Although she was already an IBCLC-certified practicing lactation consultant and educator, the MA Program provided Rachel Martinez a tremendous opportunity for career growth. While researching her thesis, Prenatal Breastfeeding Education: Impact on the Early Postpartum Period, she was able to apply discoveries made along the way to her work at the hospital throughout the entire process. She observes, “What really surprised me is how the experience showed me what is possible for the work I do and how I can now move forward with it.”
In addition to writing her thesis, Martinez also produced a prenatal breastfeeding education series that has garnered statewide interest. Martinez was invited to present her education series at the Breastfeeding Coalition of Oregon’s Annual Meeting in March 2012. Area prenatal practitioners, hospitals, and multiple county WIC offices will be participating in implementing the series.
Martinez acknowledges, “I credit much of what I have gained through the Master’s Program to the supportive and knowledgeable staff, and my classmates who introduced me to varied experiences, perspectives, and camaraderie.” She leaves the M.A. with an extended circle of new colleagues from all over the country to continue to draw upon for a community of practice.