Nicole: Hi, I'm Nicole, founder of the Village Maternity Services and for this interrogation I’m on with Cemone Glinton founder of Out of Box events and weddings. So Cemone thank you so much for joining me today.
Cemone: Thanks for having me.
Nicole: Introduce yourself to our viewers, our listeners; tell us a little bit about yourselves and what you’re currently doing?
Cemone: Well my name is Cemone Glinton and as she said I am the founder and operator of Out of Box events and weddings. Basically Out of Box events and Weddings, we are wedding coordinators, planners, destination weddings coordinators, planners and honeymoons. We also have a t-shirt line called Love and T-shirt.
We basically assist our clients with planning their wedding, executing their day of coordinating and ultimately planning their honeymoon as well so we try to provide a full experience for all of our clients.
Nicole: That is awesome, so you are an entrepreneur; you’re a mogul in the making. When you were pregnant, just tell us a little bit about your son, how old he is? How long ago this was? What was your current situation like when you were pregnant? Married? Single? Just tell us about your life then during that time, were you working? Went back to work? Going to school? Just give our listeners a little bit of insight into Cemone’s life, era, pre-Darius days. What your life was like back then?
Cemone: After having my son, I was a student I was going to Marvin Gaye College and I was working a very small job on campus and I decided after having my son. I wanted to of course make more money; I was a single mum on top of that. So I decided to take on a full time job and work night because it was convenient.
My mum she was a school teacher, so in the day I was able to stay home with my son and during the night from 6.30-3.00am I would go to work but the good news was I didn’t have to worry about things like daycare because I would have him in the daytime and my mother would have him at night.
So that was the beginning of my experience and I finally decided working a full time job and doing 40 hours of course you’re tired and you’re sleepy all the time and of course I was going to school as well, full time. I continued to go to school, I didn’t stop.
Nicole: So school, working when? When Darius was born were you able to
breastfeed right away?
Cemone: Not immediately, I would say for the first week, two weeks I didn’t breastfeed him because he was in the ICU but…well I take that back, it was more like a week and when he was able and they took him off whatever they had him on. The nurses helped me to breastfeed, they latched him on but it wasn’t immediately like the day after maybe a couple of days I would say maybe almost a week later honestly.
Nicole: So you breastfed a week later, the nurses helped you. Were you able to because right now the recommendation from the World Health Organization is to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months. Were you able to accomplish that?
Cemone: Yes and no, I mean when I would. Here was the situation, I would breastfeed him throughout the day it was easier once I came home and see him at night. He was…I still introduced him to formula but mostly especially to save on cost, I breastfed.
Nicole: So at that time you’re in school and working a 40 hour work week mum. How did you juggle because I felt a lot of mums when they return to work they for us have issues with trying to breastfeed and it becomes difficult or nearly impossible. Describe your situation for us when you returned to work, did you breastfeed? Did you pump while you at work? How were you able to maintain your milk volume and still working a 40 hour work week?
Cemone: So my pump decided to break, it never worked from the very beginning and at the time. I don’t know if they still allow this, you weren’t allowed to return it once you broke the seal whatever was on it you couldn’t return it. That put a bad taste in my mouth about the pump, I didn’t want to waste another $100 or so in another and it just didn’t work.
I decided that I was just going to breastfeed and when I did go back to work after a couple of weeks and I kind of went back to work almost immediately also. I had gotten the new job and I was working 40 hours and everything like that, I just snuck out. Where my mum lived and my son was up during the evening, it was very quick for me to disappear.
When it just got too heavy, I would just take a lunch break. I would go on extended 15 minute breaks and when they asked me, when they questioned because you do get the question. I’d be I have to go breastfeed my baby, I have to go, my breasts are hurting I’m leaving. Luckily for me my boss was understanding to that because I didn’t have a pump so on pumping. Then when I got home at 3am, he would usually be up; he didn’t sleep through the night for an entire year. So he would usually be up waiting for me and I would breastfeed him, relieve myself again and it continued like that for the entire year I breastfed
Nicole: So you were blessed enough to have a flexible job, come in and out. Do you think if your job was a little more stringent like you were in meetings? Do you think you would have breastfed as long as you did?
Cemone: Probably not unless you have like I said a pump or you can maybe take it to work with you and then you would need storage where you’re going to put it after you pump it and everything like that. Probably I don’t think it would have lasted that long but thank goodness it did.
He was a healthy kid and I can honestly say he never got sick, never had a running nose or ear infection, nothing. I attest that to the fact that I breastfed him for the entire year, his first year and he didn’t go to daycare.
Nicole: Absolutely, so for your breastfeeding experience, what would you say came a lot easier than you expected and what was the most difficult thing you had said you thought it wouldn’t be?
Cemone: Easier, latching him on, once you get it you don’t forget how to do it, initially it was a little frustrating because I think that the baby sometimes gets frustrated you’re not putting him on correctly and latches off and starts wailing at you.
That was initially difficult and got easier with time and everything and what was just easy, I mean it’s mother nature so it fits. I don’t think there was anything seriously hard it all came naturally, initially a new mum never done it before. Once I do it again I’m sure it will be like riding a bike.
Cemone: You never forget, initially a little difficult but once you got it, it was…and I never denied him to breastfeed unless I was not there, so with him even crawling around he wanted me to...it was an intimate moment between baby and mum and if he wanted to just drop his toys and get on the booboo, that’s what we called it, the booboo. I was just come and let’s go in a moment.
It was never inappropriate, I did it in restaurants but I was careful who was looking, that was my baby so you can do whatever you want to do.
Nicole: I work with breastfeeding mums, I teach breastfeeding and a lot of mums I find now, they want to breastfeed and the dilemma where they feel they want to breastfeed but their mums didn’t breastfeed at all. When they were infants they were formula fed babies and we find a lot here in the US.
A lot of our listeners don’t know that you weren’t born and raised here; you were
born and raised in the Bahamas, so sometimes there’s a cultural difference. Do you feel that your mum being part of that support system and having seen breastfeeding while you were growing up. How do you think that affected you and your ability to breastfeed without having to miss classes and things like that versus the women who didn’t necessarily grow up in a culture where breastfeeding was the norm and was your mum a part of it? Who was your support system?
Cemone: My mum was definitely the support system, she insisted upon it, there was no way around it and she was you’re going to breastfeed him end of story. Well number one I was personally breastfed by mum till I was three almost four years old. So the fact that I did it for a year she was happy but not happy, I did it. So it was that aspect, I breastfed for almost four years of my life and I just did it for a year with my son.
She was a huge support system and it was no moment between me and her because if I was doing something weird or something like that. I didn’t mind her trying to fix me that way, whether it was to touch my breasts or show me to hold it up and different things like that. It’s something that’s very common if you want to succeed to breastfeed your baby like that. I understand why like I said intimate moments between mum and baby, that’s an unbreakable bond. Like you have to see that when you’re there and latched and looking up at you and they’re smiling when your boob is in their mouth and they’re touching your boob. It’s very intimate, you’re laying down and it’s a very intimate moment when tuned with your baby.
Nicole: I must say because I didn’t do extensive breastfeeding either, I must say one of the things that I miss as far as my son being in, breastfeeding is the one thing. You’re not going to get it back; it’s a moment in time an intimate moment. It’s unbreakable I miss the most.
Last question if you could tell new mums one piece of advice, what would that piece of advice be to help them in their breastfeeding journey?
Cemone: Not to give up just because your nipples are cracking and it looks they’re about to fall off. It’s not the end of the world; it’s not going to fall off. God didn’t create them to fall off, it’s going to be okay, your nipples are going to adjust to the pressure and things like that and not to give up because once you see something like that. The boobs or your nipple or if he has teeth and starts biting you, you want to say, “Oh my God I’m through with this.” No, stick with it, don’t give up and go to support groups which other mums who are nursing their children and do it as long as you can.
I think in society people become judgmental and I don’t understand why we take advice from people who don’t have kids. It’s okay if it’s a two year and he or she
is still breastfeeding, it’s not going to traumatized them or anything like that so stick with it for as long as you can, as long as the baby will accept it and don’t give up. Do you hear that mums? Don’t give up and don’t judge.
Nicole: Thank you so much that was my take home message for however long you’re able to breastfeed. If you’re only able to do it for three months because your life doesn’t allow it, once a day at night or before you go to bed or you do it for 2-3 years like your mum did, no judgment and don’t give up.
Well thank you so much Cemone Glinton from Out of Box Events and Weddings for doing this, for sitting for this interrogation.
Cemone: Thank you.
Nicole: I know our mums are going to just take those pieces of knowledge that you just gave them like little gold nuggets and take it with them. Thank you.
Cemone: Thank you, thank you.
Cemone: Thanks for having me.