Anjelica Malone grew up as a Third Culture Kid and loves the expat life. She enjoys sharing stories with a multicultural perspective, traveling, and meeting women from around the world who are doing incredible things. Anjelica’s goal is to Connect with and Inspire a Global Tribe of Mamas, Makers, Wanderlusters, & Worldchangers. Visit her website www.AnjelicaMalone.com to read her latest interviews with women, shop her curated global fashion, and learn more about her one-on-one breastfeeding services. Anjelica resides in Santa Rita, Guam with her Coastie husband and two Little Women. Join The Tribe by signing up for her newsletter and follow Anjelica on Instagram (@motheringnaturally) to stay up to date on Anjelica’s adventures.
As a Lactation Educator Counselor and current breastfeeding mama to my Little Woman #2, lactation is my world.
I decided to become a trained lactation professional a little over 3 years ago after running into trouble breastfeeding my Little Woman #1. We were living on Puerto Rico’s west coast, in a little surf community called Aguadilla. Aguadilla is quite well known for it’s community of holistically minded and pro-breastfeeding women, but the support and services available to new breastfeeding mothers is almost non-existent.
A Journey to Motherhood Results in Serving a Global Tribe of Breastfeeding Mothers
I gave birth to my first daughter (Little Woman #1) in the sizzling city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Sizzling both for its heat and passionate people. She still bears the mark of that city even to this day.
LW#1 and I’s breastfeeding journey began just shortly after her swift birth. She was plopped right on me at less than 6lbs. and immediately showed interest and zeal to nurse. At her one week check up she had already surpassed her birth weight and my milk supply was ample, proven by not only her growing thighs but my constant state of leakiness.
But at about 6 weeks old LW#1 completely stopped latching on to my breasts. She had been nursing beautifully up until that point. I never experienced cracks or bleeding and she never seemed discontent at the breast; I assumed I was in the clear. I was completely naïve to the fact that many women experience trouble during the first weeks of breastfeeding and that there were areas of the world where skilled lactation professionals came to your house and assisted you with breastfeeding concerns.
I didn't realize until that 6-week mark that breastfeeding was a journey, and that concerns might arise at any point. So when LW#1 began fussing inconsolably at the breast, scrunching her body, and refusing to feed for hours, I was lost. Every feeding was a wrestling match. Sweat streamed down my back as tears poured down my face. I tried my best to aim and compress my breast into her mouth, but nothing worked. After hours of trying and shoving she would eventually feed for a short time and then we were back at the fight again for the next feeding.
I reached out to my doula and a midwife friend of hers for assistance and they both offered us support, but lactation wasn't their specialty. With the additional support of LW#1's pediatrician we were able to survive that rough time and discover that she had lots of gas. We were able to eventually get a consult with a lactation consultant in the capital city and were given a plan of action. We were able to remain exclusively breastfeeding and made adjustments that helped both her and I get back to breastfeeding with ease.
That experience though led me to take action. I knew I would continue to choose living overseas as much as possible and that there would ultimately be other mothers just like me that I met. Ones who desired to breastfeed, spoke English as their first language, and wanted one-on-one lactation support, even while in the most remote locations. So at 9 months postpartum I enrolled in UC San Diego's Lactation Educator Counselor Certificate program.
Over the course of 3 intense months I studied my buns off practically every evening and worked on assignments during naptime. It was a saving grace to me. It not only gave me the knowledge I have now to serve women wherever I live, but it also gave me a freedom and sovereignty over an aspect of my life. I was able to gain a bit of that independence I needed to stay satisfied in my role as a full-time mother but also gain joy in creating my own business and service.
In July 2014 my family and I relocated to a little island in the Pacific and in February 2015 I gave birth to my second daughter. She is now 17 months old and we are still enjoying breastfeeding.
I currently provide one-on-one breastfeeding classes and consultations to mothers here on Guam, as well as write breastfeeding articles for publication. It’s so thrilling to see a mother blossom and gain confidence in her ability to feed her baby her very own human milk. I appreciate being able to come into a chaotic situation, evaluate the mother’s concerns, and create a plan to make breastfeeding enjoyable for both her and her baby. I absolutely love my work and hope to extend my reach to help women living all across the globe.