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 1st 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 Nayeli Gomez
My name is Nayeli Gomez and I am from Mexico City, and I’ve been living in Chicago for eighteen years. Before having my daughter, I was not exposed to breastfeeding. I have two brothers and none of the women in my extended family breastfed; I had never seen it done. Unlike other Latinas, I can’t say that I watched other women in my family breastfeeding their rosy-cheeked babies, wrapped in beautiful rebozos close to their mother’s chest.
I am from a typical large and industrialized city, where traditions are lost, people live to work, time moves fast and women can’t even think of breastfeeding because they have to go back to work right after their babies are born. Instead, I was exposed to cans of formula sitting on kitchen shelves and women who worried about the hefty price of this “precious” powder.
When my daughter was two months old, I also had to go back to work. Fortunately for me, my Director of Human Resources had been a pumping mom and she understood my needs. I did not have a desk job and most of my co-workers were younger and male, so I used to announce my “mommy breaks” to let them know that I would be going away to pump.
One of my goals as a pumping mom at work was to bring a sense of normalcy into what I did. I would act natural so the men at work would sense that pumping at work was a natural thing to do for a full time mom. Sometimes, they would even ask questions and I would answer their legitimate curiosity, leaving them in awe. I feel very proud to have accomplished that and I feel so proud of every mom that makes breastfeeding in public or pumping at work, something that is very natural to do, because it is. Sadly, I know that not every working mom has such a seamless experience when it comes to pumping at work. Most women don’t know that it is their right to extract this precious fluid while they’re away from their babies at work. We need to empower other Latinas to exercise that right.
My name is Nayeli Gomez-Burns and I was born in Mexico City but I’ve been living in Chicago for eighteen years. My passion to serve others and meet new people is the reason I obtained my college degree in hospitality. I became a mom in May of 2014 and learned the art of breastfeeding through self-education, but became a passionate advocate when I realized the lack of resources and support in the Latino community. When I’m not working on new projects, or contributing to Latina Breastfeeding Leaders, you can find me baby-wearing my toddler all over town.
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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!