The Drip: Kelly Toledano

The Drip: Kelly Toledano

We’re Dropping Pumping & Nursing Knowledge with This Certified Breastfeeding Counselor!

In this issue of The Drip, Kelly Toledano, a certified breastfeeding counselor and mom of twins conceived through IVF, is sharing her knowledge on breastfeeding, pumping, multiples, and so much more. To connect with Kelly, visit her Instagram handle @latch_of_love.

Q: What would you say is the most important factor in helping newborns get the best nutrition possible?

A: I think it’s important for moms to know that they have options and that breastfeeding is possible whether it comes easy or you have to work at it. That is why what I do as a breastfeeding consultant is so important. I help moms and newborns have the best plan and the best nutrition they can get. I work with moms to show them that it doesn’t always have to be all or nothing. Whether it's breastmilk, formula, or incorporating both, what matters is empowering moms with the right tools and knowledge about what is best for them and their newborn!

Q: What should every parent know about when feeding their child breastmilk?

A: Moms should know this can come in the form of feeding at the breast directly or by expressing the milk (through hand expression or breast pumps) to feed through a bottle. The latter requires following proper milk storage guidelines, which is not something all moms will automatically know. Working with a breastfeeding/lactation professional can be super helpful to ensure bacteria is not being introduced in your baby's milk.

Kelly Toledano demonstrating the use of  breast pump

Q: What are a few common issues that breastfeeding moms or their newborns face and how do you help them overcome these challenges?

A: Many moms believe that breastfeeding is easy and if it doesn’t work at first, then they won’t be able to nurse at all. This is a misconception and puts a lot of pressure on the majority of moms who have to put in extra work to achieve their goal. I help to teach moms what they should really expect and guide them towards a successful breastfeeding journey that fits their lifestyle. Every mom is different — whether you have one baby or multiples, whether you stay home or go to work — whatever your situation may be there is a solution for you to succeed in your breastfeeding journey!

Q: What is something you wish hospitals taught about nursing/pumping?

A: I wish that hospital settings would teach moms about flange sizes! If I had a dollar every time one of my clients says, they just told me I was a 24mm or they just handed me these flanges so I have been using them… This happened to me as well! Luckily, I had already measured myself and knew my size. This basic knowledge would help so many moms avoid nipple trauma and/or low milk output.

Q: What would you say to parents who are struggling through their breastfeeding and/or pumping journey?

A: I would tell them that, like all good things in life, breastfeeding is work but when done properly it is wonderful for both mom and baby! I’d also remind them that it is never all or nothing. Even if a mom is able to give only a little bit of breastmilk, that baby is still getting all those great nutrients and antibodies that only mom can provide! Simultaneously, mom is also helping her body recover postpartum.

Q: What part of breastfeeding do you think is most misunderstood?

A: I think that most moms do not realize that it takes time for their supply to build. They expect milk to just flow from the get go. This does happen for some moms but for most it's not like that. If they knew that it takes patience and that there are achievable techniques to get there, a lot of Moms would not give up from the start. Unfortunately, there are so many misconceptions and “wives tales” that revolve around breastfeeding and milk production that it is hard to reach all mothers before they are discouraged from continuing their journey.

Q: Do you have any tips for working parents struggling to get back to their busy schedules with the responsibility of feeding their newborn?

A: I would tell moms that it is possible to be a working mom and breastfeed, if that’s what they want! Breast pumps have come a long way in 2024. There are portable and compact options to use on the go! I would also tell those parents to give themselves patience and grace. It's hard (and busy) enough to navigate life with little ones. Adding the weight of the rest of your responsibilities is overwhelming at times and that’s ok. We should embrace those feelings and be proud of what we can achieve nonetheless!

Q: What advice do you have for new moms who are feeling overwhelmed or are having trouble making their own wellness a priority?

A: I struggle with that myself! As a twin mom who's back at work and trying to have a good work/life balance, my own wellness falls through the crack most days! But when it comes to breastfeeding, like in life, if you don’t take care of yourself it can affect both your health and your breastmilk production! So, I would tell new moms, as I tell myself, that even striving to get ten minutes of uninterrupted calm, alone time is a great first milestone and will go a long way! Begin with small victories!

Q: Congratulations on recently having your twin girls! Any tips for nursing with twins?

A: With twins, it is often difficult to grasp that they can be so similar and yet so different. So often we think if one can do it the other can as well or vice versa. In fact, it’s often not that way! I actually had one twin that had a great latch and one that needed a nipple shield to complete her feedings for a longer period. I would be hard on myself to accept that they are different, and I am doing a great job, instead making myself feel bad for not feeding them the same! So even though it is two babies at once, it’s important to take them as individuals!

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about what your pump lending program is all about and why you started it?

A: I started this program for moms who did not have insurance coverage for breast pumps. I found that in a lot of the mom groups I was in, moms would give away closed system pumps for free, rather than throwing them away. I knew that moms from different communities who did not have a breast pump had to sacrifice going back to work or school, as they couldn’t afford formula or didn’t want to stop breastfeeding their babies. So, I dedicated my time to go around and collect those donated breast pumps. I sanitized them and tried every single one to ensure they worked and then lent them to moms in need with an open time frame so they could continue to use it as long as they need! I still have pumps available and continue to get more and will offer moms access to breast pumps as long as I am able to! It brings me great joy to help a mom continue with their breastfeeding journey as long as they want to.

Q: We loved reading the reviews of super happy parents on your website. What would you say you do differently from other professionals in your industry?

A: I think that my approach is different because I have tried it all. I have gone from babies in the NICU, using formula, to breastfeeding at the breast exclusively, to pumping, to combination, all the way to exclusively pumping, which I am doing now. Therefore, when I have information or a recommendation to give, it comes not only from my expertise but from the fact that I am in it with my fellow moms! I would never suggest something that I am not willing to try myself right now. I use my personal experience and my breastfeeding journey as a learning pathway for myself and my clients!

Kelly Toldeno

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job as a certified breastfeeding counselor?

A: Seeing the changes I make in moms and babies lives every day! I have had clients who during pregnancy were never intending to breastfeed that went on to have a really successful breastfeeding journey. I’ve also had moms who believed their babies were tongue tied when they didn’t know how to get their baby to latch properly who were able to breastfeed their babies for the first time, with me there. The tears and laughs, the moments of pain and joy, I get to share it all with them and it's just so beautiful there is no other way to describe it!

Kelly Toledano is a Certified Breastfeeding Consultant, Medical Assistant and Certified Phlebotomist Technician who is currently completing her credentials to become an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant. Originally from Paris, France, she grew up in sunny South Florida where she now runs two private labs and lives with her retired military husband and her twin girls conceived through IVF.

Kelly’s business, Latch of Love, provides consultations to breastfeeding mothers, with a specialty geared towards multiples and pumping. She also runs a breast pump lending program, for moms who cannot afford to have breast pumps, enabling them to continue to breastfeed as long as they want or to return to school or work. Her work, expertise, and personal experiences have helped moms from all over get the customized knowledge and support they need to succeed in their breastfeeding journey!

The Drip is an in-depth Q&A series featuring our partners, industry experts and parenting influencers — created to give today’s you the insights, support and words of wisdom you need to be the best parents ever.

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