We had the good fortune of connecting with Leah Whitley and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leah, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I became interested in breastfeeding after the birth of my first daughter. An exceptionally skilled lactation consultant paid me a home visit when I was struggling. It completely changed my breastfeeding journey. By the time I was expecting my second daughter I was well on my way to making a career change and becoming a certified lactation consultant. After years of working in hospitals and clinics I wished to help women in more effective ways. Because of my experience I understood that what was needed was efficient and timely care, especially when mothers are most in need of support before giving up on breastfeeding. That is when I decided to start SOS Lactation.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
SOS Lactation is different in that it offers a very personal touch. When my clients call, they speak directly to me and I follow them throughout their breastfeeding journey. Many families I have worked with for more than one child. My moms know they can depend on me and feel comfortable working with me. Because of this SOS Lactation is rated first for Houston breastfeeding help on Yelp, and has more positive reviews online than any other breastfeeding service. Growing SOS Lactation has been a challenging, but rewarding journey. Each year the number of families I’ve heled has grown. There was uncertainty with COVID, however taking the proper precautions has enabled me to continue to help babies breastfeed.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love all of the festivals and interesting places Houston has to offer. But since COVID, one of my favorite things has been to order good food (there is no shortage of places), hang out and Netflix binge. A nice stroll in Hermann Park always helps me reset.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I planned to exclusively breastfeed my children. When my oldest daughter was 3 days old, my nipples were sore and cracked. I was in pain and exhausted. I grabbed my robe, and in my pajama’s drove to Walmart and bought a can of formula. When I arrived home my husband asked were I had been. I told him I just needed to give her some formula. He then told me “Leah, I’ve seen you pregnant, I’ve seen you give birth, I know you can breastfeed too.” He asked me to wait until the morning and called lactation support to the house that same weekend. That breastfeeding help was my saving grace. When I decided to make a career change, he supported me and took on the financial burden of the household while I got my clinical hours to become certified as a lactation consultant. He has spent countless hours helping me and supporting me 100% throughout this endeavor. Without him, I would be on a completely different path and there would be no SOS Lactation.