This blog post is part of our "Love What You Do" series where we shine a light on the extraordinary things that YOU do in the parenting community. In this series, we interview the people behind exciting projects or beneficial services that help families in the postpartum or early phases of parenting. We hope by highlighting these people and their projects, you'll be able to expand your circle of support and learn important things as you and baby grow.
In this special edition of our "Love What You Do" series, we chatted with Carolina, co-founder of Attached. Carolina, and co-founder Anastasia, created their support group because they identified a strong need in their own community. Read on to learn more about New York-based Attached.
Attached (or Attached Mommies) provides low-income families and families of domestic abuse survivors with free baby carriers, doula services, breastfeeding support, parenting support, babywearing classes, and low-cost handmade items.
Baby Tula: What makes Attached unique?
Carolina: We aren’t two outsiders who are trying to save our community. We are part of our community and its' culture. Because of that, we can relate to the families we work with. We understand the level of need many families in our community have and what is needed from us in a way that no one else can offer. We try to be the voice of change that is needed within the parenting community and spread awareness to the injustice our community faces.
Baby Tula: What motivated you to start Attached?
Carolina: Both Anastasia and I have been through difficult situations where the help that we needed wasn’t immediately available to us. Living in one of the poor neighborhoods of New York, we didn’t have access to breastfeeding support, babywearing, or parenting classes but the need was there and wanted.
We often tried to fit into the parenting scene in NewYork. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite fit in as we were both women of color and very young first-time moms. However, the love for our children guided us to connect with other moms.
We had our minds set on creating a supportive group for the many moms who were like us. We wanted to break barriers and offer services for free or low-cost because we understood how much our community needed it despite not everyone being able to afford a doula, lactation consultant, babywearing expert, etc. Through Attached, we have had a chance to provide those services from experienced peers.
BabyTula: What have you learned through the work that you've done?
Carolina: Honestly, I learned the power of speaking out against injustice. I learned that even when you can’t change that injustice you can create a safe place for yourself and others. I learned that in creating a safe place, other families were able to find their voices as well. The is a need and want there. We just have to make it more accessible.
Baby Tula: Do you have any tips or words of encouragement for a mother/parent preparing for breastfeeding?
Carolina: First, go on YouTube and look up "the breast crawl". It is the coolest thing ever! Babies are born with the instinct to breastfeed. However, you should also know that breastfeeding is a learning experience for both mom and baby so be patient.
It could be difficult but it doesn’t have to be. Breastfeeding can be easy if you start off on the right foot. I highly suggest everyone meet with the lactation consultant at the hospital (if you have a hospital birth) because they can help with latching the baby. I also highly suggest to our moms that they do a lot of skin to skin with their baby. It can help your milk to come in and support bonding with the baby.
It’s also important to know how big a newborn tummy is and how much their little tummies can really hold. Colostrum is enough for your baby and it is everything that your newborn needs and the more you breastfeed the more milk your body will make. Remember that in the same way that you would make a birth plan you can also create a breastfeeding plan with an outline of your expectations and goals.
Lastly, do not be afraid to seek out help because help is available. Most WIC offices have a peer counselor or lactation consultant/breastfeeding coordinator. Most hospitals have a lactation consultant you can meet with. Postpartum doulas can help with breastfeeding. You can simply connect with other mothers online.
Baby Tula: How can people stay up to date with Attached?
Thank you so much to Carolina for chatting with us! And stay tuned for more features from our "Love What You Do" series.