Paola Vallarino | Certified Breastfeeding Specialist
My name is Paola Vallarino, and I’m a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist & Mama. I live in Toronto with my hubby Edgar & our baby boy Alexander. I was born in Mexico and educated as a physician in Cuba. I came to Canada two years ago 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 a prepared mom to a vulnerable mom 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 give him more than 20 minutes from each breast. Although I knew that was wrong, I felt so vulnerable 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 breastfed. I was wondering how breastfeeding could be lovely if I was suffering.
Then 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. Suddenly, 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 it is to breastfeed 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. When I had been breastfeeding for more than 6 months, I felt confident to help other moms, and decided to start my training in Breastfeeding. I decided to create Mama Au Lait for moms who are overwhelmed and confused and no longer know what advice to listen to, to provide them with medical, reliable, updated and evidence-based information, from one mama to another.
*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.