANY role DESCRIPTION WHO NEED CLINICAL LACTATION/INFANT FEEDING SUPPORT.
My nonclinical practice is called "A Mother Is Born," and is for People of any gender description who consider themselves "mothers."
In both my clinical and non-clinical practice, I support my clients. If you are undocumented, I will not keep you out with walls. If you are Mexican, I know you are not a drug dealer or rapist. If you are Black, your life matters. If you are Muslim, I know you are not a terrorist. If you are Jewish, I know you are not part of an international financial conspiracy. If you are a woman, your body deserves respect and dignity and I believe you. If you have a disability, you are not someone to be mocked. If you are gay or lesbian or bi, your marriage (if you're married) is real and your partnerships have my respect. If you're single, I respect your family. Whoever you are, I will use the pronouns you use. By providing love and support and information and evidence based care, I will try to help you so that you can get on with your life and do that same work for others.
Finally, if you love this kind of examination of language, we're going to enjoy working together.