Any Lactivists here?

Ruby of the Moon's picture

I would love to talk with other lactivists(or breastfeeding activists) about ways that they are working in their communities to promote breastfeeding. If you go to the AAP website they will send you up to 6 free posters that say "breastfeeding moms welcome here" and show a mother nursing her baby. I'm not sure of the exact link, you have to search around the site a bit.

I am a Breastfeeding counselor and a doula aspiring midwife and English professor... Yes, I can't decide what I want to be when I "grow up" if I grow up, ever. I am trying to balance college and four kids, and housework and their activities and all that while helping my community see that breastfeeding is the way to go.

So I guess it's understansable that I am half-exhausted, anemic and using coffee as a lifeline. I have to start taking better care of myself and really focusing on one following through with my goals.

Which obviously my top priority is: my kids

but I don't see why I can't "have it all" and that is what I am trying to do, so why not? right?

Today I will be cleaning my room, working on my book and taking my kids to the park and counseling breatfeeding moms through WIC. What more could a mama ask for?

Comments

meg's picture
Submitted by meg on

I'm part of a volunteer program called "breastfeeding buddies". We're trained by a lactation consultant/nurse through our community health centre. We are matched with a new mom and she can call us whenever she has a breastfeeding question or problem or just needs a listening ear. We also go to various sites in the community (like playgroups, early years centres, breastfeeding lounges in Sears stores) and answer questions or refer them to people who can help them. Finally , we run breastfeeding courses for expectant moms. It's a pretty cool program, a little less formal than La Leche League and definately a good resource for local moms.

Ruby of the Moon's picture

It sounds somewhat like the WIC Peer counselor program which I am also a part of. Do you get much respons from moms? It seems that alot of the time they do not call back. What is your experience? Thanks

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

meg's picture
Submitted by meg on

Sorry! I got busy there for a while with diarrhea legs on my three year old and soccer practice. When I have a match with someone, we have a protocol to call them fairly regularly in the first weeks but as the baby gets older, and especially if the mom is not having problems, there are less and less calls. Sometimes I worry that they'll think I'm stalking them or something because i keep calling to make sure everything is going smoothly but generally people are happy for the contact (or atleast polite about blowing me off). And then, as the baby gets even older the calls stop. It's kind of happy and sad at the same time. Since our program is about peer support, I hope that folks who don't call anymore are doing well and have a support network that they are relying on but there is no way to know for sure, of course. We try to have a formal end to the match at a certain point but it's fine for us to maintain a friendship.
When we are volunteering at a site, it can be more of a one off thing. Someone asks a question, I give an answer or refer them to someone with the right expertise for their problem and that's it. Maybe that person will show up at the site the next time I'm there and we can talk again but it is equally as likely that Ill never see them again.
Did this help? I'd love to hear about your program--Meg

sunflower's picture
Submitted by sunflower on

Good for you! I am the same on the doula, lactation consultant, midwife to be thing. I have had the great opportunity to teach childbirthing classes to some Healhty Start moms to be, and I counsel moms pre and post partum on breastfeeding. I breastfeed in public and think it is very important. I encourage others to do so, at their own comfort level. I try to point ou tthat boobs sell cars and beer all around us - it's not like they're not everywhere anyway. ANywhere you can use a bottle, you should be able to nurse.

And, I try to be a sympathetic and encouraging advocate in my family and community. You can't win em all, but being a good friendly source of info can mean a lot to someone.

Sunflower the unflower

Sunflower the unflower

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Ruby of the Moon's picture

Hi,

The WIC Peer Counseling program (in my community)is not the best set-up but it is coming along... right now we do all of our counseling over the phone. Whenever a new mom signs up for WIC she is referred to a PC, whether she is planning on breastfeeding or formula feeding. So it is our job to call her and to offer information about the benefits and process etc., It's funny that you said sometimes you feel like a stalker because that's how I feel too, sometimes after leaving a few messages on the same machine I wonder what the mom is thinking. But I have started to mail out letters (WIC does anyway stating who the PC will be) but mine are more personal and I include an article I wrote about the 5 steps to breastfeeding success. That way even if they don't call me, hopefully they read that. I try to mail it out within a week of delivery so that they can get a good start and then I follow-up.
The benefits of working with WIC are that they actually pay you, also they paid for my Lactation Counselor Training course, and they paid so I could go to the 11th Annual Breastfeeding Conference. It was great, Barbara Wilson-Clay spoke as well as Rebecca Glover. I feel like I have learned so much through all my trainings etc, and that I owe to WIC because I couldn't have afforded to go to these things otherwise! I just wish they would let us do more groups etc, but because of policy we have to go through them. We had a WIC breastfeeding "event" and not that many mothers showed up, but at least we reached the ones that did!
One good thing that we started to do is ask for email addresses as well, that way moms that don't feel comfortable talking over the phone or are too busy can get breastfeeding support online.
I also counsel moms through my doula business which is better because I can offer appointments etc., I made a great poster for WIC, I cut pictures of breastfeeding women out of old mothering and la leche magazines and put it on posterboard, in the end I had about 200 different ladies on there with babies of all ages etc,. Sometimes it's just a matter of never having seen a baby at the breast! If you want to read a few of my breastfeeding essays they are on my website: emeraldeyez.com Ruby

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

Ruby of the Moon's picture

this is so true... i used to be so different and think that women should cover up if say a little boy was around, i have learned so much over the past few years that now i the complete opposite. i want everyone to breastfeed so that little boys can see and know that it is normal!! sometimes it is just a matter of education and understanding, there is such a lack of knowledge here (us) about breastfeeding, what is really is and how much it provides for a child and society. as part of my doula work now i require my clients to take a short childbirth education class taught by me, so that i can at least share with them what i know about breastfeeding, after that it is up to them to decide, but at least i know that i have shared what i know. it's all about informed desicions, i think that most people that fornula feed just don't know the true difference. you should read my essay on the hidden dangers of formula on my website: emeraldeyez.com if you do, let me know what you think!

"If I could tell the world one thing, it would be we're all okay"-Jewell

sunflower's picture
Submitted by sunflower on

The Ecologist magazine has a great article about that this month, if you want some more information. It is one of the best I have ever seen.

Oh, and I just finished a breastfeeding class for midwife students, and one of the advantages to the family of breastfeeding is accurate sexual education for the older children. I never thought of it before, but it is SO true. I never cover up around my 7 yr old boy, and he has no problem with me breastfeeding in fron tof him.

Sunflower the unflower

Sunflower the unflower

Mom's Tinfoil Hat
Foodie loves Picky