The Free to Feed™ Team Welcomes
The biggest trait you need to know about Mrika?
She’s ready to serve your family with lactation, pumping, and nutrition expertise!
As our team grows, we know more food allergy experts means faster solutions for you. Mrika’s passionate about helping families — and always has been. She supports parents on their food allergy journeys with education and guidance. It’s about backing up YOUR goals.
Mrika believes parents absolutely know their babies best. She’s eager to guide your family on the path to healing while offering valuable resources you need along the way. Free to Feed offers real answers that get results, and Mrika’s ready to lead your family forward.
How Mrika's History Led to Supporting Families With Infant Food Allergies
Born and raised in Falls Church, Virginia, Mrika knew right out of high school she wanted to make a positive impact on the world by helping others. Even though she wasn’t exactly sure how — community health & education quickly became her path. (See where we’re going with this?)
She met her husband Christopher a few years after college. She jokingly remarks about their first date, “He walked in wearing his “Navy Whites” military uniform and I thought to myself, ‘Do I even stand a chance?’” (She did not!) Not only handsome, Christopher’s also fun, hardworking, and intelligent.
They were what she calls “military married” in under a year. Military dating and marriage can happen fast because of training, missions, deployment, etc. A year later, their “real wedding” was very special surrounded by family and friends before they moved across the country.
A few months later, they were absolutely over the moon to find out they were pregnant. Little did they know what they would be in store for.
Unfortunately, their son suffered from colic and eczema — which she now believes was undiagnosed infant food allergies. She really wishes she’d run into Free to Feed a few years ago when her son was a baby. “It probably would have stopped all his screaming,” she says. “It was so hard.”
On top of that, Mrika didn’t expect all the breastfeeding trouble she would have while trying to feed her son. Like many food allergy parents experience, breastfeeding was rough.
Mrika was stunned by the lack of breastfeeding support and knowledge available to her — so she took classes to educate herself AND support others.
She realized the huge gap in care for parents in her position. In her mind, learning how to safely feed babies shouldn’t be so hard! She decided to pursue further education in lactation, and also volunteered with Mom2Mom Global. She helped facilitate guidance for active duty military moms who wish to pump and infant feeding support for spouses.
On her journey trying to feed her own son, she ended up falling in love with supporting other families feeding their babies. She knew this was the path she was meant to be on.
Her Expertise Supports Successfully Breastfeeding Your Food Allergy Baby
Bachelor of Science degree in Community Health/Health Education (George Mason University)
Certified Lactation Counselor
Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
Breast Pump Consultant
Certified Health Education Specialist
Certified Personal Trainer/Women's Fitness Specialist
Certified Nutrition Coach
We’re pausing to shout “HOORAY” for a Certified Breast Pump Consultant on Our Team!
We have SO many families who are food allergy warriors that exclusively pump — massive kudos to all of you. Now with Mrika on our team, we have so much more knowledge about pumping. (But no, we can't tell you why it’s named a flange. I mean, flange? Really?)
Mrika’s passionate about parents' health and education behind eliminating foods. Her additional education as a nutrition coach helps you safely nourish yourself and your baby. She doesn’t want your family to suffer a second longer!
With Mrika on your side, you’ll feel supported and ready to take on another day with your sweet baby.
5 Fun Facts About Mrika & Her Family
Most of her days are filled with activities for her little guy, who’s 3. He’s huge into exploring outside and reading right now, so if you need a good kids' book recommendation – she’s got plenty!
When her son goes to sleep and Christopher’s away on duty — Mrika dedicates every night to learning more about two things: food allergies and breastfeeding. Mrika takes her international board-certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) exam this September. (Yay!)
She’s watched every single episode of the Sopranos. (Did we mention Christopher’s Italian — and from New York? (She loves her husband so much that she traded her Doc Martin episodes!)
She really misses reading for fun. (Mom-life drastically changed that hobby…for now.)
Every Friday night is homemade pizza night. We’re talking the real deal — Mrika preps the dough the night before and makes her own sauce. (NY-Italian hubby, remember?) Her son absolutely loves to help put all the toppings on.
Mrikas Advice to Parents Who Just Found Out Their Baby Has Food Allergies
“Hang in there! Parenthood isn’t easy and adding food allergies makes things even more complicated. It’s ok to experience a wide range of emotions after finding out your little one has an allergy. Seek out support by finding a care team that truly listens and supports your journey. Don’t forget your own mental and emotional support either. It truly takes a village and having help as you navigate baby food allergies can be so valuable.”
“Also, as challenging as it can be to do — try to release any guilt you might be feeling as a parent. It can be hard not to feel like we missed something or could have done something differently. It’s so important to remember that you’re doing the best you can for your child — and you are the best parent for your child!”
Mrikas Motivation to Support Breastfeeding Parents Through Infant Food Allergies
“Supporting families during their infant feeding journeys is something I am dedicated to — whatever that might look like for each family. My goal is to support families as they navigate food allergies and do anything in my power to help reduce the stress that they are experiencing.
I also feel passionate about finding ways to keep mom fed and nourished while she figures out what might be triggering her infant’s food allergies. Helping parents reintroduce their favorite foods into their diet while maintaining a healthy, happy baby is one of the biggest motivators for me! I’m motivated every day to ease the burden of families suffering from food allergies.”
What Mrika Wishes People Understood About Baby Food Allergies
“I wish that people understood how often parents are dismissed or given temporary diagnoses like colic as opposed to being listened to. Parents feel like they are crazy or over-reacting when they bring attention to their concerns.
I wish more providers would truly listen to offer individualized care based on the family’s goals and desires. It needs to be acknowledged that parents are the experts when it comes to their children and care.” (BOOM!)
You’re Not Alone!
We’re thrilled to introduce more dedicated and educated food allergy experts to your family!