Inspirational Women: Kevy Nathalie Alcindor - cantiqLA

Inspirational Women: Kevy Nathalie Alcindor

As our journey into the world of breastfeeding bralettes continues, we had the pleasure of working with Kevy and her bebé, Bomani. Kevy, originally from Venezuela but now living in Mexico and Brazil, is a perfect inspiration for our new nursing bralettes. Coming from a marketing and financial background, Kevy has utilized her skills to become an advocate for human rights and an influencial member of the breastfeeding community in Mexico. Her son is her number one passion, but in addition to that, she has always had a passion for helping and connecting people. Now lets hear from Kevy and Bomani...

Hi Kevy! Let's start off by talking about Bomani, your beautiful bebé. Can you tell us about the origin of his name and how you decided on that?

My bebé's name is Bomani, the name is from Africa, it means "strong warrior" or "strong soldier" in swahili.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew inmediately I was gonna be on my own and I prayed for my baby to be resilient, strong and brave, which is why I wanted to name him after something that included that meaning. Once I found out it was a boy, I started reading around 5000 names that meant either strong or brave. I came up with 4 names, 3 of which sounded too "common" (my name is Kevy which is already weird enough). And i also loved the sound of Bomani. And that's how I decided to name him like that. He has a middle name, Daniel, that means "God is my judge" in Hebrew, a suggestion from my dad that i loved.

How old is Bomani?
He's 9 months and a half

What about breastfeeding empowers you?

The fact that it feeds someone, beyond of all emotional facts involved. I cannot believe i was capable of keeping someone alive for 7 months with stuff that came out of me! That gives me the power of efficiently care for someone. Maybe we take it for granted, but it still amazes me.

Breasfeeding has also given me a new purpose in life, make other women and men as well understand that it's so important for someone's beginning of life. So we - as parents - should all try to do it at least for a small amount of time

What are some major stigmas about breastfeeding and how do you feel you challenge them?

For me, it seems that people think I put myself in a second place because of the sacrifice it seems to imply: not being able to drink as much as before seems like a sacrifice for many, not sleeping as much as we were used to is huge, the physical image situations (boobs are dooooownhill LOL) make us think we're not the first priority, and definitely none of these are cool facts. Many of these push us to give up.

I see it in a completely different prospective. As I mention before, being able to keep someone alive for 7 months "just" with milk empowers me and gives me a purpose and importance in life. Hence I need to take care of myself more than before, specially in terms of nutrition and emotions, which makes the milk a product of better qulity, with great impact in the baby.

Many think breastfeeding is so easy...what are some challenges you face? (Not referring to social reactions, the actual act of breastfeeding)
At the beginning of course it hurt a lot. And of course it's so bad that you wanna stop right away. I've said this before, but I think you need 3 key things to have a successful breasfeeding experience: 1) timely and accurate information 2) support and 3) self confidence in your body. If one of the 3 is missing it's not gonna work. I've read that breastfeeding shouldn't hurt so definitely I thought something was wrong. And it was. Fortunately I was able to solve it with the help of my mum, my (IBCLC) lactation consultant and my pediatrician. At this point, it doesn't hurt anymore and the main challenge is being away from my son for long periods of time, because not breastfeeding makes me feel full and that can hurt! But honestly, actually breastfeeding hasn't been challenging lately, and I love it!

Did you ever doubt breastfeeding was the right choice?
Never. I always thought it was the best first gift I could give to my son.

Do you have any tips about milk production for our audience?
I have two. First, the best way to keep production is having the demand - AKA baby sucking as much as possible-. If you work full time - like I do - I know it's more difficult but directly breastfeed him as many times as you can when you're around. In weekends we get crazy, he must eat 10-12 times a day, and he's on solids too already!

Second tip, not sure if it's just a placebo effect, but the days I need to pump more than usual (my usual is once a day), I eat "lactation cookies" or "lactation brownies". It's a treat. There are many recipes out there but the common factor is that you add flaxseed, oats and more important, brewer's yeast. That apparently helps producing more milk.

In what ways have breastfeeding and motherhood changed your relationship with your body?
I learned to accept the consequences of pregnancy. Body definitely changes. It takes long to recover, specially if you were not very active. I used to run and work out but not very regularly, also did some yoga before giving birth. Since I stopped when I was 7 months pregnant (my last race), Up to this point I have not been able to workout as much and hence it has taken me longer to "get my body back". It's difficult to see yourself not as "attractive" - as the usual beauty standards dictate - as before. But now I see myself more like a curvy person, and I like it, I embrace it and accept it. Also when I feel fat or whatever I tell to myself: "your body had formed someone for 9 months, you may as well take that or more time to get it back." Or "you are freaking making food for someone out of your body, that's so powerful!"

My relationship with my body changes along the day, but I see that all this is for some time. It changes and can be difficult. But it helps my son being healthier, it's worth it.

What else would you like to see in terms of fashion/lingerie for breastfeeding mamas?
For those of us with big boobs, maybe some extr support can help, this same type of bras with wires could definitely work for me :)

I know you also have a line of bathing suits, something for breastfeeding would be great!

A sports bra for breastfeeding mommas is a must, something that we can open in the front would be amazing!

I also got to know Leche Libre (@leche_libre on instagram) that designs bad ass breastfeeding apparel. The idea is great, dresses are so perfect, comfy and versatile! More like this would make our world a friendlier Breastfeeding world :)

What, if any, BF communities are you in/find value from? Any you suggest expecting mothers to research?

Leche League worldwide is a great resource. If you can go to at least one meeting around the first month of your child, it'll be very useful. In Mexico my IBCLC lactation community and. Whatsapp group managed by the amazing doula Patricia Zedillo who runs Luperca maternity center in Mexico City has been extremely helpful for many of us. My advice is to find specialized help. There are several random motherhood groups, even-though they mean well there's no better help of a pro-lactation health professional, a pediatrician, a nurse, a nutritionist with appropriate certifications, leche league leaders and IBCLC consultants.

Is there anything else you'd like to say to expectant mothers, or mothers already breastfeeding?

There are many challenges. Giving birth a certain way or feeding your kid a certain way doesn't make you better or worse, as long as you are doing your best. If you decide to breastfeed, and wanna do it right, be patient and please don't compare you or your kids with others. Every experience is unique and amazing. Enjoy it because - this is gonna sound super cliché - it goes by very fast! Also, inform yourself properly about breastfeeding. For some weird reason I don't understand, still today, we prepare a lot for giving birth and not enough for breastfeeding. Eventhough birth is super important, breastfeeding is longer in terms of times. So we should consider prepare ourselves better about it. Read Ina May's guide to breastfeeding, one of my favourites.

Go check out and follow Kevy and Bomani's journey at the links below:

@kevynathalie ~

Photography credit: @mividabrevefoto
June 07, 2017 — Chelsea Hughes