Hi! I'm Nicole, Puerto Rican wife, coffee lover, mama of 3, doggie mom of 1, family chef, and lover of all things baby!
I absolutely love all things birth, babies and breastfeeding!
Supporting families from prenatal through the postpartum period is my passion and life calling.
I was born and raised in the west coast of Puerto Rico and grew up among palm trees, salty air, sand dunes and surf waves. My family and I currently reside in Spartanburg, SC. I am fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and proudly work with all communities in my area. Permanently sleep deprived from mothering 3 beautiful and energetic girls, all my girls have been exclusively breastfed well into toddlerhood. I have accumulated over 7 years of experience breastfeeding my own children and have counseled women with lactation since 2009.
I worked in the financial industry and as a business instructor for most of my professional career. But my love for all perinatal periods led me to a career shift, and motivated me to enroll in lactation-specific and childbirth education studies.
I fell in love with birth, motherhood and breastfeeding with the birth of my firstborn. I am as committed today as I became with my first birth experience and my very first latch. I have devoted the last few years to my perinatal studies and have a specialization in lactation management.
Education, Training and Experience
B.S. Business Management
University of Puerto Rico
M.B.A. Business Management
Metropolitan University of Puerto RIco
First vaginal Childbirth
Winchester Medical Center
Second vaginal childbirth
Winchester Medical Center
Third vaginal childbirth
Greenville Midwifery Birth Center.
Certified lactation counselor- LC (CBI)
Certified HypnoBirth and HypnoFertility Educator
The LeClair Method
gentlebirth Certified Childbirth Educator- GBCE
prenatal yoga teacher-in-training
Yoga and Ayurveda Center
I regularly attend continued education trainings and have completed the following:
~ Breastmilk Scientific: Understanding HMO's
~ COVID-19: Best Practices for Lactation Consultants and Perinatal Educators
~ Advanced Safety, Infection Control and Prevention
I also currently manage the Spartanburg Birth Network directory of birth professionals. www.spartanburgbirthnetwork.com
I believe that understanding what is biologically normal with your body and baby is key to surviving parenthood and reaching your pregnancy, birth and/or lactation goals.
I am passionate about teaching prenatal classes that aid future parents to be prepared for the beautiful journey that lies ahead, always providing evidence-based information that assists them in making the right decisions for their family.
I help parents navigate any challenges in which they need lactation support in the comfort of their home, while always suggesting respectful and natural parenting and feeding techniques.
My BIRTH AND BREASTFEEDING Story
As a first time mother in 2009 living in Virginia, I attended the hospital and breastfeeding class, which prepared me for the basics of what was ahead. After my waters breaking at 38 weeks, Sophia was born with pain management meds at our local hospital. Although we were both well, Sophia would not latch onto my breast. I was not informed of the effects of epidural use on newborns, so I was confused and frustrated as to why my baby wouldn't latch, but wanted to sleep so much instead. I started my journey of problem solving on my own through research and online forums. I navigated through painful latches, plugged ducts, cluster feeds and exhaustion. But I was able to succeed and breastfed my firstborn, latching her at day 5 postpartum. I returned to work full time as an accountant at 8 weeks postpartum, and had to then navigate the world of milk supply, pumping, bottles, and balancing a career and home life. I nursed Sophia for 22 months.
My firstborn weaned just weeks before her sister, Victoria, was born in 2011. For my second birth, I opted again for the epidural, but didn't realize how quickly the labor would be. Just moments after the epidural, I was coached to push. The epidural hadn't taken full effect first, and the sustained coached pushing placed too much pressure on my tailbone, which ended up injured. Breastfeeding was easier this time, and I reached my goal of nursing Victoria for 24 months. Life moved us from Virginia to South Carolina, and I had to say goodbye to finance and embrace my new role as a stay-at-home mom. Once Victoria started kindergarten, I returned to work, this time teaching business courses at our local high school.
Just 6 months after returning to work, we were surprised with the pregnancy of our third child. I, once again, said goodbye to work mom, and hello to stay-at-home mom. Andrea was born in 2017 at a birth center surrounded by amazing midwives that understood my concern for my tailbone. I was able to have a complete physiological water birth, with minimal speaking, using my version of meditative focus and a complete positive, exhilarating and emotionally healing birth experience. The 4th trimester was very challenging. Mastitis, plugged ducts: vasospasm, postpartum depression and anxiety rocked my world. A very high needs baby and toddler, I learned to fully embrace Respectful-Attachment Parenting, which helped me manage the obstacles thrown our way. Because I am taking a baby-led approach this time around, I am allowing her to self wean whenever she is biologically ready .
"A positive birth comes in many forms and is defined by the Mother."
~ Tracy Donegan, Registered Midwife and GentleBirth Founder