Mamas Au Lait | Lactation
By Paola Vallarino
As an International Medical Graduate, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and Mama, I understand the frustration of struggling with breastfeeding and not knowing where to turn to first. I want families to enjoy this beautiful journey of receiving a baby in their lives and that’s why my mission is to support, educate and empower families with tools and resources so that they can make their own decisions, and I can put a plan together that’s personalized and effective for them.
*Currently, I am 100% dedicated to Lactation Consulting and at the moment I offer only virtual consultations, I do not offer medical consultation of any kind. Information in this website is for educational purposes only and doesn’t replace individual consultation.
Paola Vallarino | Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
Hi everyone! My name is Paola Vallarino, I’m an Internationally Trained Physician, Certified Breastfeeding Specialist & Mama. I live in Toronto with my husband Edgar & our baby boy Alexander. I was born in Mexico and educated as a physician in Cuba. I came to Canada in 2018 and fell in love with this beautiful country. When I got pregnant, I knew the importance of breastfeeding and I prepared myself a lot to be more than ready when my baby was born. He was born and within 1hour he was on my breast, skin to skin and breastfeeding all the time. I was more than happy!
Difficulties came a few days later. I faced cracked nipples, oversupply & a lot of pain. I went from being prepared to being vulnerable, without knowing anything about what I was doing. I found myself doing everything: gel, lanolin, washing nipples before and after each feeding, I was desperate. The pediatrician told me that I had to give my baby formula and that I couldn't breastfeed more than 20 minutes from each breast. Although as a physician I knew that was wrong, I felt so vulnerable and desperate that I listened to him. There I was, with my breasts full of milk, giving formula to my baby and going crazy watching the clock counting the minutes when I was breastfeeding. I was wondering how breastfeeding could be lovely if I was suffering.
My husband was very supportive and even though a lot of people were telling me to quit trying, one day I said: I'm going to breastfeed on demand, period. I looked for lactation consultants and said goodbye to the clock and rituals; it was me and my baby learning together. A week later, my nipples were fine, my baby was growing and becoming such a chubby baby, and I was happy enjoying his cute little face while breastfeeding instead of looking at the clock! That was when I realized how beautiful breastfeeding is and how necessary it is not only to be prepared, but to have a support network that is also prepared and motivating you.
As a doctor I am so disappointed to think that it may be the same doctors who advise you badly. After breastfeeding my baby for more than 6 months, I felt confident to help other moms, and decided to start my training as a Lactation Consultant. I created Mama Au Lait | Lactation for moms who are overwhelmed and confused and no longer know what advice to listen to, to empower them with reliable, updated and evidence-based information, from one mama to another.
“I am a fan of indiscreet breastfeeding; the more people see babies at the breast, the more normal it will become.”
Dr. Jack Newman
What mamas say
Paola is a great lactation consultant, she teaches you with patience and passion, without judging you, on the contrary for her it is very important that you feel comfortable and that you understand everything so that you have a beautiful experience when feeding your baby.
I hope Paola's work reaches many more moms so that they can live a full and happy breastfeeding like mine.