Andrea and baby Mae
Name: Andrea Ippolito
Number of kids and ages: 2 kids: Mae (3) and Louisa (3 months)
Location: Ithaca, NY
The most surprising thing about being a first-time mom is how hard breastfeeding is. Also that you are a precious being when you are pregnant, then you are essentially discarded once the baby is born. Your health is a priority and you need to advocate for yourself. Mom's health is just as important as baby's health.
My expectation vs. experience breastfeeding was is that it is "walk up and use" and I would just be able to do it. The experience? Feeding babies is oh-so-complicated: challenging and rewarding, stressful and wonderful. Also there are so many nuisances with it. For instance, I think I expected my milk to just flow out after having a baby and that was not the case at all. I didn't realize that it takes a while for your milk to come in. It stressed me out immensely and turns out that it's normal :)
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The best piece of advice about motherhood is some days you will be killing it at the parenting thing and other days will be total disasters. My advice is that don't feel like you have it to have it together all the time. You 3D printed a human and are working hard to keep them alive - that is a huge, freaking accomplishment so be proud of yourself.
About Andrea: Andrea Ippolito currently serves as the CEO and Founder of SimpliFed. Prior to joining Cornell, Andrea served as the Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Innovators Network within the VA Center for Innovation and served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow based out of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and General Services Administration. She was the Co-Founder of an innovative application that improves access to care called Smart Scheduling (acquired by athenahealth in 2016). She also previously served as the Co-Director of MIT Hacking Medicine, as an Innovation Specialist at the Brigham Innovation Hub and Product Innovation Manager at athenahealth. Ms. Ippolito completed her MS in Engineering & Management at MIT and engineering degrees at Cornell.
About SimpliFed: SimpliFed is changing the narrative on infant nutrition and democratizing access to choices parents can feel good about as they feed their babies. SimpliFed's team of IBCLCs (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants) provides breastfeeding support via a telehealth platform, so to meet parents where they are at, from the safety and comfort of their homes. We begin working with parents during pregnancy to establish goals, manage expectations, provide education and preparedness, then continue the trusted relationship postpartum through weaning.