Meet Our Breastfeeding Resource Staff
Meet Mary Carey, RN IBCLC!
Mary is a Registered Nurse, who's worked the birthing center at Holyoke Medical Center for over 20 years and has been an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 10 years. She has experience teaching Breastfeeding Prenatal Classes to mothers and Professional Breastfeeding classes to staff at the HMC Birthing Center.
She is the leader of the Baby Friendly Project at HMC, and she's proud to announce HMC has been awarded Baby Friendly Status in November, 2015. She has plenty of experience with breastfeeding from breastfeeding her 5 children and assisting 7 of her grandchildren to breastfeed. Mary assisted in the creation of the Breastfeeding Resource Center and has widespread knowledge about all things breastfeeding!
Meet Anna Sepanek, CLC, AS!
Anna has been working at the Breastfeeding Resource Center for almost two years as a lactation consultant. Anna has a seven year old daughter and a five year old son, both whom she breastfed exclusively for over one year with her daughter and two years with her son. She became a breastfeeding counselor while she was pregnant with her son, over five years ago and worked at various health centers and hospitals as a lactation consultant since that time. While she breastfed, she remained working and pursuing a degree in Biology. She prides herself on over coming many obstacles throughout her breastfeeding experience, which she feels has shaped her into a more knowledgeable and understanding consultant. As a LC, she has conducted prenatal education classes, breastfeeding classes, assisting moms in retrieving breast pumps, as well as supporting them through their trials and tribulations along the way!
Meet Jennifer Ramos, CLC!
Jennifer Ramos is the newest member of the Breastfeeding Resource Center team, she joined in October 2015! She currently works for Caring Health Center and Springfield South WIC Program and has experience working with Valley Opportunity Council of Chicopee and the Holyoke WIC Program. Jennifer became a Certified Lactation Consultant in August of 2015, and she has her associate's degree in Science, and hopes to obtain her Bachelor's degree in Nutrition.
At the Breastfeeding Resource Center Jennifer counsels moms, and teaches prenatal classes and Infant Feeding groups. She is bilingual, both English and Spanish counselor. She is beneficial to those parents who may be in need of breastfeeding information, but may experience a language barrier. She has a strong passion for helping other moms understand breastfeeding and have a great experience with their child.
A letter from Dr. Despina Lakakis,
I was not breastfed as a baby. In fact, when my parents immigrated to the U.S. from Greese, the thinking was that formula was better than breastmilk, because it was made in the U.S., and everything made in the U.S. was supposedly better. I never really thought about breastfeeding until i had a ONE day program during my pediatric residency training. I promoted breastfeeding to all of the new moms that I met, because it is recommended nutrition for all newborns, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and pretty much every other health care organization. It was only after I had my baby and breastfed her that I realized what an amazing personal experience it is (despite being challenging at times!). It was really special spending that time along with her, knowing that my body was able to create the exact food that she needed to be healthy. I thought everyone should have this experience! I became so interested in the science of breastfeeding that I took a week long course to become a Certified Lactation Counselor (a breastfeeding counselor). Over the years of working at the Holyoke Health Center, I have worked with many of our community organizations, to try to promote and support breastfeeding for our families. The Holyoke Breastfeeding Resources Center came together through a dedicated effort between the Holyoke Medical Center, WIC, and the Holyoke Health Center. All of these agencies are committed to healthly babies and families and we hope moms will continue to visit us at the breastfeeding Resource Center - to ask questions, get any type of breastfeeding or pumping support, or even just to share a success story!