I am Allyson, a lactation consultant and physical therapist with Nurture Columbus. What? A physical therapist and a lactation consultant? Why? After working for years as a physical therapist in various settings across the country and seeing the direct impact of sub-optimal nutrition and emotional connection manifest in chronic health crises, I am thankful to be working with new families in their homes. After all, learning is best accomplished in a familiar and comfortable space, and lifelong health is best optimized when a baby has breastfed as much as possible.
As a physical therapist, I have expertise in human movement and development. During home visits, I include observation of a baby lying on their tummy on the floor to assess how they are able to naturally move and utilize reflexes needed for effective feeding. Babies need a lot of time on their tummies (with you alongside for a good stretch, too!) to integrate these amazing reflexes, and develop a sense of how their bodies move as they grow. I often will hear “my baby just doesn’t like being on their tummy.” If this sounds like you, consider coming to my TummyTime! Method™ classes for newborn to pre-crawling infants. Over the course of 4 weeks, we can get to know each other, find ways to facilitate comfort with this natural position, and identify restrictions if challenges persist. In which case, you can schedule a physical therapy consult with me, and we can work more specifically on underlying difficulties. The sooner, the better!
As a lactation consultant, I have expertise in infant feeding. You can expect me to observe a feeding with eyes for optimizing posture, providing gentle cues as needed to align positioning with mother’s comfort and baby’s function. I enjoy meeting families where they are on the journey into new parenthood, listening to their concerns and helping with whatever their goals may be from week to week. My goal is for each to feel empowered to understand their unique biology, and discover what is most natural to them as they begin nurturing new life.