My name is Katie Freedman. I am married to my best friend and have two wonderful children. I have been a Registered Respiratory Therapist for the past 17 years at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. I earned my Bachelor’s in Health Science with a concentration in Respiratory Care from Gwynedd Mercy College in 2005. I specialized in deliveries and NICU for seven of the 17 years. I am still currently employed at CHOP in their Pulmonary and Sleep Labs.
I fell in love with breastfeeding after the birth of my daughter. It had its bumps early on with her being born at 36 weeks. As a late preterm baby, she had some feeding difficulties. We faced challenges of pumping, supplementing and nipple shields. We got it together and things were great.
Life became a bit rocky when my son was born at 24 weeks. My world as I knew it was crashing. I wasn’t supposed to be on this side. I was the one at the bedside helping to save the lives of these little human beings. All I could do was sit at his beside and stared at my helpless micro preemie grow in his isolette. I began pumping my heart away because I knew that was the only thing I could do for him. I knew how important my breastmilk was for his growth and premature stomach. We had our normal ups and downs that all parents experience in the NICU, but he was thriving. After 18 weeks/119 days in the NICU we were able to unite our family of four.
Things began to calm down and I realized being on the parent side of the NICU had changed me. I found it harder and harder to walk through those NICU doors. That is when I started researching how to become a lactation consultant. I began school through Lactation Education Resources and obtained 500 clinical hours. I sat for my boards and became an IBCLC in 2016. Most recently, I obtained my Master’s in Public Administration from University of Phoenix and now working on my MBA.
Breastfeeding didn’t come easy to me with either one of my children and I needed a lot of support. That support allowed me to become confident that I was giving my children the best. I want to help other parents overcome any obstacles that may be in their way and help them reach their own breastfeeding goals.