Alicia McCleese, RN, IBCLC
Hello! My name is Alicia and I am a mom to 3 children. I am an OB nurse of 17 years and an IBCLC of 8 years.
I have always worked with parents and breastfeeding, but it wasn't until my own personal struggles that I realized how important lactation support was.
All 3 of my children struggled with breastfeeding. We dealt with poor latches, tongue ties, and low supply. Getting someone to listen to my concerns was the hardest part. I drove many miles to receive the help I needed, only to be told my feelings weren't valid. There were a lot of tears shed, but I managed to breastfeed them all for 3-4 years.
I have always wanted to be that person that truly listened when it came to parents' concerns. I believe I was lead down this path for just that reason. I am passionate about education and breastfeeding, but I am more passionate about helping parents meet THEIR goals in regards to feeding their child.
Emily Cosma, CLS
My experience with lactation began 7 years ago with my oldest daughter. I was in college for Dietetics with a 2 month old and I felt so isolated at the time. I was struggling to pump in between classes. A few times I had to navigate bringing a baby to class. That same semester I learned how nutrition needs for lactating women differ significantly from everyone else. I was intrigued. I wanted to know more as someone currently breastfeeding. A couple years later a professor got me connected with the Breastfeeding Coordinator at the local WIC program.
I have worked with WIC for 5 years as a Breastfeeding Peer and now a Nutrition Associate. My experience with this program has only deepened my love and passion for guiding and supporting families while they navigate pregnancy, postpartum, lactation, and parenthood. Within that time, I had my second child. It was at the very beginning of the pandemic, and despite the experience and education I attained, I struggled. I was not able to see lactation in the hospital, and I had limited person to person contact and support. Since then, lactation support has continued to be limited in our area. I am thrilled to be able to have the opportunity to offer families in the Trumbull and Mahoning County area the opportunity to seek private practice lactation care through insurance and in the comfort of their own home via virtual or in-home care.
I intend to offer unbiased support to assist families in achieving their individualized breastfeeding and chestfeeding goals. I realize every situation and family dynamic is different, and I hope to provide empowerment to parents to feed their babies in the way they choose and for however long they would like.
I eventually overcame my struggles, I graduated with a Bachelors in Dietetics, and I continue to breastfeed to this day. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions about me or how private practice lactation works!
Liz Leon, IBCLC, CLC
When I had my first daughter, there was never a question as to weather I would breastfeed or not. I grew up watching my mom breastfeed my 5 brothers and sisters. After my second child was born, my friends (and their friends) would call me with breastfeeding questions. I went on to have 2 more children and each breastfeeding journey was unique. I took a job at our local WIC office as a breastfeeding peer counselor. I tried to create an environment where parents felt safe enough to really open up to me so that we could figure out what kind of support they really needed to succeed with breastfeeding.
In 2007, I became a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and in 2011 I became an IBCLC. I had been at WIC for 14 years when I decided to try something different. I accepted a position that allowed me to see patients on the Maternal Child Health unit of a local hospital every morning and then see outpatients for lactation consults in a pediatric practice in the afternoon.
I think out of all my different experiences, outpatient care has always been my passion. Anyone that knows me would probably describe me as laid back I love getting to know parents and working with them to find a plan that works for them.Something I have learned in my 21+ years of assisting breastfeeding families is that no two families are the same. I firmly believe there is not one specific way to do things. I would absolutely love to get to know you and your family and help you meet your personal breastfeeding goals.
Maura Moes, RN, IBCLC
Moms and babies are my favorite!
I have been an RN for more than 20 years and have had the privilege of supporting families through over a thousand births and postpartum experiences. I have had a wide range of experiences working as an RN in a high risk labor and delivery unit in Boston, to working in a family birthing center in Bali, Indonesia and then back home to Ohio working in a Labor, Delivery, Recovery and Postpartum floor and as an RN and IBCLC. My IBCLC position also allowed me to create my own monthly breastfeeding class and have a weekly community breastfeeding support group. My nursing and lactation experience deepened with the birth & breastfeeding journeys of my own 3 children.
After the birth of my first child in 2011, as an L&D RN, I realized I knew a lot about what to expect with breastfeeding those first couple days while recovering in the hospital but I needed a lot of help when I got home! There was so much I did not know about breastfeeding and I went on a deep dive of lactation education. I had amazing support from my local IBCLCs and my breastfeeding struggles & questions were a source of major inspiration- to work on becoming an IBCLC myself. I became part of the lactation team at the hospital officially in 2015, right before my 3rd child was born. I have a passion for teaching moms about the first golden hour after babies are born and what to expect in the 4th trimester.
Now, I am thrilled to be a part of Milk Guide and come to see you and your new baby in your home (or virtually). I believe non-judgmental support & education is best! Your goals are my goals and I’m here to help (and keep it simple!). Let’s figure it out together.
Mindi Wiechman, RN, IBCLC
Hi, I'm Mindi! My passion for breastfeeding started over 20 years ago when my mom was told to stop breastfeeding because my brother was jaundiced. I remember her sitting in the rocking chair while holding him and just crying. Through her, I learned how important and emotional breastfeeding can be. I started helping breastfeeding mothers as a RN 14 years ago. I became an IBCLC in 2018 so I could focus solely on helping with breastfeeding.
After struggling with a low supply after I returned to work with my son, my passion for breastfeeding grew. With my late preterm daughter, I struggled for weeks to get her to latch. I begged for help while she was in the NICU, but no one ever came. Luckily once we figured out latching, we had smooth sailing after that until I ran into supply issues later down the road. Breastfeeding is so much more than feeding your baby!
I never want to have another mother feel like no one can help them. I am passionate about breastfeeding education and helping meet breastfeeding goals. Support while breastfeeding is vital. Like The Beatles sang, "I get by with a little help from my friends."