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Mayra Espinoza, IBCLC

  • Certified Breastfeeding Peer Counselor
  • International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

Before Mayra delivered her first baby, she planned to breastfeed.   Mayra developed preeclampsia, and her baby was born at 28 weeks weighing only 1 pound, 14 ounces (830grams).  Mayra believed that because he was so tiny, she might not be able to breastfeed. Mayra explains, “Luckily, I met Fabiola who is a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor from the NICU.   I attended the Mothers Milk Club Meetings every Friday and started to learn a lot about the benefits of providing milk for my baby.” Only 6 months after her son was discharged from the hospital, Mayra was trained as a  breastfeeding peer counselor, and was asked to join the NICU breastfeeding peer counselor team.

In 2010 Mayra was expecting her second baby. Again, she experienced a complicated pregnancy with preeclampsia.  At 26 weeks gestation, she was put on bed rest and was hospitalized for a month. When she began developing an even more serious complication, Mayra delivered her baby at 30 weeks weighing only 2 pounds 3 ounces (1000grams).  Like his big brother, he was also in the NICU for 2 months. 

When asked about being the breastfeeding peer counselor with two premature deliveries, Marya explains, “Some people believe it was easy for because I was in this situation before and I work in the NICU, but I can tell you it was not any easier this time.  I had all of the same fears and concerns I had the first time around.” Again, Mayra pumped her milk for her baby.  She called upon the team of her peer counselor colleagues for help with breastfeeding. Mayra had such an abundant milk supply that she was able to freeze many bins of her breast milk. Once he was able, her son exclusively breastfed, so Mayra generously donated a large amount of her breast milk (4,316oz) to a human milk bank.  Her donation helped numerous other premature babies desperately in need of mother’s milk.

“I have to say that my favorite part is helping mothers breastfeed their infants for the first time. I really enjoy being able to share my personal story with our current families, and give them hope for their babies still in the NICU.”

Mayra is experienced with the use of test weights, nipple shields, crematocrits, and pumping/breastfeeding.   Mayra is fluent in English and Spanish, so she is an excellent resource for our Spanish-speaking families. Mayra knows that families feel reassured having a team member speak with them in their own language.