South Austin Moms, in honor of National Breastfeeding Week, meet Katina Wong! This mom of 3, ages 12, 9 and 6, first spent 9 years in the US Coast Guard driving a ship and doing counter-drug and immigration law enforcement in the Caribbean. She wanted to go to flight school and become a helicopter pilot until she decided to settle down and have children, and she hasn’t looked back! She’s now using her experience and training to support families as a lactation consultant and help them in their own personal breastfeeding journey.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
I’m originally from Guatemala. I’ve lived in the US for 23 years, the last 10 in Austin.
What is your favorite thing about living here?
My favorite thing about living in Austin is the women I’ve met here. I truly feel like I found my village and I’m happy to be a part of such a supportive community.
Your kids are at ages when you begin to have a bit more freedom, and you’ve got a tween like I do! Its such a fun stage of life and parenting… always adventurous! What does your family like to do around town?
Our family loves to eat! We love trying local restaurants and exploring all the fresh flavors here. We also have recently discovered many great outdoor spaces and hiking trails.
I want to hear all about The Milk Grotto and how you are using your experience to support families.
I’m the owner of The Milk Grotto, LLC and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. After having a lot of difficulty breastfeeding my own children and succeeding because of the support of compassionate lactation consultants, I knew this is what I wanted to do as my second career. For many years I supported my friends and family with breastfeeding advice. In the last few years, I studied lactation at the University of California San Diego and participated in lactation internships here in Austin at an outpatient private practice, People’s Community Clinic, and a local hospital.
The Milk Grotto is unique because my top priority is helping families achieve their unique goals. Breastfeeding is the healthiest feeding method for both mother and baby, but that can look different for each family. I believe that maternal mental health and wellbeing are equally important. I’m here to support families in their parenting journeys.
I offer private and group breastfeeding classes, home visit lactation services, pump consults, and a free online breastfeeding support group on Tuesday nights at 8pm. Families can log on at my website. A direct link is in the CALENDAR here.
Are you involved in anything else within the community?
Yes! I’m the secretary of the Central Texas Breastfeeding Coalition.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
The Austin community has been very supportive of my journey. The lactation profession especially is very welcoming of aspiring lactation consultants and has given me a lot of professional support and training. As a whole, this is a very breastfeeding friendly city.
Family photo by Kelly Wendt Photography