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my breastfeeding journey

Hi everyone! My name is Paola. I live in Toronto with my husband Edgar & our baby boy Alexander. 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 1 hour 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 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 a beautiful experience 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 looked for a lactation consultant 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.


After breastfeeding my baby I felt confident to help other moms, and decided to start my training as a Lactation Consultant and Child Nutrition Specialist. Currently, I hold the gold standard certification for health professionals working with breastfeeding families: I'm  an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist. I’m always updating my knowledge with continuing education to give families the best care. 

Currently I'm 100% dedicated to Lactation Medicine and Child Nutrition.


I created Mamas Au Lait | Lactation for mamas like me 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.

Paola Vallarino, IEP, IBCLC, CBS

Internationally Educated Physician

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

Certified Breastfeeding Specialist

Child Nutrition Specialist

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