I am delighted to spotlight an amazing 29-year-old who impresses me with her many accomplishments, the challenges she has overcome, and her loving, generous nature.

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC, is the mother of two, a registered nurse, childbirth educator and board certified lactation consultant. She owns LactationLink.com, a private practice offering breastfeeding support through her video classes, website, and online support forum. Lindsey’s goal is to empower women through education to reach their goals, whatever they may be. 

Paula Fellingham: What was your life like growing up?

Lindsey Shipley: I grew up in Provo as the youngest of five daughters. I have the most beautiful, accomplished sisters and all I wanted to do was be like them. I am six years younger than my next oldest sister, so I had a lot to “look up” to, literally. The roles have reversed a bit and now I am the tallest of the group! 

I have a Mom who loves us more than anything and is the very best mom you could ask for. She has always put her family first. Daily I find myself thinking, ‘How did Mom do that?’ as go about my daily routine as a mother of two. I also find myself frequently in awe of my sisters as they all have families and careers of their own. My Dad always pushed me to be my best, in everything I took part in. I am immensely grateful for that. He is forever the voice in my head pushing me to help others, and stand out from a crowd.

I am a member of the Mormon Church and my parents always led by example, constantly involved in church programs and callings. I loved the Young Women’s program and serve as a youth leader now. I was involved in sports since I could walk. My Dad is a Hoosier, so of course our main focus was basketball. I went to Timpview High School and played basketball, soccer, ran track and cross-country.  I guess my parents felt that if we stayed active in sports, it would be easier to keep us out of trouble. I also was involved in things like student government, mock trials and ballroom dance. I also played collegiate basketball at Utah State University where I met my husband Chris. 

PF: What is your life like now?

LS: My husband Chris and I live in Highland with our two kids Brody, 4, and Joslyn, 2. My biggest accomplishment is being a wife and mother. I also enjoy educating women. I’ve been an RN for five years but about a year ago I started a prenatal education company called Lactation Link. 

I started by getting a specialty certification as an IBCLC (lactation specialist) and holding local group classes. We continue with the local classes but now have an online support forum of over 22,000 women, online video classes and daily tips on our website www.lactationlink.com. My goal is to get research-based information to women everywhere. On any given day I find myself balancing appointments with clients, coloring with my kids, and trying to get dinner on the table. I am also a local youth leader with 12 to 14 year-olds. I love seeing their enthusiasm to learn and experience new things. We are blessed to live close to family and to neighbors who truly care about each other. 

PF: What is your biggest challenge?

LS: My biggest challenge is trying to find a perfect balance, probably because there is no such thing! I’ve found that balance tends to ebb and flow depending on what’s happening in our lives. A little over two years ago I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. My daughter was just six weeks old. Since then, I’ve battle through two recurrences of the disease. I’ve had three surgeries, 6 months of chemotherapy, and participated in a clinical trial. 

As of July, I am disease-free and feeling very optimistic about my future health. I would say this has been my biggest challenge to date. We all have challenges; some are more apparent at certain times. I am so blessed with the immense family and community support my family received during treatment. This experience really rocked me. It made me think about what my priorities are and really focus on that. It made me grateful for the simple things! I think as women we feel pressure to “do-it-all” perfectly. I’m working on being okay with doing a few things really well and letting the rest go!

PF: What is your advice to women?

LS: I believe we all have something unique and powerful to share. With digital media constantly bombarding us with what we should be, it can sometimes be difficult to tap into who we truly are. We can’t get too caught up in “blending in” because we will lose out on touching others with our unique talents and strengths. The big ideas that tend to impact many seem to come from original thought. Instead of saying, “That will never work,” it’s better to make a list titled, “How I will make it happen.” I think this can be applied to many of our roles as women. It could be used as a CEO of a company or a stay-at-home mom. As a prenatal educator, it’s my goal to empower women through education, supporting them in their goals, whatever they may be. We all have unique situations and perspectives. There’s no one-size-fits-all with motherhood or life. The more we can support each other, the more we can achieve as women. 

To learn more about UTAH VALLEY WOMEN, visit www.UtahValleyWomen.com or email Paula@UtahValleyWomen.com. Paula invites all women to participate! “We Are Women Helping Women Live Our Best Lives.”

By Paula Fellingham