My name is Melissa Breeden and I am the Director of Early Learning at YWCA McLean County. I have been with YWCA for six years as an employee in various capacities, and am proud to be in my current role as a director. I am happy to report we are meeting the needs of new moms who choose to breastfeed and those who choose to formula feed in a supportive way every day. We are lucky to have a large facility with many options for new families.
I recently shared the news with my YWCA family that my husband and I are expecting our first child in September. Ever since I found out I was pregnant I have seen our child care program in a new light – as an expecting mother and soon to be client. I started thinking about my options as far as breastfeeding and I knew immediately breastfeeding my child was important to me as long as I am healthy enough to do so. I have heard some women struggle with not producing enough milk and that is definitely a fear of mine. As my body changes, I can’t help but feel more powerful because these changes mean I am physically getting ready to care for my infant.
Early in my YWCA career, I had the opportunity to work as an infant teacher. I remember mothers occasionally breastfeeding in the classroom and I always felt it was brave of them to do so in front of others as they talked to the teachers about their child’s day. I have also seen mothers breastfeed privately in our cozy library and thought that it was nice that our new moms have an option for public and private breastfeeding.
Not only is it empowering as a woman to have the ability to breastfeed, but it’s powerful to know I would be providing essential antibodies that can help my child fight infection. My husband is an avid comic book enthusiast and it’s cool to think that I am Wonder Woman providing the breastmilk antidote to an infection my infant could possibly catch. I am still working on my husband realizing that I am truly Wonder Woman though.
Breastfeeding is also cost effective. I know I can save hundreds of dollars breastfeeding instead of purchasing formula weekly. I know how lucky I’ll be with my baby in the same building as me – right next door to my office!
Currently I am 15 weeks pregnant and counting down the days to find out the sex of the baby. I am glad my news is out there since it was a pretty big secret. I have had nothing but support and well wishes from my YWCA family, and I look forward to my new adventure as a client of the YWCA Young Wonders Early Learning program.
YWCA currently has openings in our infant classroom with no registration fee (a savings of $35). We would be more than happy to provide a tour any time and welcome you to breastfeed baby during the days well!
After graduating from ISU, Melissa Breeden found what she thought would be a temporary job at YWCA McLean County. After six years and various positions at YWCA, Melissa is proud to be the Director of Early Learning.