Michelle Farfel, MA, IBCLC
As a baby I was lucky enough to have been breastfed during a time when there was minimal support for breastfeeding families. I grew up seeing my aunt nurse all three of her children beyond infancy, despite criticism, and had always admired her for doing so. There was never any question in my mind of whether I would breastfeed my children or not. I knew I would, but had no idea it would not be as easy as it looked.
After a difficult birth and time in the NICU with my son Vance, I do not believe I would have successfully breastfed without the help of our IBCLC in the hospital. She advocated for us during a time when I didn’t not have the strength to advocate for myself or my baby. She gave us all the information and support we needed during the most difficult period in our lives. I have gone on to breastfeed two beautiful children to term, despite many obstacles. The joys and struggles of this journey have inspired me to support other families as we have been supported.
Before venturing into the world of private practice, I worked at a high volume not-for-profit outpatient breastfeeding clinic, and in a hospital on the labor and delivery as well as the postpartum units. Since 2013 I have been offering parent-to-parent support as an active La Leche League Leader in both Monmouth and Ocean Counties in New Jersey. As full-time IBCLC I maintain many professional memberships and serve on various committees. Due to personal experiences I have taken a special interest in tongue-tie, allergies and food intolerances in the breastfed baby, maternal gut health, epigenetics, and have a very special place in my heart for NICU graduates. When not actively working with families in private practice you can find me lecturing to providers and lay counselors on the topics of tongue-tie, infant-maternal gut health, and jaundice in the breastfed baby.
Before becoming an LLL Leader and IBCLC, I enjoyed a career as a biological anthropologist studying the behavioral ecology of non-human primates and indigenous cultures in the rainforests of Central and South America. I now live by the sea with my two youngest children in New Jersey.