Breastfeeding!

During Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month, HealthConnect One is excited to celebrate our breastfeeding traditions through online and real-life conversation and support. This is the 2nd guest post in our blog series, “Celebrating our Breastfeeding Traditions,” featuring individuals who identify as Latino/Hispanic who are breastfeeding leaders, advocates of breastfeeding support, and members of breastfeeding families.

by Edith Leyva

E Leyva image002My commitment to breastfeeding with my last child was 11 months.

Being a young teenage mother with my first 3 children wasn’t the greatest way to decide and be committed to breastfeed. I didn’t have support and didn’t know much about breastfeeding.

Now, I am 33 and had my last child.

Nine years ago, I attended a class to become a breastfeeding peer counselor and I said to myself that if I ever have another child, I will breastfeed. After all I learned and after all the good benefits that come with it, knowing there is a special bond with baby when you breastfeed, I had seen that breastfeeding is important. So right after I became pregnant in 2013, I was determined to breastfeed for the last time.

E Leyva image001I said: This is my last chance.

By now, I had my family that had breastfed, too, and knew much more about it. I had my counselors and great people that supported me all the way. I had my baby, Jeremiah Salazar, in 2014 and I was determined to feed him just from me. Wow. What an amazing experience I had. I had my ups and downs and my fears and, of course, family and friends that don’t see it nice, but I stayed positive within me and I had people that supported me and kept encouraging me.

Being in the Latino community, sometimes we face a lot of discouragement and people thinking bad about breastfeeding, people not used to seeing such thing. But I believe it is important to face that fear and show support and have moms enjoy and spend quality time with their baby. I know that the baby will grow so happy with lots of love to give. It is an amazing bond that no one can break.

E Leyva familyAfter breastfeeding baby around the family and my children and friends, they were so amazed by how determined and dedicated I was. They were so happy for me and congratulated me.

Now that I decided to stop, I miss it. I miss that bonding with my baby. I had medical reasons to stop, unfortunately … but now I say I did it, and I am so happy and blessed that I did. Now I can say I am more than ready to encourage new moms to do it: 

Find help. Ask questions. Because our babies – our children – are just borrowed, and one day, they will grow and be on their own and there is no turning back. 

I enjoyed every minute and second of it. The experience I had with baby is so amazing. I wish I had this chance with my other children.

E Leyva eeeI want to send a special thanks to my role models: My cousins, Cristina Salgado and Estefania Trejo; my mom, Leticia Leyva; my sister-in-law, Darlene Leyva; and my counselors, Brenda Reyes, Liz Chang, and Helen Dimas. Thanks to these women, I didn’t give up.

It is possible and we have to stay positive. Is a beautiful thing to do for our babies. The best thing is that everywhere we went, he had milk!!

EDITH LEYVA
04/09/82
MEXICAN, AMERICAN
WIFE, MOTHER OF 4 CHILDREN , OLDEST DAUGHTER OF TWO, 3RD CHILD OF 5
CHILDREN : 17, 14,12 & 1YR

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How has it been for you?

TWEET WITH US on October 7th at 2:00 p.m. ET, for a #WellnessWed Twitter Chat about Breastfeeding in Latino/Hispanic Communities. Share your voice with hashtag #DandoPecho!

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