About the author


Hi! I'm a mother of three wonderful, amazing, children and wife to an incredible, loving, and supportive husband. I enjoy gardening, knitting, reading, and writing. Family is everything to me.

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    Melissa Mistretta

    Dear Suellen,

    I really enjoyed your article about breastfeeding. I have been a maternity nurse for over 25 years and I can truly appreciate the dedication and determination you had to have in order to fill that deep freezer. You should be damn proud of your milk production!

    I was also able to read between the lines and I could sense your frustration. To apologize today for your baby receiving a pacifier 20 years ago might not make any sense, but I would like to apologize all the same. I can admit that I have been guilty of such misgivings in the past. Times were different and the education provided to the medical community, as well as the patients, could not compare to all we know and appreciate today. There is still ongoing controversy regarding nipple confusion and it does not occur in all infants, but it can happen. The important thing is that mother’s preferences are more closely adhered to and supported these days.

    The promotion of breastfeeding has come a long way and I am happy to report that many hospitals nation wide are working hard at becoming “Baby Friendly” institutions. Breastfeeding initiatives are being embraced by these facilities and more education, for both patients and staff, are being provided.

    There is a vast increase in the amount of Certified Lactation Counselors, as well as International Board Certified Lactation Consultants, that hospitals have on staff now. These are dedicated nurses who want to see breastfeeding mothers succeed. The support that is available is astounding. This is a tremendous leap for would-be nursing mothers today.

    Your experience provides so much insight and honesty. The rewards of nursing, and the struggles that can be associated with it, are not always discussed in the same article. The reality is that breastfeeding is a commitment. There was obviously no shortage of commitment where you were concerned. Just as important, encouragement and support needs to be provided on the home front. It sounds like you were blessed in that department as well. I am sure it would give you joy knowing how many of my patients (past and present) would benefit from reading your story. Thank you so much for sharing such a personal and inspirational journey with us.


    Melissa M. Mistretta BSN, CLC, RNC.

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    Melissa, thank you so much for your kind comments! I’m happy you enjoyed my article, and am somehow feeling both proud and humble at the same time that you would like to share it with others.

    Thank you also for the apology, although it’s possible she was actually just “tongue tied”, and would have had difficulty trying to nurse anyway. I’m so grateful that my two others were able to nurse – I couldn’t imagine doing all of that pumping with more than one! I also made sure to be prepared the second and third times, and was able to make my preferences known about labor, delivery, and newborn care. I was successful with most of those preferences, too. I was a bit surprised that I sometimes had a bit of a struggle keeping my babies with me – I would have thought with all that nurses have to do that they’d be happy to leave my children with me instead of trying to get me to send them to the nursery!

    I thank my mom for being such an amazing role model with the breastfeeding. I saw her doing it all of the time (as the oldest of 7), so there wasn’t even a question about it in my mind.

    I plan to write more articles about some of my other experiences. You sound like you also have some interesting stories that others would enjoy reading. It would be great to hear things from your perspective. Are you interested in publishing some of your own stories?

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    Melissa Mistretta

    Dear Suellen,

    Thank you so much for your reply. I am definitely interested in publishing some of my own stories. Like most people, I have a vast amount of personal experiences of which to draw on as material. Although, when it comes to stories regarding healthcare, I tread lightly as not to step on the wrong toes.

    I am new to the writing world and don’t want to come out with guns a blazing or cause dissention between the modalities. The approach to Breastfeeding over the years has taken make forms and I am curious of How it will continue to evolve.

    I do want you to know that “rooming in” care with their mother is encouraged and most mother refuse it.

    Please feel fee to contact me with any questions and I wil be happy to answer. If I do not have the answer I will get it from a Professor ASAP.

    I’m here to help and hopefully to be a regular contributor.

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    We’re so happy that you want to share your stories with us here at Human Diaries. That’s exactly what we’re all about!

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