Aliza was born in South Florida to parents who immigrated from Argentina. Her mother had been a practicing midwife in Argentina, and when she moved to the United States, she taught prenatal lamaze classes. Aliza would often peek in on her mother’s classes, and it sparked a keen interest in pregnancy and motherhood at a very young age.
After graduating from The University of Florida with a degree in marketing with a minor in mass communications, Aliza moved to New York City where she developed a successful career in advertising. However, once her first child was born, her priorities completely changed, and she was again drawn to all things related to pregnancy and motherhood. It soon became clear that she wanted a career that would fulfill her desire to help other new mothers navigate the complexities of parenthood, with breastfeeding being her primary focus.
Aliza is an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC), certified lactation counselor (CLC), as well as, a certified breastfeeding specialist (CBS). She is continuing her education with GOLD lactation conferences, and is a member of both the International Lactation Consultant Association and the New Jersey Breastfeeding Coalition.
Aliza has a thriving private practice doing home visits. She also works at Hoboken and Christ Hospital, at Breastfeeding Medicine of NJ with Dr. Amy Schecter and at WIC as a Lactation Consultant. Aliza also teaches prenatal breastfeeding classes in a group setting or privately. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, three children, and two dogs. She is fluent in Spanish.
MY BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY
I started Latch On To Me because I never want other mothers to suffer the way I did. I want them to feel empowered and know the obstacles they may face, but also have the tools to overcome them.
Before giving birth to my first child, I thought that breastfeeding would be an instinct, for both me and my baby. Yet, as I left the hospital after my long labor that ended in a cesarean delivery, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the anxiety of nursing my newborn. How was I going to care for this amazing new life? How was I going to satisfy his hunger? With my body? Well, after much trial and error, lots of nipple pain, and the correction of his latch, we were able to get a rhythm going and he was thriving. Then I returned to my full-time job, and the real work began. I got painful clogged milk ducts, and a serious case of mastitis that left me feeling hopeless about continuing to breastfeed. But then I looked at my beautiful baby boy, all smiles and rolls of baby fat, and I was determined to continue nursing. If I could give my baby the best food possible that's what I wanted to do. I ordered a hospital-grade pump to bring with me to work and this seemed to help, but I felt that there was so much more about breastfeeding that I still needed to learn, and I was astonished that there was not much support available. This is when I began my education with a course offered by the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice and became a certified lactation counselor.
I happily nursed my first child for 18 months. I figured out a pumping schedule that made sure my baby had enough milk when I wasn’t around, and nursed him on-demand when I was with him. I was able to work a full-time job, and still get some sleep.
When I became pregnant with my second child, I was confident that this time breastfeeding would be a cinch. I was sure that I would have a VBAC and breastfeed right away. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan and my baby was breech, so I had to have another cesarean. This would likely postpone skin-to-skin contact and breastfeeding, but I stressed to my midwife that I still wanted to hold my baby right away. However, immediately after my baby’s birth, she was rushed to the NICU, which meant that her precious first minutes of life were not spent on my chest, skin-to-skin, seeking out my nipple, but in a sterile incubator. I was devastated! I knew the potential consequences this could have on our breastfeeding journey, but I was undeterred. After much persistence and hard work, including checking that her lips were flanged the right way each and every time she nursed, and taking her off and on my breast whenever I felt any pain, we, too, established a breastfeeding rhythm that worked for us and I nursed her for 18 months as well.
With my third child, I had the birth of my dreams! He was a miracle baby! A VBAC after two cesareans! My baby was placed directly on my belly as soon as he came out. I asked that the umbilical cord not be cut for a few minutes, and that he not be whisked away for cleaning and testing until I had some precious bonding time with my son.
Finally, I was able to see what my baby would do instinctively in the first hour of his life. It was amazing to watch him make that slow newborn crawl over to my breast, seek out my nipple, and latch right on. I had gotten so much breastfeeding education since my first delivery, that this time I had the tools to make sure that he latched correctly from that very first feeding.
I have pumped and breastfed everywhere. In busy airports, on airplanes, in taxicabs, while eating and feeding my other kids at crowded restaurants, even while walking down the street. Trust me, it can be done!
I started Latch On To Me because I never want other mothers to suffer the way I did. I want them to feel empowered and know the obstacles they may face, but also have the tools to overcome them. I would love to teach caregivers how to feel comfortable breastfeeding wherever they are. I also have a strong desire to keep other new mothers from feeling hopeless, the way I did when I encountered my first breastfeeding hardships. I am a patient listener, a shoulder to lean on, and the support you need to get you to a confident and happy place on your own breastfeeding journey.