Working with a Lactation Consultant | Stephanie Trost of Mindful Motherhood Lactation | Delaware
Updated: Apr 6
I had the pleasure of recently attending one of Steph's in-home lactation appointments. She is a IBCLC and CCC-SLP, providing lactation consulting services in Delaware to New Castle County families and those living in Kent County-- all from the comfort of her client's homes or through the convenience of telehealth. She was so present for this mama and her expertise was obvious throughout the visit. I am so excited to share this interview with you where Steph goes in-depth on the benefits of working with a lactation consultant. I learned so much from this conversation and know that you will too!
Let's start with Introductions. Tell us a little about yourself and what you do!
My name is Stephanie Trost. I am a wife, mother of 2 energetic boys
and fur mama to 1 adorable senior Boxer pup. I have been a speech-
language pathologist, with a focus on pediatric feeding disorders, for 12
years and a certified lactation counselor for 4 years. After recently
passing my lactation board examination in 2022, I continue to work at
Penn Parenting Resource Center at Pennsylvania Hospital as well as
opening my private practice called Mindful Motherhood Lactation and
Infant Feeding Services. I offer in-home and virtual lactation and feeding
support, including prenatal visits, postnatal consultations, infant oral
assessments, breast pumping assistance and help with bottle feeding
through New Castle County and parts of Kent County in Delaware.
What led you to this work?
The majority of my career in speech-pathology was at a St.
Christopher’s Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. I spent a lot of time
working in the NICU and developed a passion for supporting parents
successfully feed their babies. After having my own children and my
own breastfeeding journey, I realized first hand how hard it is to get
good quality newborn/infant feeding support, regardless of feeding
method. I also realized just how many misconceptions and old school
recommendations are still being passed on to new mothers. Also, after
going through my own experience and speaking with other women, I
believe the post-partum support in our country is seriously lacking; it is a
real disservice to all women and new parents. I wanted to be part of the
change. I want to support women during this very delicate time of their
I love the quote from La Leche League that you have on your
website: “Breastfeeding is Natural. It is not always natural like
breathing (which is automatic) but rather like walking (which needs
to be learned) and learning is easier with support”. Could you
expand on this philosophy and how it guides you as a lactation
Absolutely. A major misconception regarding lactation and
breastfeeding is that it is intuitive and since it’s natural you should just
know what to do and how to do it. That's not the case. Yes,
breastfeeding is natural and yes, babies are born with reflexes to
breastfeed, but it is often counter intuitive. Not to mention if it’s
something you have never done before, then why should anyone expect
that they should know what to do by themselves. Generations ago, we
would have learned from our own mothers, aunts or friends who lived
nearby. We would have grown up seeing women breastfeed and it
wouldn’t have been such a mystery. The trend seems to be changing as
more women breastfeed however people are still hesitant to talk about
how hard it can really be. As your lactation consultant, I am here to
support you and your individual feeding goals and help alleviate any
obstacles along the way.
Can you describe some challenges a nursing parent might face?
Challenges can vary per person but one of the most common
challenges I see new parents face regarding breastfeeding is that they
are not prepared for how frequently a newborn actually wants to nurse.
This leads parents to either believe they aren’t making enough milk or
the baby couldn’t possibly be hungry again. While both may be true
depending on the newborn, most likely it is just normal newborn
behavior. When parent’s misinterpret this behavior, they start to doubt
themselves and quickly resolve to feeding baby formula or bottle feed
the baby sooner than they had originally planned to.
What is it like to work with you?
You can expect a down to earth and supportive environment. I provide a
thorough evaluation of both the baby and the mother. I aim for
developing realistic feeding plans with the family being at the center of
the plan. After each session, I will send you a write up with the feeding
plan we create together, along with suggested reference links. Each
family gets 2 weeks of phone/email support included with each
Could you share a lactation success story?
I recently worked with a mother who was given a nipple shield when her
baby was only one day old. The baby quickly became conditioned to the
nipple shield and struggled to latch without the shield. The mother came
to see me when the baby was about 1 week old and her main goal was
wean him off the shield. I was able to show Mom some positioning
techniques. In the first session the baby was able to latch without the
shield and transfer an adequate amount of milk. I prepared the Mom
that it may be challenging at home and babies usually require patience
and persistence to wean off the nipple shield fully. I saw the same
mother for a follow-up consult about 2 weeks later and the baby was
successfully weaned off the nipple shield, transferring adequate milk
and gaining appropriate weight. Mother and baby continued to have a
mutually fulfilling breastfeeding relationship.
How does your work as a speech pathologist inform your work as a lactation consultant?
As I said earlier, I worked a lot in the NICU as an SLP. In the NICU my
role was to teach an infant how to suck on a pacifier and/or bottle. I had
to teach them how to safely feed and work with the parents to
implement feeding strategies. I focus a lot on oral motor development
and am skilled in improving an infants suck if it is dysfunctional or weak.
My experience as an SLP also gives me unique knowledge to
nipple/bottle systems and flow rates. Almost all nursing babies need to
take a bottle at some point and most parents don’t realize that bottle
feeding techniques can make or break breastfeeding relationships. In
addition, parents are usually unaware that the nipple/bottle market is
basically unregulated. One slow flow nipple is not the same as another
brands. Some nipple shapes can also impact how a baby sucks. Finally,
most people don’t realize that babies can have trouble accepting a
bottle. I am able to use my experience as an SLP to help families with
any struggles they face when their infant is not transitioning from breast
to bottle easily.
What is your favorite thing about what you do?
I truly enjoy supporting mother’s during this journey. You can feel so
alone and isolated when you are home, trying to figure out this whole
breastfeeding thing. The relief on a mother’s face and whole body when
she is heard, supported and leaves a consultation saying “Thank you,
that was extremely helpful and I feel so much more confident” is the
best thing about my job. Plus, I get to see the cutest little babies in the
Would you be comfortable sharing a little about your own nursing
Yes, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children and I had 2
completely different journeys. My first son latched with no issues initially
however I quickly started to feel sharp shooting razor like pains in my
breasts. I received a lot of IV fluids during my labor so I experienced
insane engorgement and made the mistake of pumping way to much in
the first few weeks which caused an oversupply. Due to the pain in my
breasts and misshapen nipples, I referred myself to a pediatric dentist
who I knew revised tongue ties. I felt immediately relief after my son’s
tongue tie was released. I went to a lactation consultant afterwards to
make sure everything was ok after the procedure. Unfortunately, I didn’t
really do my homework on the consultant and did not get the most
skilled assistance and I think she overestimated my abilities since I told
her I was a feeding therapist. Looking back now, I can see that my son
had a lot of oral defensiveness/sensitivities and required more in-depth
suck training and desensitization exercises. He was a bottle refuser
which was extremely stressful for myself and my husband when I had to
go back to work. I think he successfully took a bottle maybe 5 times in
his whole life. We were lucky to continue our breastfeeding relationship
until 13 months until he bit me so hard once; that was my cue I was
ready to fully wean.
When my second son came around, I was more prepared with
questions for the hospital-based lactation consultant. We got off to a
better start. My son was able to latch fairly easily with no breast/nipple
pain. I didn’t experience the same engorgement as I did with the first.
My milk supply was still slightly higher than the average. I was overly
worried about having another bottle refuser so we introduced the bottle
faster, probably around 2 weeks old. Everything went really well until my
son was around 9 months old, he became really sick and went on a
nursing strike. This was the same time COVID lockdowns started. I was
overly stressed at the time and it didn’t occur to me to seek out a
lactation consultant to work through it. I started to exclusively pump for
an additional 4 months until he was around 13 months old.
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Non-judgmental, patient and positive
Is there anything else you would like to add?
The best way to get your breastfeeding journey off to a good start is to have a private
prenatal consultation. This is a time to dig into your personal medical and prenatal history;
identify if there are any red flags for lactation and discuss normal expectations in the first 3-5
days after the baby is born. It is also a great way to make a connection with a lactation
consultant before the baby is born so that way you know who to call when you need the help.
Finally, even if you think breastfeeding is going well, a lactation consultation can help with
validation and confidence in yourself.
What is the best way for people to connect with you?
There are multiple ways to contact me.
My email is email@example.com
I have a business phone number which is:
My website has a contact form that gets directly sent to me. The website is www.mindfulmotherhoodlactation.com
Finally, if a mother wants to verify their insurance benefits, they can visit my portal through The Lactation Network. If their insurance is in-network, their information will be sent directly to me. Families can visit the following link to verify benefits: https://go.lactationnetwork.com/MindfulMotherhoodLactationandInfantFeedingServices
If you enjoyed this interview, check out these other articles featuring birth and baby workers and creative momprenuers!