NAVIGATING NURSING: Mama Bear Lactation Care Expands
new E.C. space features new meeting and classroom space for the business owner and mother of three
At one of the most vulnerable moments in a new parent’s life, Jennifer Hafele, the mama bear of Mama Bear Lactation Care, provides expert and empathetic breastfeeding advice and support. Hafele is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), of which there are slightly more than 33,000 worldwide. An IBCLC helps expectant and new parents plan for, start and maintain breastfeeding for their child.
Hafele combines experience learned from nursing her three children with clinical and counseling knowledge to provide breastfeeding information and support tailored to each family. Her services include individual pre and post-natal care plans, back-to-work and pumping plans, and a variety of classes and support groups.
Winning a Red Letter Grant in 2019 helped her expand the business, opening a new classroom and office space in January 2022 at 1813 Brackett Avenue in Eau Claire. Excited to be returning to in-person working and learning, Hafele said “the magic happens when people get together. The isolation has weighed so heavily on everyone.”
The weekly free online support group that Hafele started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is still going, often featuring guest speakers and providing a forum for parents to ask questions and connect with others. Other classes include Gentle Weaning and Confident Birth and Beyond, and Hafele provides both virtual and in-person home visits. She is now in the process of expanding her course and support group offerings. “There will be a real smorgasbord of options available,” Hafele said.
Mama Bear Lactation Care grew out of Hafele’s experience attending and then leading local La Leche League meetings as a volunteer peer breastfeeding counselor. At the time, Hafele was planning to return to her job as a high school English teacher. Instead, she said she “took a leap of faith and dove headlong into the mothering life that I didn’t even know I wanted.”
Hafele’s love for her work shines through, and with clinical knowledge changing over the years, she expects to stay busy “raising awareness of so many topics affecting babies and new parents” and responding to new needs as they arise.
For more information visit mamabearlactationcare.com.