Do You Even Lift?

About Elena Nicolaou-Black

Elena originally went to nursing school to become a midwife but then realized that midwives have to leave Christmas dinner to deliver babies. She decided to experience the excitement, love and adrenaline as a labor and delivery nurse in the Texas Medical Center in Houston. She still worked her share of holidays and as her family began to grow she worked weekend night shifts but that’s part of the gig. She now has 2 college kids and 1 high schooler and experienced the difficulties many moms have while breastfeeding which motivated her to help others. She eventually started teaching childbirth classes and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.

Elena has been helping moms start their breastfeeding journey in the hospital setting for over 25 years. She is passionate about getting women to see the strength, beauty, wonder and miracles that are our bodies. She considers herself to be extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to do what she loves every day and to have worked alongside countless amazingly smart and compassionate nurses. Elena heard countless new mommas (defeated look on their face) lament from their hospital bed about how they thought breastfeeding was supposed to be “natural” or “intuitive”. Breastfeeding is so many things. It’s beautiful, difficult, precious, challenging, lovely, scary, intimate and overwhelming, but most of all, Elena believes that breastfeeding, in the beginning, is usually a learning process. A process where mom and baby meet each other, figure each other out and eventually find their groove. It’s OK and even common to struggle a bit while learning to breastfeed. Giving yourself time, grace and compassion as you adjust to managing baby outside of and in relationship to your body can decrease anxiety. Breastfeeding gives us an opportunity to feel empowered as we put forth the effort working toward our goal (which by the way looks different for each of us). Studies show that the greater your desire, the more likely you’ll succeed. The things that make our bodies beautiful and unique can also unfortunately make life difficult sometimes. For example, Elena often asks strangers at the grocery store to reach items on the top shelf for her as her 4’10” frame doesn’t allow it (side note: asking for help is healthy).

After watching moms with large breasts and moms who’ve experienced changes in breast shape due to rapid weight loss find it challenging to position their baby for breastfeeding, Elena developed the breast sling. Her mom helped her refine the design at the sewing machine to help more moms feel confident in their bodies. The Breast Sling supports and lifts the breast making it easier to position the baby. Her passion for the Breast Sling is borne of a deeply-held belief that all moms deserve to be supported.

Elena Nicolau-Black
Elena and Mom

“My mom taught me to sew when I was 9 years old. I passed the skill to my kids, my friends and I’ve volunteered teaching quilting at a local art camp. These breast slings are handmade with love and blessings for your successful breastfeeding experience.” – Elena

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