I Struggled to Breastfeed

Nearly 14 years ago, with my first born son, I was one of the 81% of mothers to initiate breastfeeding, but I was one who did not meet my personal goals. I watched friends nurse their children—in what seemed to be an effortless fashion—and I felt defeated. Years later, when my second child was due I was determined to make breastfeeding work for us. I didn’t want to go through what I had with my first, so I armed myself and my spouse with all of the breastfeeding knowledge I could garner. And we did it!

With knowledge and support, we persevered through early days of newborn jaundice, extreme weight loss, and dehydration, which landed him in the NICU. I nursed and pumped, and when I went to drop in support meetings, I gained confidence in sharing my story with other and in sharing with others what I had learned. Eventually, I was able to breastfeed my son, and return to work while pumping. I later went on to successfully nurse through a third pregnancy, and then tandem nurse—goals I set for myself as my journey evolved, and goals I reached with the support of others.

Because of what I endured, I did not want others to get caught in the booby traps I experienced my first time around. I wanted to help educate others, so I applied to become a Breastfeeding Counselor. The training provided by Breastfeeding USA taught me about breastfeeding beyond my experience, and enriched my life by teaching me counseling skills I can apply to many situations.

2017 marks six years as a member of Breastfeeding USA, and five years of serving my community as an accredited Breastfeeding Counselor.

As President of Breastfeeding USA, I hope to grow the sense of community and involvement amongst our current Breastfeeding Counselors, to encourage more of our Breastfeeding Counselors to become national volunteers, and to increase the number of Breastfeeding Counselors nationwide in order to serve more families. We are also working on modernizing the organization – updating our training content and our education platform, and employing a client relationship management system to ease the experience of our volunteers, members and donors—all to make sure moms are given the support and information they need to breastfeed their babies.

I am also a donor because I believe in the support Breastfeeding USA offers to families. Please join me and become a monthly donor. Our Breastfeeding Counselors count on your support so they can reach moms in their communities with evidence-based breastfeeding information and support.


Kate Nadeau
Breastfeeding Counselor
President, Breastfeeding USA