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Community Highlights: Meet Aqueelah Tillman of NLSMobilecare: Lactation Support

Hi Aqueelah, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I come from Acorn, a neighborhood located in Oakland, California comprised of the underserved. Statistically speaking I was not supposed to be a reflection of success or empowerment! I am currently a nurse pursuing my graduate degree. In about one year’s time, I will be a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and a Nurse midwife. I currently work in the neonatal ICU and now a business owner focusing on community lactation support! I have always been one who has focused on bettering community, specifically marginalized women and/or persons! My passion stems from the significant racial disparities in maternal care. Knowing that African American women are dying, disproportionately, at higher rates than any other racial/ethnic group has ignited a fire in my pursuit to change and dismantle the historical implications that continue to contribute to these inequities! I feel my purpose is to help and be the voice for those who feel they are not heard or who do not have access to care!

I have created a space to develop my craft to provide and give care to the WHOLE person! Having certifications in fetal monitoring, being a lactation consultant and my experience with neonates will enable me to be a provider that can offer care on a continuum! I am a person who thrives off of the advocating for and betterment of others! I am a caring, friend, daughter and partner and provider! Racism is part of the American fabric and compromises the health of African American women and their infants! Creating a business of supporting all mamas/persons has allowed me to branch out and encompass my passion for providing care for the underserved! This business means so much to me because it has allowed me to see what I am capable of and how I can change lives in a positive way! I will continue with my education and business goals in order to create a successful and thriving future practice! I know that I can change and will change how we practice in maternal care! I will change the trajectory of poor outcomes and will make ALL feel they are valued!

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
It has been a long road! Nursing is my second career and second degree! I sacrificed my time and even a relationship to pursue a purpose, a calling! I relocated 3000 miles away from California for 13 months! I struggled with being alone, questioning my decisions and going through the riggers of an intensive accelerated program! I had really low moments but with the support of my family I was able to get through and excel! Nursing has been a challenge for my heart! The world of medicine and is not always so kind! Being aware and present in my experiences, I struggled through seeing the blatant as well as implicit bias that exists. I also struggled with a personal experience with my own health, in medicine, quite an oxymoron don’t you think? I ended up walking away from a position that I loved because they did not value my health and well-being! So, I stand here a third time, in a graduate program thriving and embracing new knowledge and experiences so that I can mold healthcare into what it should be! Caring for any and all!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
The philosophy behind NLS is to surround new mamas/persons and/or partners with the support they need when adjusting to life as a parent(s) while entering the realm of breastfeeding. Hands-on educational time will help cultivate a safe and loving environment for bonding and feeding. The support received will not only enhance the breastfeeding experience, it will allow mama/persons to become aware of their  body and babes needs, creating and solidifying a breastfeeding relationship. Nutritional guidance will be given, outlining the importance of maintaining a healthy diet for mama & babe individually. NLS’s purpose also extends in advocacy projects that support the education and access to care for women in need. Each person has their own individual path and NLS will help navigate and support their journey. Individuals will come away aware, confident, and comfortable in their abilities in supporting their growing babe.

What sets me apart from others is my genuine love for people, my experience and my overall common motto of doing everything WITH Love!

I am most proud about my brand because I came up with the concept when I was helping a new beautiful couple welcome their baby girl into the world! The joy in seeing how green they were and how receptive and kind rooted the birth of NLS!

I want everyone to know that my services are all-encompassing! I support all birthing persons! I have an advocacy section on my page that I am tremendously proud of and will contribute my time and supplies for those who can’t afford or access care!

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
The most important lesson along this journey is that I’ve learned is that no one is going believe in you more than you believe in yourself! Once you realize that, you can open any door you desire!

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1 Comment

  1. Malroney McLean

    September 20, 2021 at 03:28

    Having recognizing and acting on the needs of the underserved is a beacon of hope in a world that is filled with inequalities. This is evident that LOVE is still alive, and together we can change this world for a better place. To Aqueelah’s point, it’s our obligation to be the voice of the voiceless and help those who are in need. NLS is hear to stay, so let’s get on board.

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