¡Hola! I'm Nicole!
I'm a 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. 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. I'm mom to three energetic girls. We currently reside in Roebuck, SC. I am fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and proudly work with all communities in my area.
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. I am constantly enrolled in continuous education courses to bring my clients the most up-to-date evidence-based information available.
Proudly trained in lactation with Childbirth International and Breastfeeding USA, trained in childbirth education and hypnobirthing with GentleBirth Inc, trained in HypnoBirthing and HypnoFertility with The LeClair Method, trained with Spinning Babies and TOTS- Tethered Oral Tissues Specialty Trained with Chrysalis Orofacial. I am also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
My Birth and Breastfeeding Story
As a first time mother in 2009 living in Virginia, I attended the hospital birth 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. I took a baby-led approach this time around, and allowed her to self wean whenever she was biologically ready.
My Approach to Childbirth
"A positive birth comes in many forms and is defined by the Mother." ~ Tracy Donegan, Registered Midwife and GentleBirth Founder
With 2 epidural hospital births and one out of hospital water birth, all beautiful and positive experiences, I know firsthand that things sometimes don't go as planned. The truth is: it doesn't matter where you are birthing at, what's important is where your mindset is. C-sections, medicated or unmedicated vaginal births can all be equally positive and healing with the right mindset and preparation.
I am therefore committed to teaching childbirth workshops that all the measures can be applied to all birthing experiences.
I believe that understanding what is biologically normal with your body and baby is key to surviving parenthood and reaching your pregnancy, birth and 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.