Meet Maritza, one of Lincoln’s Culturally Diverse Community Breastfeeding Educators
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Los Angeles, California. I say I am a Nebraska girl since my family moved here when I was young - I was nine years old.
Tell us about your family!
I have a great supportive husband, Alex, who helped me through my breastfeeding journey, and I am so thankful for him. I have two boys. Augustine is five years old and super adventurous. Micah is one and so curious of his world. We are always learning and doing things to grow as people. We are passionate about being able to impact others in a positive way.
Did the women in your family (or community) breastfeed their babies?
When I look back, I remember some moms would cover themselves to breastfeed their babies and some would bottle feed. But it would be more of a private thing for them. So, I didn't really see breastfeeding a lot growing up.
What encouraged you to breastfeed?
My husband and I wanted to do healthy and natural things for our baby, so we decided to try to breastfeed. We had taken a class that MilkWorks offers to learn more about breastfeeding and that helped. Also, our mothers encouraged us with our decision and they also shared their experiences and gave me hope to be able to do it. If it weren't for my husband, who patiently encouraged me on my journey, and also MilkWorks, I would have given up. Support is a must.
Why are you so passionate about helping mothers to breastfeed their babies?
One of the many reasons I am passionate about helping other moms breastfeed is because I had a hard start to my journey breastfeeding my baby. Once I overcame the many different challenges, I am so thankful I did and stuck with it because I have seen the great benefits that comes with breastfeeding my babies. Through that hard journey and the knowledge learned through MilkWorks, my heart is drawn to help and encourage the moms out there with little ones who want to try to breastfeed their baby. Especially Spanish speaking moms who can't communicate in English. I can offer that special help and relate to their Hispanic culture.
What do you like about being a Community Breastfeeding Educator?
I like that I get to know and work with many different moms - not every mom is the same. It makes me happy to give a little hope and encouragement to that one mom who is struggling and help make them feel special and know that they are not alone in this - they can do it!
Also, I enjoy growing and meeting throughout the year with very knowledgeable women at MilkWorks who help me grow as an educator in the community. My goal is to continue to be available to all the moms out in our community, to be that help and encouragement. I want to boost another mom’s confidence.
What are the biggest challenges you feel moms face when it comes to breastfeeding?
There are many different challenges that come with breastfeeding. It is different with each mom. Some moms don't have any challenges, and some do. One of the biggest challenges I feel that moms face when it comes to breastfeeding today is not having a support system available to them. A support system is important to a successful breastfeeding journey. Another one would be having a place to go to get help with any challenges. There are still some women who don't know we are here to help.
Nowadays moms want to return to their career and the work force. It can be a challenge learning how to continue to breastfeed while going back to work. There are so many different things that change when having a little one, including breastfeeding. But there is support to help moms make that journey a little less stressful, and feel little victories along this journey of life.