My Story

Ashley Garrison


I knew I wanted to work in lactation consulting ever since I met an IBCLC on my Labor and Delivery rotation in nursing school. I started lactation consulting after my second child was born, and it grew from there. I believe in meeting mothers and parents where they’re at in their breastfeeding journey. I work to give research-based information so they can build confidence in their parenting skills and make informed decisions throughout their breastfeeding or chestfeeding experience. My goal is to celebrate the accomplishments and walk beside you when you want to quit on your worst day. I specialize in customizing feeding plans that honor the baby needs, the mother’s hopes and wellbeing, and the family’s values.

I am very experienced in all areas of lactation including difficult latches, babies who have never latched, breast and nipple pain, moving from bottle to breast, low supply, oversupply, exclusive pumping, drying up milk, pumping at work, flat and inverted nipples, tongue and labial ties, plugged ducts, mastitis, food introduction, teething, colic management, gas and reflux, slow to weight, weight loss, weaning, tandem nursing, and many more.

*My unique specialty is premature babies, NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) babies, special care nursery babies, small for gestational age babies, and late preterm babies. I initiated and developed UNC Rex’s NICU lactation program from 2020-2022.

(There’s more about me dofwn below)

Education and Qualifications

Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duke University 2007

Bachelor of Arts in Journalism, minor in Art History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2002

Registered Nurse in North Carolina since 2007

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant since 2011

La Leche League Member 2012-2016

Volunteer Doula at UNC Healthcare in Chapel Hill 2004-2005

Daisy Award Nomination at Rex Healthcare 2020

IBCLC Cares Award 2022 – NICU Lactation Program at Rex Healthcare 2022

TOTS training completion April 2023!

My journey to lactation consulting

Doula Volunteer and Nursing School

I’ve been an IBCLC lactation consultant for 12 years and a nurse for 16 years. I started working in women’s health as a doula volunteer at UNC Healthcare while going to nursing school. My doula training has been a foundation of my practice as a nurse and lactation consultant. Mothering the mother is an essential part of supporting a healthy, thriving community.

UNC Women’s Health and Pediatric Nurse

After nursing school, I worked in labor and delivery, postpartum, antepartum, newborn nursery, and lactation at UNC Healthcare for several years. I especially loved building relationships with my high-risk pregnancy families.

I took a few years off of work to my two children in their infant and toddler years. When I went back to work, I enjoyed working as a nurse and lactation consultant at UNCPN Pediatrics at Southpoint. I gained a lot of knowledge and experience in infant growth and development.

Breastfeeding Mother

As a mom, I have personal experience with breastfeeding 2 infants on the autism spectrum. I breastfed them both into toddlerhood and in tandem. My specific breastfeeding experience was not planned, and it was definitely not roses and unicorns. I had a love-hate relationship with it. Many days I wanted to quit, and many days there was a lot fun with laughter. I’ve never regretted moving through the ups and downs of that experience, and I will always be grateful for the chance I got to snuggle with my kids during a challenging time.

Inpatient Lactation Consultant

At the beginning of Covid, I worked as an inpatient lactation consultant at UNC Rex Healthcare. I developed the NICU lactation program at Rex so those families could have consistent access to lactation services. I have a passion for working with NICU, preemie, late preterm, and small for gestational age babies.

Here’s the Garrison crew, all perfectly imperfect. Except Dash (our sweet dog) looks perfect here.