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Northern Prairie Lactation Services: Empowering Mothers

Jun 24, 2024

Some of the greatest entrepreneurs are the ones who not only recognize a need but experience it firsthand. This was especially true for Jaci McCaskell Kulish…a stay-at-home mom whose life changed after the birth of her first child.

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From Bibs to Business

In 2007, Jaci and her husband eagerly welcomed their first child into the world. Soon after, Jaci experienced difficulties breastfeeding and sought out the support of local professionals in the Fargo/Moorhead area. Little did she know this hurdle would become the door to her newly discovered passion.

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Finding Support to Becoming Support

With breastfeeding challenges mounting, Jaci sought help from her local La Leche League - a non-profit, volunteer-based organization that provides support and education to breastfeeding mothers. Their help inspired Jaci to become an accredited Leader in 2010 after the birth of her second child. In this role, she offered peer-to-peer breastfeeding support, helping and empowering other mothers who were facing similar challenges that she once did.

"If I hadn't been able to get support locally, my breastfeeding journey would have ended in six weeks."

-Jaci, Owner of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

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Sweet Dreams of Accreditation

A few years later when her youngest was about to start school, Jaci’s passion for helping others needed a new outlet. Fueled by her experiences as a La Leche League Leader, she set her sights on becoming an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and offering a deeper level of professional support and expertise.

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Unexpected Hiccups

Jaci enrolled in classes through various schools to prepare for the IBCLC exam. In March of 2020, following months of intensive studying, she was set to take her exam. However, the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic led to its indefinite postponement, putting her dreams on hold.

"I got the call on March 13th that my exam was canceled. It took a lot of wind out of my sails, and I stopped studying for a while..."

-Jaci, Owner of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

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The Birth of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

After a long wait and much uncertainty, Jaci finally took her exam in September of 2020 and officially opened her practice Northern Prairie Lactation Services - in May of 2021.

"Starting in lactation support was great because it required minimal capital, relying mostly on direct and conversational support with my clients. But later down the road, I began dreaming of having my own office space..."

-Jaci, Owner of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

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Growth Spurts

After securing an office space, she applied for and received a Community Impact Loan through Dakota Business Lending. With these funds, Jaci was able to expand her network with insurance companies, buy office furniture, and cover continuing education costs in her new space.

“The support I received from Dakota Business Lending and their Community Impact Loan program was amazing. The process was quick and painless and the level of support from their team was incredible.”

-Jaci, Owner of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

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From Little Steps to Big Success

Today, Jaci provides a range of services including in-person home visits, office visits, and virtual consultations. Her private practice allows her to offer personalized care to mothers and babies all throughout the Fargo/Moorhead area, empowering them to navigate the challenges of breastfeeding with confidence.

“I adore what I do. There's nothing quite like helping a client who's been struggling to finally succeed in feeding their baby. It's the smiles they leave with that make it all worthwhile.”

-Jaci, Owner of Northern Prairie Lactation Services

For more information about Northern Prairie Lactation Services, visit their website.

This article was written by Dakota Business Lending with permission from Northern Prairie Lactation Services and is not to be edited or redistributed without permission.