Meet Katie Madden.

Hey mama. I’m glad you found me.

Katie Madden RN, BSN, IBCLC

The women I work with understand that there is no one right way to breastfeed, nor does it need to be done perfectly.

We know there are many tools and methods to achieve personal breastfeeding goals.We know that breastfeeding takes hard work.

The women I work with are deeply committed to their goals, flexible enough to understand that there are many unpredictable paths to reach those goals, and brave enough to dig in and work hard to achieve results.

I call myself a Balanced Breastfeeding expert for a reason. Yes, I have 12+ years in the healthcare field as a Registered Nurse and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Yes, I have experience in many fields, such as the hospital, birth center, home, and community settings. Yes, I have helped thousands of women achieve breastfeeding success, but I am not your typical Lactation Consultant.

Why? Because I know that breastfeeding is about a whole lot more than breastmilk.

I approach breastfeeding with the humor, tough love, and compassion that you would get from a close friend (you know, the one who calls you out when you aren’t being your best self). I have over a decade of experience and tools under my belt to achieve any breastfeeding goal, but I have the finesse to only use them when it is appropriate and in a mother’s and baby’s best interest.

I am not afraid to use formula, pacifiers, or bottles to achieve these goals, which is sometimes an unpopular method in the breastfeeding world.

I am also intensely protective of maternal mental health. I am a founding board member of the Delaware chapter of Postpartum Support International and I have completed the “PMADS: Components of Care” certificate from Postpartum Support International. Maternal mental health and well being is a cornerstone of my practice as a Lactation Consultant.

Most importantly, to me, each of my clients is not just a set of boobs or a milk-making machine. She is a woman who is learning how to be a mother. Her baby is a person, with unique personality traits and temperament. Together, they are a breastfeeding pair that exists within a family. It is a multi-leveled, dynamic, and ever-changing relationship that deserves unwavering love, time, and energy.

Read more about Katie’s personal and professional journey.

I have been working with moms and babies since I graduated from the University of Maryland in 2004. I discovered my knack for “getting babies to latch” early on in my first job when I was working at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Other nurses would happily trade their patients’ need for help with breastfeeding issues for my clients’ need for pain medication. I’d go in and get the baby latched on to the breast lickity split. The mothers would always say to me, “Katie! Now you have to come home with me!” At the time, I was pretty damn full of myself. After all, I was “fixing them.”

 

It wasn’t until after I gave birth to my only child, Lucy, in 2006 that I realized that although I had a knack for latching babies, I was completely missing the point.

In fact, most healthcare professionals are still missing the point. It isn’t about me getting a baby to latch onto the breast; it is about empowering a mother to take control of her own breastfeeding journey and it is about how her breastfeeding experience will impact her life long-term.

Before I was a mother, before I was a nurse, I was a young woman trying accept my body.

After having a baby, my quest for body love continues as I strive to embrace every part of me–stretch marks included.

Let me back up for a moment. Before having Lucy, I had serious body image issues. I didn’t just have low self-esteem; I had body hatred. I dieted, gorged, cut, spoke meanly to and abused my body. I read everything I could get my hands on about body image to try to end my body war, but nothing worked. I simply couldn’t separate my self-worth from my self-image. Years of self-abuse and neglect, struggles with anxiety and depression, and an adolescence and young adulthood filled with self-loathing left me feeling broken.

Me and my amazing midwife Amy Romano shortly after Lucy’s birth. You can read my whole birth story here.  

Here I am breastfeeding Lucy alongside my two older sisters. You can read about my breastfeeding story here and my weaning story here.

Then, I got pregnant. I knew deep down in my soul that I wanted two things: to birth without drugs at a birthing center and to breastfeed. It occurred to me that there was no reason why my body should do this for me after the way I had treated it for over a decade. So, I had a come-to-Jesus with my body. I said, “Body, I know I have been nothing but mean and degrading to you. I know I have said things to you that I wouldn’t say to my worst enemy, but I promise, if you give me the birth and breastfeeding experience I want, I will call a truce. I promise to never again speak badly to you or abuse you.”

And so it was. I gave birth to my eight-pound, 14-ounce baby girl; Lucy and I enjoyed an easy breastfeeding relationship for almost three years. To this day, I do not hate on my body. We have lost weight and gained weight together, but we are friends and we always will be because my body taught me that it is not decorative, it is functional and it works perfectly. Breastfeeding Lucy allowed me to grow as a woman, as a mother, as a wife. It was a truly transformative experience. Breastfeeding even helped me to remarry my ex-husband. That’s a good story, too.

So, back to me latching babies:

After my life-changing experience, I couldn’t just latch babies anymore. I had to give other women the opportunity to experience breastfeeding and the power it has to change them. I had to give the power to them instead of doing it for them.

I have made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to empowering women to breastfeed through my workshops, consulting, classes, and online learning community.

I created the Balanced Breastfeeding Method™ as a technique that starts during pregnancy and ends in weaning because every single stage of breastfeeding is as powerful as the first. I know that you will find the education, solutions, and support you need to grow through breastfeeding into motherhood.

I’m glad you’re here.

The Balanced Breastfeeding Team

I most certainly do not do this alone! The Balanced Breastfeeding support team consists of Justine Deputy & Kasey Stacey. Both Justine and Kasey are breastfeeding mamas who have dedicated their time and talents to helping other mamas find balance in their own breastfeeding relationships. All of us are only able to do the work we do thanks to the patience and flexibility of our babies: Lucy (Katie’s daughter); Warren (Justine’s son); and Vincent, Brigid, and Walter (Kasey’s children).

Justine RN, MSN

Social Media Manager, Mentor Coordinator

Hi! I am Justine Deputy, mama to Warren. I am a Registered Nurse and I have my Master's degree in Health Services Administration. I am a Balanced Breastfeeding mama, mentor and employee. I manage the social media, private Facebook groups, work with the mentors, and various other tasks. I also have experience working with new mamas and babies as a nurse at The Birth Center. In the summer of 2015, I had my son! For me, breastfeeding has allowed me to learn and grow as a mother. I love breastfeeding and enjoy being able to support mamas as they navigate new motherhood and their breastfeeding journeys. My breastfeeding experience includes food allergies (dairy and soy) and working and pumping.

Kasey Stacey, BA

Editor, Mentor

My name is Kasey Stacey and I am a stay-at-home mom to my energetic but sweet son Vincent, born in July 2014, my cuddly but dramatic daughter Brigid, born March 2016, and our most recent addition Walter, born April 2018. Yup, thats three babies in four years. A former high school English teacher, I now proofread, guest blog, and perform other tasks for Balanced Breastfeeding. I am currently tandem nursing Brigid and Walter. My breastfeeding experiences include flat nipples, difficulty latching, using a nipple shield, tongue- and lip-ties, vasospasms, nipple damage and pain, near-exclusive pumping, over-supply, nursing through pregnancy and nursing aversion, nursing a toddler, night weaning, and tandem nursing. I (usually) love breastfeeding my children and I am passionate about helping other mamas grow in their new-found motherhood through their breastfeeding relationships.