Theresa Shares Her Breastfeeding Experiences.

Alex, Danielle, Reese

My name is Theresa Tobaben and I have three children, Danielle, Alex and Reese (pictured from left to right). I gave birth to my daughter, Danielle, at eighteen years of age.  I didn’t know much but I knew that breast milk was the best nutrition for my baby and it didn’t cost a thing.  Even back then, in 1977, I knew what good nutrition was and I ate only healthy foods through my pregnancy.

I continued on a healthy diet while breastfeeding my daughter.  I breastfed her for about four months and then moved her on to baby foods.  If I had known back then what I know now, I would have continued with breastfeeding for much longer.  She is now a very smart, healthy and beautiful woman.  Though I had very little support and was young and naïve, I figured out on my own that breastfeeding would give my new baby the colostrum, antibodies and simple nutrition that every baby should have when they are born.

I was able to breastfeed my first son, born in 1987, for about five months. I was told by my mother and by doctors that he was not gaining enough weight and to stop breastfeeding.  I was heartbroken because I loved my baby so much and was trying so hard to do the right thing.  I now know that, if I had just a little support, I could have continued to breastfeed.

Of course, I was concerned for my son and began to supplement breast milk with formula and other soft foods.  I would not have used formula if I knew what I know today; but at least I knew that for the first six months of his life he received the important nutrients and antibodies that breast milk provides.  He is now 6’6” and a very strong, healthy and intelligent man!

My youngest son was born in 1999.  It was a tumultuous time as my husband and I separated and I could not be with my baby everyday. I was devastated. How was I going to continue to breastfeed? Long story short, between pumping and breastfeeding, I gave my son breast milk for the first fifteen months of his life despite the fact I couldn’t see him daily.  There was an issue with his teething and so after about eight months I primarily pumped milk for him.  I had bottles of it in the refrigerator and freezer that his father could also feed him.  I was like a milking cow – so much milk was produced and it is due to the stimulation of that pump.  It was not the ideal situation but my son is now 16, a senior in high school (skipped a grade) and has a 4.6 GPA.  He is 6’5 and so healthy and strong! Okay, I’m not saying this is all due to breast milk but I will say that I would go through it all again to give my kids the best start possible.  Life can be tough – start it with breast milk! And pass down what you know to others, as I did to my daughter Danielle.

Danielle, 90 year old grea grandam and Thrsea


Pictured are three generations of family.  From left to right is Danielle, Joan Anastasi (Danielle’s 89-year old grandmother) and Theresa Tobaben (Danielle’s mom).  Out of seven children Joan successfully breastfed only one child, and that was Theresa.  She raised children during a time breastfeeding was discouraged and most babies were delivered when the mother was knocked out with ether (as was the case with all seven of Joan’s babies).



Theresa Tobaben