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Barbara's Story

Barbara's Story

Barbara Montiero is a member of the Canomama team from Brazil. She is a black belt in marital arts and has a lovely story to share.

The first paragraph is part of the repost of an article by @sorriremamar.

“We live in a world dominated by a weaning culture, full of “subtle influences” and foundations without any scientific foundation that undermined the safety of mothers and condemn babies to weaning, sometimes before birth”.

Barbara’s Story

But I’m going to talk from the other side of the coin, my happy experience. I’m a fighter, optimist, inveterate, and researcher by nature, not even these features prepared me for such emotion and miracles.

In 2012, I had breast cancer, did chemo, they took both boobs, radiation and hormonal therapy.

In 2019 during my follow-up exams, miraculously I discovered myself to be pregnant. I studied hard to search for the most up-to-date maternity information but they didn’t activate me with any breastfeeding information. Next came childbirth, Dr Adornment, plastic surgeon who did my mammary rebuild referred me to Soyama, HRAN’s milk bank coordinator to evaluate reverse donation logistics. I wanted to guarantee breastmilk at least in Bernardo’s first days of life. My surprise was that she introduced me to “translate”. I had never heard that word. I’m not one to cry but I was in tears to know that the useless breast (once synonymous with illness) could at least serve as a “boob”. A bigger surprise was even to allow her to evaluate my breast to find out if we could get some milk out of it. There it was, a hope given responsibly, warning me that it might not roll, but if it were even 10 mls, it would be a victory.

I went to the birth with plans A, B and C, full of professional support in breastfeeding and aligned with the maternity milk bank to begin translating at the very first golden hour.

But God is great, right? My mammary ducts rebuilt and I have milk. It is only a little but I have it. I have been free demand feeding Bernardo for one year and six months. Mommy’s milk complemented by a translation. It is not easy, but I have an amazing husband who believes with me, and divides evenly the breastfeeding time, he gets up at dawn and prepares the translation. Motherhood is a gift of love.