Andra Sandberg

Andra Sandberg

RN/Lactation Consultant


Andra Sandberg Consulting

Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
My aunt saw something in me and encouraged me to become a Registered Nurse.
Having gone to a diploma nursing program, I wanted to complete my Bachelors Degree at Humboldt.
Feeling the freedom of graduating, I joined the Peace Corps in Iran for 2 years, and studied Farsi.
When I returned, I began working on my MA in Counseling Psychology and MFT license.
I was married for 10 years, worked in Saudi Arabia, and traveled the world.
My sister moved in with me with her son and daughter, a real education for one without children.
Family relationships led me to become a Licensed Prayer Practitioner at the Center for Spiritual Living.
Retired at 65, financially comfortable and independent, feeling blessed and grateful.
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
undergrad
Bachelor
Humboldt State University
graduate
Graduate
Counseling Psychology
Humboldt State University
Career

Career

RN/Lactation Consultant

I recently retired from my hospital position as RN/Lactation Consultant.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Medicine
Writing
Writing
Being Creative
Being Creative

Day to Day

I can speak about working as a Lactation Consultant/RN which gave me independence and a personal creative outlet for the last 6 years of my work in a hospital setting. I loved working with new families and their newborns, helping them learn how to breastfeed and bond. This is such an important moment in a family's life, and to be helpful in this situation is a great reward. I was able to include many healing modalities in my work, and valued the relationships with staff and patients.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

In order to be an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) one must have hours of experience before applying for that certification. As I had worked as a Post Partum nurse for 2 decades, I had ample experience helping new mothers breastfeed, before applying for certification. There are lots of conferences about breastfeeding, and attending these would also give you a good idea of the issues IBCLCs deal with.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

There are volunteer opportunities and school assignments that can be completed in a hospital maternity setting. I worked with a student that joined me for several hours over the course of her term, so she could learn more about what a Lactation Consultant does. This way, one can feel what the environment is like, working in a hospital, and to see if the work still seems interesting. If you are in California studying Spanish helps a lot. Also, imagine yourself as being there already.

Recommended Education

My career is not related to what I studied. I'd recommend this path instead:

undergrad
Bachelor
Nursing Science
certification
Certification/License
RN, IBCLC
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Parents:

"'It's not okay to pursue happiness. If you can't do something right, don't do it at all. Another day shot to pieces.' Mostly my Dad had these themes, mom was quiet."

Going away to nursing school removed me from home as it was a boarding school, in LA. I was not especially smart, but found that if I was persistent, I could achieve my goals. Packing my little Datsun and driving away from home to attend Humboldt State, was finding a different "noise." Through all this, I never felt great about myself. I viewed my education as helping me understand myself more; and as an escape while also finding direction. Serving in the Peace Corps was my best education.

Challenges I Overcame

Financial
Financial

Immigrant parents, blue collar workers, "scrimp and save" was our lifestyle. My sister and I would sometimes hide because of the old car we drove, and we didn't want our friends to see. My dad made soap and wore paper bag hats he made to save money.

First-Generation Immigrant
First-Generation Immigrant

Old fashioned parents. Follow the rules. No talking at the dinner table. My sister and I lived in fear of being hit or scorned. We played outside a lot, and my freedom was riding my bike.