Paola Vallarino, IEP, IBCLC, CBS
Internationally Educated Physician
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
Baby-Led Feeding Teacher
Hi everyone! My name is Paola Vallarino, I’m an Internationally Educated Physician, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, 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. Becoming a mom, struggling with breastfeeding my baby boy, and my medical background, inspired me to become a lactation consultant and help families to enjoy breastfeeding.
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.
Currently I'm 100% dedicated to Lactation Medicine and Baby-Led Feeding, and I'm extending my postgraduate education to Pediatric Nutrition.
I created Mamas 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.
*Currently, I am 100% dedicated to Lactation Consulting. I do not offer medical consultation of any kind. Information in this website is for educational purposes only and doesn’t replace individual consultation.