Melanie and Melissa both met each other at a lactation support group when they were having trouble nursing their children. Both of them found a love for lactation and a passion of helping other mothers meet their feeding goals, so they decided to pursue their dreams. Get to know them better below.
Melissa Topil & Melanie Horstman
BS-MCH, IBCLC, RLC, CPST
Hello! My name is Melanie Horstman and I am an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and co-founder of Nurture Omaha, LLC. I am married to my husband Drew and we have 2 children, our son Ezra who was born in 2013 and our daughter Holland who was born in 2016.
My whole life I knew I wanted to work with children in some way - I bounced around from wanting to be a counselor, teacher, and Child Life Specialist. In 2012 when I was signed up to go to school to become a Child Life Specialist I found out I was pregnant with my first child. Something didn't feel right about me going to school at that time so I decided to take a break and just work to save money. Little did I know that when my son was born in 2013 that it would be the best decision I've made.
I had many issues breastfeeding my son even though I had taken a birthing class that covered breastfeeding. I thought I was prepared - but boy was I surprised! My son didn't latch well in the hospital so the lactation help gave me a nipple shield. While I am thankful that the shield allowed me to breastfeed my son, it was not always a pleasant thing to have around. My son was very colicky and hard to console - he was gassy, had abnormal bowel movements, and didn't sleep much. After struggling for 6 weeks by myself I finally sought out help from an IBCLC. She reassured me that I was doing a great job and that my baby loved me. Even that small bit of reassurance was all I needed to continue breastfeeding. After meeting with my son's pediatrician (and a few others), we thought my son may have a food intolerance (MSPI - or Milk Soy Protein Intolerance to be exact) so I cut dairy and soy from my diet. As a new mother with little time to cook or meal plan AND having it be the winter holiday season, this diet was HARD! I felt I couldn't eat anything, and much of my family refused to adapt recipes to reflect my new diet. I felt alone and I felt like it wasn't working - my son was still colicky. After months of this diet not working I went back to the IBCLC and she suspected I had oversupply and that lowering my supply would help fix the problem. I immediately started block feeding under her instruction and within a week my son was a completely different baby.
I've taken a real interest in helping families with food intolerance and suspected oversupply. For my graduation school I wrote a research paper on this subject and found some interesting correlations between the symptoms of both problems. My theory is: if you want to do the diet and it won't deter you from breastfeeding then do it (it's a really healthy diet!). But if the diet may be hard for you to follow, then lets explore other options that may be easier to resolve than a diet. Either way, I'm here to support you and your choices and help you meet your breastfeeding goals whatever they may be.
I also have a passion for supporting the LGBTQ+ community, being a part of it myself. I believe that feeding your baby should be called what you want to call it, and that words matter. I am committed to helping everyone feed their children regardless of their gender or if the child is biologically theirs. Human milk is a powerful and necessary tool in nutrition, health, and development.
I've also taken an interest in car seat safety. I thought I knew a lot about car seat safety and then I decided to take a 4 day course to become a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST - aka. Car Seat Tech) - and WOW there was so much I didn't know! I'm passionate about keeping your children safe in the car and am developing a class to teach to parents and caregivers of children on car seat safety. I've been certified since 2015.
I have an Associates degree in Psychology from Iowa Western Community College and a Bachelors degree in Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting from Union Institute & University. During my schooling at Union I obtained my certifications as a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and an Advanced Lactation Consultant (ALC). After finishing my degree and 300 hours of internship at Elite Lactation Professionals, I took my boards for lactation and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2017.
In my downtime I like to dance, practice yoga, and binge watch TV. I am passionate about keeping our environment clean and protecting the Earth. I like to go green by recycling, planting native plants (save the bees!), and by shopping at local food markets and supporting our local farmer. I keep my family healthy by eating well, taking probiotics and vitamins, and visiting the chiropractor regularly.
I look forward to meeting your family and helping to support you on your journey into parenthood!
RN, BSN, IBCLC, RLC, CPST
Hello, I am Melissa Topil and I am one of the co-founders of Nurture Omaha LLC and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and Child Passenger Safety Technician. I also am Registered Nurse with my Bachelors in Science Nursing and Minor in Business Management. I went to Clarkson Collage, graduated in 2008 and started working at Nebraska Medicine right after graduation.
I have been married to my husband Noah since 2008 and we have 1 daughter, Vivian, who was born in 2013 and a son, Mark, who was born in 2020 . We also have many fur kids, Banks and Cookie our dogs and Jax and Cloudy our cats. Most of the time we will also have a foster dog or 2 from Big Red Rescue. In addition to animals I enjoy crafts, sewing, and other DIY projects, as well as walks on Omaha's trails, park time with my family and gardening.
I have always been nurturer and loved taking care of people and animals, which is why I went into nursing. When I had my daughter I was having issues breastfeeding I had only 1 friend who I could go to for questions, she is who brought me to my first support group. When I went I realized I wasn't the only one with questions or struggling. Before this I didn't even know any outpatient lactation support existed. A support group is where Melanie and I met and where we both found our passion for lactation and helping moms find what help is available to them. If it wasn't for my IBCLC, friends or the support groups I would have never managed to successfully breastfeed my daughter 40 months! At first I started our volunteering with [Nurture] and after a few days I knew this was something I wanted to pursue. I completed the 90 hours of lactation education as well as the 1000 hours of volunteer lactation practice, followed by sitting for the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant Exam in 2016.
My goals as an IBCLC are to ensure moms are aware of the support that is out there for them and let them know they are not alone! We will educated mothers with prenatal classes, offer 1 on 1 private consults, and free open support groups.
Can't wait to meet you and your family and see how I can help you be an even better parent then you ever thought you could be!