The climb

The climb
Climbing together

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Breastfeeding USA - one of the newest Board Members!

Breastfeeding USA is a national organization based in the U.S. I became aware of them last year through a fellow admin who was at that time helping with the Kellymom.com Breastfeeding Support Group. Two things about the organization appealed to me, after my limited experience with La Leche League. First, the training was completely online and had interactive components (such as a required live group video chat to role play helping scenarios) that appeal to my interest in technology based digital learning environments. Second, the organization is emphatic on supporting working moms, and focuses almost exclusively on breastfeeding education, promotion, and support rather than on parenting. While I do think those two things go hand in hand, I also think that it's not an all-or-nothing pursuit, and that supporting babies receiving breast milk for the optimal duration as a public health concern is of primary importance.

So I mulled over it and paid the $25 to join the organization, because hey they have a great mission and even I in my impoverished grad student parent state can afford that much, and later on decided to go ahead and do the Breastfeeding Counselor (BC) training. Since I was already actively involved in mother to mother support for breastfeeding on the Kellymom Facebook group, I figured it could only help.

Me, Jess, Rebecca, Patty, and Augustina in the front.

Then I went to the Breastfeeding and Feminism Conference in 2015. I'd happened upon the conference just doing random web surfing and went on a whim. It was a fantastic whim that I will never regret. I had an amazing time listening to amazing research surrounded by amazing people who do amazing work. I ended up helping fellow board member Rebecca Ruhlen, Patty Jacobs, and Augustina Vidal (all BCs) and Jess Zeffiro (who just recently finished her BC training!) with some tabling for Breastfeeding USA at the conference and having heart to hearts with Rebecca and Patty, specifically, and really making a person to person connection with them cemented my dedication to the organization. Because at the end of the day an organization can have a great mission, but it's the people you interact and work with who make you want to continue.

A couple of months ago Rebecca emailed me if I was cool with her nominating me for one of the three vacant spots on the Board of Directors. I am already on the Board for the Florida Breastfeeding Coalition, so I figured why not? Honestly I didn't even think I would get elected.

But this morning I found out that I had been elected onto the board. And I am pretty excited about the prospect of working with such an amazing group.

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