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Meet Roza Baghdassarian of Mother-Infant Lactation Center (MILC) in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Roza Baghdassarian.

Roza, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
Born and growing up with agrarian roots in Sydney, Australia, I have always found the mother-baby relationship to be both amazing and magical. My earliest childhood recollections are based on an intense sense of connection to family and strong messages about the importance of motherhood and childrearing. I have also been blessed with nurturing relationships with the women in my family, which helped cultivate a natural curiosity and a compelling pull toward better understanding the mother-infant dyad. I am convinced that my clinical interest in breastfeeding clearly stems from the normalized acceptance of the breast as the ideal way of feeding and nurturing a child. As the eldest maternal granddaughter, I grew up watching my mother breastfeed younger siblings and my aunts breastfeed younger cousins. I also observed them working as a support system for one another. These early experiences, and my beliefs about infant feeding have led me on an extraordinary and fascinating journey into the world of women’s bodies, their infants, and of course, human lactation.

Shortly after graduating high school in Sydney, I applied and was accepted into a prestigious college as a journalism student. During my time there, I found myself gravitating toward researching and writing print articles pertaining to public health issues, specifically nutrition.

When I relocated to the United States in my early twenties, I decided that I no longer wanted to write about public health issues, but rather deep follow my desire to work actively in promoting public health. After much research, I came across the reputable Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and was intrigued by their offering of a degree in Human Development with a specialization in lactation consulting. Infant nutrition was a huge interest area for me and I decided to enroll in the graduate program while working at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center. I spent more than ten years working in Breastfeeding Department at Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center. During my time there, I achieved my graduate degree, became a La Leche League Leader and later an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). As the sole IBCLC on staff, my roles included: breastfeeding instructor for the prenatal education program (in English and Armenian), clinical educator for nurses and physicians, offering bedside breastfeeding consults in the mother-baby unit, neonatal intensive care unit and in the outpatient breastfeeding department. I was a key player in the facilitation of Glendale Memorial and Health Center becoming the first Baby-Friendly Hospital in Greater Los Angeles. After more than a decade of working in a hospital, I branched out into solo private practice and founded the Mother-Infant Lactation Center.

For the past 4 years, I have maintained an active private practice in the Valley, within the beautiful Pondella Building in Sherman Oaks.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There were definitely sacrifices I made on my journey as a lactation consultant, including missing out on my child’s extracurricular activities when duty called. Working in lactation is definitely not seasonal work and without the incredible support of my husband, I would not have been able to dedicate the time required for my education and clinical practice.

Mother-Infant Lactation Center (MILC) – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
MILC is dedicated to promoting family-centered support and education with current research findings as well as the practical experience of other mothers. Our comfortable office is tranquil and welcoming. We strive to provide expert guidance and personalized individualized attention to specific breastfeeding needs in an unhurried environment.

As a full-service lactation center, MILC was created with the pregnant and new parent in mind. MILC offers comprehensive one-on-one breastfeeding consultations, breast pump and baby weigh rentals, nursing bra fittings, breastfeeding related classes and support groups for pregnant and new mothers as well as lactation workshops for birth and postpartum professionals.

I specialize in low milk supply and oral anatomical issues (in the infant) and am privileged to offer support, encouragement, and education in both simple and complex breastfeeding cases.

I like to think that my compassionate and inclusive approach in connecting with new parents, in addition to my clinical skill set, sets me apart from others. I’ve always held the belief that new parents won’t care about how knowledgeable I am about breastfeeding and human lactation until they know how much I care.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I define success as being able to assist my clients in achieving their infant feeding goals. When my clients exhibit satisfaction and confidence in their own parenting and breastfeeding abilities, I feel that I have made a difference.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Margaret Gruesbeck

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