ABC Breastfeeding is a group of dedicated and passionate women in Southern Alberta who are passionate about breastfeeding and all things babies. Between is we have over 500 hours of advanced breastfeeding education and have supported hundreds of families.
AJ arrived at the profession of breastfeeding and family support through a circuitous route. As a military spouse, she spent 23 years living the military life, with multiple postings in Canada, Germany and the United States. This lifestyle gave her a unique perspective into the need for family support and led to her being involved in the organization of the first Family Support Centres on military bases in Toronto and Chilliwack, BC.
In 2005, her family settled in Calgary. Though she had worked in banking for many years, AJ took the opportunity to change careers and began pursuing her qualifications to become a postpartum and birth doula. In the eight years since, she has supported hundreds of families in the Calgary area. Through this support, she realized that in-home breastfeeding support was a need not being met and began focussing her education in that direction. In 2011, AJ attended the Lactation Educator certification programme at Bastyr University, Simkin Centre, in Seattle Washington. In 2012, in collaboration with Heather Crossan, she wrote and began teaching "Breastfeeding for Birth Doulas", a course designed to give doulas the skills needed to support new families with their breastfeeding goals.
AJ believes passionately that solid breastfeeding education prenatally, combined with in-home (or hospital) support when it is needed most, provide the optimum chance for breastfeeding success. One of her great satisfactions in life is helping a mother achieve her breastfeeding goals.
Heather is proud to be a certified Birth Doula (DONA International) and a certified Postpartum Doula (DONA International). She is also a certified Lamaze Childbirth Educator, and a Certified Lactation Educator.
Originally from the far east known as Newfoundland Heather moved to Calgary in 2002 after completing her training in the Technical Production Program at the National Theatre School of Canada. Heather worked with many of the professional theatre and dance companies in Calgary before deciding to pursue the doula profession.
Once completing her Birth Doula Training in 2008, Heather recognized that there was more she could offer her clients and started working toward her Postpartum Doula Certification. Through her work with new families Heather noticed a need for more, and different, breastfeeding support than what was currently offered in the Calgary area. She travelled to Seattle and attend the Lactation Educator Training at Bastyr University, Simkin Centre.
Heather believes passionately in the value of education and has developed, with AJ Appleton, a highly praised "Breastfeeding for Doulas" workshop along with several private prenatal, and postpartum sessions for new parents.
Heather lives in a full house which she shares with 2 large dogs - Marley and Mia, a small cat - Stfu and her husband - Chris.
Carmen comes from a social work background, and has a diploma in child and youth care. She has spent many years working in group homes before having her own children.
Carmen has been in the Calgary and area birthing community for over nine years as a birth and postpartum doula. During this time she has had three children and struggled with the lack of breastfeeding support available.
Carmen has spent the last seven years teaching childbirth education privately as well as with Alberta Heath Services. This is where she first saw a need for more breastfeeding support. In the past year she has focused her education and practice to fulfill this need.
In September of 2012 Carmen did her Lactation Educator Training through Bastyr University, Simkin Centre. Her goal is to reach as many families in the Airdrie and Calgary area as possible giving specialized care in their own homes.
Carmen, as well as her husband, both come from Saskatchewan and enjoy spending time reading, camping, cooking and with friends when not busy with their sons and daughter.