About Donna

Hi! I’m Donna Bruschi.

I always planned on breastfeeding my baby because of my mother’s story. My mother was breastfed and grew up in a breastfeeding community. When I was born, she assumed she would breastfeed me, but ran into difficulties almost immediately. By two weeks, I was bottle feeding, and my mom was sad.

Two years later, my brother was born, and a nurse helped her with her positioning and latch. With that education and with the support of her best friend, who was also breastfeeding her children, she happily nursed both my brother and sister.

I grew up watching my mom breastfeed. I watched my friend breastfeed, and my friend brought me to my first La Leche League meeting while I was pregnant with my first. I saw a roomful of mothers nursing their babies and children. It was so normal and natural! And I wanted to be a part of it

I did not have an easy time learning breastfeeding!

Breastfeeding my first was really rough for a few months. I saw lactation consultants and went to La Leche League for more help. I had support from my husband, doctors, family and friends. Over time, I did figure it out and my experiences helped me to help other mothers.

​Breastfeeding my babies, and then, children felt comforting. And conquering my breastfeeding challenges felt satisfying and empowering. Breastfeeding helped me understand myself and three remarkable human beings. We breastfed for a very long time and eventually, they all weaned!

I grew alongside my children, who are a lot of fun!

Breastfeeding a baby is nourishing for both mother and baby.

There is a nurturing, devotional quality about it. I felt saintly and goddess-like. I felt the power and glory of the ancestors pouring through me into my child. I relished the velvety, chubby arms and thighs. I was proud of what my body did!

Nursing a toddler is also like that and it’s intimate and heart opening.

You will never feel as loved as when you nurse a toddler or child. As they nurse, they stroke your breast or your arm or your cheek and completely relax. They are completely vulnerable when they ask for comfort. As you nurse them, they relax. Their true radiant, joyful self returns. then they say, “I love you mommy!”

They tell you stories and make you laugh. They flirt. They play. They say things like “I love your milkies.” and “This side is white milk and this side is chocolate milk.” They will ask you to nurse Teddy Bear because he’s sad.

You learn how to set limits nursing a toddler and child.

Breastfeeding shifts from you pouring your heart and soul into an empty vessel, into a relationship that is pleasant and nourishing for both of you. This is your first step into discipline. And not discipline in a harsh way. discipline as in disciple, ‘one who follows.’ You can say no. You can nurse at certain times and not others. You can expect to be treated kindly.

At some point your baby or child weans.

Weaning is like birth in that it is a new beginning and you will never forget it. You may not remember the exact last time you nursed, but you will remember how it happened and how you felt. It can be challenging, it can be bittersweet for you, or it can happen in an effortless way and you both feel like it was the exact right time to end nursing.

After weaning, life opens up into new possibilities!

After my children weaned, I moved toward a career as a Lactation Consultant. I worked through the classes and training and then took the Board Exam. I became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) in 2010.

Breastfeeding has been the center of my life for more than 25 years. I consult, advocate, coach, and speak about breastfeeding. I’ve even arm wrestled to fund raise for the Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County!

Breastfeeding is an ever-changing relationship between two people nourishing each other.

The social-emotional bond that breastfeeding gives a mother and baby is commonly overlooked when making a decision about feeding. 

​In the early days, many mothers have an inner drive to breastfeed. I often hear a mother say, “I don’t know why I can’t quit. It’s so hard but something inside is telling me to keep going.” That drive keeps them connected to their baby and to overcoming any challenges that they bump into.

After the initial flurry of sore nipples and the shocking realization of how much time one is spent holding and breastfeeding a baby, parents get some rewards. Each time, mama nurses, both she and the baby have spikes of oxytocin and they feel love for each other. Breastfeeding usually calms and soothes babies and this helps mothers feel successful.

As the baby grows, a new relationship forms. Breastfeeding is comforting, engaging, humorous, and loving along with providing nutrition and immune support. Babies learn kindness, compassion and empathy at your breast.

Photo courtesy of Focus On Us Photography

But I believe, breastfeeding has to work for the the whole family.

Every families has different goals and is at a different stage of learning breastfeeding. If you are the first in your extended family to breastfeed, you have more to overcome, than if your family expects you to breastfeed.

Many parents come to me because they are discouraged. Some have an immediate but short term problem. Many are in a last ditch effort to save some form of breastfeeding. Some people are hoping I will say that it’s hopeless so they can quit. I respect your wishes.

I help parents get up to speed with everything they don’t know, in a matter of hours, days, or weeks.

Donna Bruschi, IBCLC

Breastfeeding is a long game with a short, steep learning curve.

Learning to breastfeed would be much easier for everyone, if breastfeeding were commonplace  in our culture. But it isn’t. ​That’s why we have the Breastfeeding Café.

​I meet you where you are and help you get to a place of comfort and contentment. I also understand you know your own child best, and everything I do centers on that principle.

I try to live my life in a joy filled way and that starts with my work.

I love my work!

In addition to lactation consulting, I own New Baby New Paltz, on online boutique that stocks ethical, sustainable and beautiful goods for babies, and those that love them. 

Once in a while, my kids check in on me for dinner and swapping stories. I have an amazing partner, Michael and a goofy dog named Rosie. And what I do for me? I love being outdoors riding my bike, skiing, swimming and hiking mountains.

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