August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, and we are happy to share stories from some of our staff and clients about their personal breastfeeding journey. Keep watch as we add more journey stories.
Hello, my name is Silvia. I currently work as Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for Fresno EOC WIC. I started my breastfeeding work journey almost 7 years ago and I love what I do. I had a couple of mentors while training and taking classes to become a Lactation Educator and they made me fall in love with this profession. Helping parents to succeed with their breastfeeding goals has given me many satisfactions and the opportunity to hold in my arms many beautiful babies.
My breastfeeding journey began one Christmas Eve when I was a teenager, suffering from preeclampsia and my son was born premature. I vaguely remember the medical explanation the hospital staff gave me when they took my baby to the NICU. One of the few things I do remember is that the pediatrician recommended that I breastfeed, and if I wanted my premature baby to get better faster I would need to breastfeed and pump. Taking that advice, I became committed to pump and latch and sure enough, my son was discharged a few weeks later, healthy and strong.
Being a teen Mom attending school and working to support a baby, with little support, proved to be too much, and I ended up giving up 6 weeks later. This became one of my biggest regrets in my life, as my decision to give up on breastfeeding to an already compromised child, led to my son developing asthma. Which could have likely been prevented if I were to have breastfed.
10 years later, as a more mature and prepared woman, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl who I was able to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months. I had a better support system and l also looked for resources to make sure I was going to succeed this time around. I also wanted to make sure that my daughter’s immune system would be stronger and that her health overall was going to be improved with my breast milk. It was a team effort. My husband was very helpful and understanding, as was my 10-year-old son at the time. Efforts were made among our growing family to wake me up when it was time to pump or to latch her. And every time I was feeling overwhelmed, they would remind me that the main reason I was doing this was for my daughter and her health.