The LuvDoc's Celebrity Corner
The LuvDoc chats with lactation specialist and writer Kristine Kovach
10:33AM, Mon. Aug. 6, 2012
I met Kristine Kovach at the Austin Music Awards maybe like 10 years ago. Could have been 15. I don’t know. Anyway, I ran into her as she and her husband John (who was there to receive an award as a member of The Eggmen, a much-celebrated Austin Beatles tribute band) were exiting the VIP tent.
Assuming they were famous because of John’s Nehru jacket and Kristine’s awesome up do and fabulously outrageous outfit, I stopped them and said something like, “Y’all are famous right?” (My vernacular gets more country the drunker I am) She replied with something like, “No, he is (pointing to John), I’m just his groupie.”
Once I got to know her a little better, I found that Kristine has plenty of groupies herself. Why? Well, for starters she is highly entertaining. She has a razor-sharp wit – both comedic and otherwise – that few can match. She employs that wit in a variety of ways: She’s a veteran vagina monologist (anyone can have a vagina dialog), a lactation specialist (has something to do with leaky boobs), a badass karaokeist (she does a God stomping version of You Shook Me All Night Long), and a loving mother of two.
I chose Kristine as the first guest on the LuvDoc’s Celebrity Corner because I wanted to talk about breasts. We ended up talking about childrens’ health issues and corporate greed – much heavier shit than I had intended. I hope you find it edifying.
LuvDoc: You get to touch breasts for a living...how awesome is that?
Kristine: We call them fun bags. That's the preferred medical term. That's how fun it is.
LuvDoc: Latin is always sexier, isn't it? Do you ever get a pair that you just want to work over like Mike Tyson on a light bag? I am just going to assume, by the way, that you occasionally motorboat your clients.
Kristine: Doctors advise no watercraft for 6 weeks post-partum.
LuvDoc: Doctors can be real dicks. I know. I am a fake one myself.
Kristine: No, you’re a legitimate dick, Doc.
LuvDoc: Ouch. So...how did you get into the lactation biz?
Kristine: You’re that guy at a party in the Hawaiian shirt who asks me if I need an assistant when I tell him what I do.
LuvDoc: I wonder if prostitutes get that? They probably don't go to parties.
Kristine: I am fluent in sign language. In the early 90's the government was looking for ways to get breastfeeding education to under-served populations and I thought they were looking for wannabe rock stars to dance to Dee Lite at Raves, so I answered the call.
LuvDoc: Damn it. That is so totally out of left field I don't know what to do with it. So you got your big break in the lactation biz by sharing the gospel of breastfeeding to the hearing impaired?
Kristine: Being a young hillbilly mom helped.
LuvDoc: Dude... You can't be a hillbilly from Akron.
Kristine: You can only be that. Jewbilly … Polebilly … Czechbilly … Devobilly
LuvDoc: Careful there...you're getting into clown van/mime territory with that Devobilly thing.
Kristine: Anyway, I was on the WIC program and at that time they were known as a free formula giving entity (Ha! I said “titty”).
LuvDoc: So you were on the government tit, so to speak, and they put you to work educating women on how to get off it?
Kristine: WIC isn’t like other programs. Many people with insurance and decent jobs - like teachers ( as I was at the time) get WIC. It began in 1974 as a response to... well-- this is gross …
LuvDoc: Gross? I'm in...please continue...
Kristine: …as a response to the rampant use of formula, which was a very strong and sudden cultural change. Lower income women had stopped breastfeeding en mass by then but were over-diluting formula with water in order to save money, which was depriving babies of adequate calories. Babies began to suffer and starve in some cases.
LuvDoc: Jesus! You can't trust the poor for shit. I'm voting for Romney. So, how did you make the transition from information officer to lactation specialist?
Kristine: So instead of restricting practices by big business (practices like routinely giving injections at delivery to dry mother's up), we began as a nation to help them (the makers of Enfamil and Similac) to provide their goods for free to a captive bunch of lazy, poor babies.
LuvDoc: Sounds like fucking Mordor to me. Let's get some axe handles and go take care of those greedy bastards.
Kristine: That sort of Xena style makes me look short. Oh … well … I was working for WIC part time, conducting classes and seeing all manner of odd and informative lactation situations and also still working at the DEAF school on the east side - when part of it was still over there. I began to know what my love and calling were, so I started studying for our exam - the IBCLC exam.
LuvDoc: International Breast Cupping Ladies Coalition?
Kristine: Irascible Boob Caressing League, cuz. Actually it’s the International Board Of Lactation Consultants - of which I am a happy member – the never bored.
LuvDoc: Fascinating. I hope you get a fez with that or something.
Kristine: It has a nipple on top. The little motorcycle is awesome. No baby seat for it, sadly. Anyway, now I teach all over town to hearing couples mostly but I still occasionally get to use my sign skills.
LuvDoc: Those are called minibikes.
Kristine: I am sorry your mom would not let you have a mini bike.
LuvDoc: She didn’t breastfeed me either. I’m a wreck.
Kristine: I didn’t want to nurse my baby, by the way. Why? I wanted to fail so my parents would give us money for formula.
LuvDoc: I didn’t want to nurse either. I mean my own baby, not yours. That would be totes skeev.
Kristine: Ava might object … to you I mean.
LuvDoc: It's best not to create nipple confusion, right?
Kristine: Yes, the hair is confusing. Really though, Ava is 23, so that would be truly... just ...
LuvDoc: Although I have to say, these are some pretty sweet nuggets.
Kristine: I’m thinking ... crank up the pump suction to dial you down a bit.
LuvDoc: If I had a nickel for every time someone said that to me…
END - Check back soon for more LuvDoc interviews with glamorous celebrities!
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Kristine Kovach, lactation, dee lite, The Eggmen, Mike Tyson, WIC, Enfamil, Similac, nipple confusion