Hello! My name is Sara Ann Hiland, and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I am also a Registered Nurse, with most of my experience centered in Maternity Nursing, Newborn Nursing, and Neonatal Intensive Care Nursing. My passion for helping mothers with breastfeeding began shortly after the birth of my first child in 2012- my daughter, Adalynn. At the time I I did not have much knowledge of breastfeeding, nor did I have a very good support system. My daughter and I experienced some latching difficulties in the hospital that led to pumping, finger feeding, and nipple shield usage.... and subsequently I had some problems with oversupply, with weaning her off the shield, and inevitably, with low milk supply. I struggled with not knowing what was normal, and what was not. I felt scared and alone and unsupported. Luckily, a friend of mine from a childbirth class that I had taken reached out, and she directed me to a couple of local nursing moms groups. I quickly found the support that I needed, and I. Was. Hooked.
In the spring of 2013 I completed coursework to become a Certified Lactation Counselor. Shortly there after I obtained my current RN position, working with moms, babies, and families postpartum. In December of 2014 I had my second child, Elijah. As a CLC and RN who worked with breastfeeding moms, I felt very well prepared to breastfeed this time. Little did I know, I was in for quite a struggle. I realized that something was really wrong almost right away. Every time my son nursed I was in agonizing pain. And he was ALWAYS hungry. ...He could not effectively exchange milk. I sought the help of the hospital lactation consultants, and my son's pediatrician, but everybody said "his latch looks good!". Upon learning of my struggles a good friend reached out with a recommendation to see a Private Practice IBCLC. She came to my home the very next day for a consultation, and she immediately knew what the problem was. My son had a thick and very restrictive posterior tongue tie. Within a few days we were in NY for a laser release. The difference in nursing him was remarkable right off the bat. From there we went on to battle numerous food intolerances and allergies, but in the end, with the help of my amazing IBCLC and a wonderful community of moms, we were able to overcome the allergies and nurse for over three years.
The limitless knowledge of the Private Practice IBCLC, her genuine desire to help me, and the benefits from all of the advice that she provided while I was having such a difficult time nursing my son, further fueled my fire to delve into the world of Lactation Consulting. I wanted to be Just. Like. Her. She was remarkable. So, while still nursing my son, I completed hundreds of hours of coursework and clinical experience, and in October of 2016 I passed the IBCLC board examination with one of the top scores of any candidate internationally.
In June of 2018 I was a NH Breastfeeding Taskforce award recipient for my work promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding mothers in NH. That same day, I was asked if I would be willing to step in for a local Private Practice IBCLC, who was moving out of state. ...OF COURSE I would!
And so, here I am now. Offering both in-home and in-office consultations. My dream job.
Since that time, I have been blessed with two step-children, Nathaniel and Gabriella, and I have had a third child, Charlotte. I have continued to work in the same nursing position that I held before, as well as with the lactation and childbirth education departments at the hospital. I have taught breastfeeding, newborn, and sibling classes, and I currently lead a nursing moms group. I am a member of the NH Breastfeeding Taskforce, the NH Association for Infant Mental Health, the Holistic Moms Network, and the International Lactation Consultant Association. I am active in a local natural parenting group, and I administrate a large online breastfeeding support group. I have received advanced training in the areas of infant oral assessments, tongue tie assessments, trauma informed care, birth story listening, and crisis intervention. In my personal time I lead a Girl Scout troop for the town of Bedford, and I enjoy spending time with my children and family, camping, gardening, crafting, and photography. Professionally I have interests in epigenetics, the biology of breastfeeding, oral motor dysfunction, supporting family dynamics, and maternal mental health. I believe that every family has the right to make their own informed decisions about the way that they feed, raise, and nurture their children. I am an advocate for women and children's rights, and for normalizing breastfeeding in our culture.
And I am so honored- so so honored- to be able to offer my knowledge, my understanding, and my support, to mothers like me.
We are all in this together, after all.