1. What does breastfeeding mean to you? A better question might be, what doesn’t it mean? Really, it means to me many things from being a beautiful and empowering means of nurturing my child to reclaiming a lost birthright and rite of passage of motherhood that has been systematically devalued at great familial and cultural expense. I’m glad I didn’t miss out on this very human experience.
2. How would you describe your time as President? I loved serving as President! What I didn’t love at all is how that came to be. With Vicki Wolfrum’s passing, the coalition had a need and I attempted to fill it. I felt like a new officer on the bridge steering the coalition ship and changing course with Vicky’s vision, my intentions, and a wonderful crew of “can-do” board members willing to consider new ways of furthering our SDCBC mission. We experienced a lot of transition in 2018 and are poised for taking on new initiatives and projects as we benefit from a wealth of knowledge and experience from our seasoned board members along with the creativity and innovative thinking of our newer members. It’s a very exciting time with a dynamic board!
3. What advice would you give lactation professionals who are just entering the profession? For our new generation of lactation consultants, opportunities around breastfeeding support, education, outreach and advocacy are endless! Many, of course, will directly support breastfeeding dyads in clinical, private and public health settings. But what I have discovered is that there is a need for IBCLCs in every tier of the spectrum of prevention. I would encourage future lactation consultants to consider all of the other skill sets they bring to the table to act as Breastfeeding Ambassadors, someone who can translate the science of lactation and breastfeeding management into every sector of society. We are change agents in shifting cultural norms so that breastfeeding is the default--easier to do than formula feeding. Yes, IBCLCs love working with moms and babies, but we need to be diverse in skill sets and step out-of-the-box to engage with everyone about the value of breastfeeding, while affirming every mom and baby in their feeding decisions. Let’s acknowledge we are all doing the best we can!
Thank you, San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition, for letting me be of service!