It has been 10 years since we authored our first blog post here on Our Milky Way. Ten. Years. This milestone is accompanied by a myriad of emotions!
I’m so proud of our collection of publications, promoting fantastic work by fantastic people.
I am stunned by the elusiveness of time; I first took the Lactation Counselor Training Course (LCTC)– which propelled me into this work– when my first child was only a few months old and now she is 11.
I am deeply grateful for everything I’ve learned from our participants and my colleagues and mentors who have shaped this blog. It’s such a thrill to connect with people across the continent and across the oceans, and I consider it such a privilege to have spent time with all of the beautiful minds featured on this blog.
I am both discouraged and encouraged. Scrolling through a decade’s worth of stories leaves me inspired by maternal child health advocates’ tireless work and triumphs both big and small. Lactation spaces have been carved out and employers have adopted breastfeeding-friendly policies, breastfeeding murals have been painted, generous human milk donations have been made, babies have gone skin-to-skin in the operating room, World Breastfeeding Weeks have been celebrated, important research has been conducted and published, and the accomplishments go on and on!
I’m also disheartened by the darker spaces where negative forces are at play like conflict among care providers, our culture’s disconnect between birth and breastfeeding, systemic racism, no paid parental leave, and the pervasive industry influence in infant feeding and beyond. These, among other forces, leave the United States consistently dangling near the bottom of the WBTi World Ranking list.
Despite our country’s poor performance in supporting healthy beginnings, I still find myself with a sense of wonder and cautious optimism for what the next decade holds for familial, community and global health.
In celebration of Our Milky Way’s 10th birthday, we’re launching a series called “Breastfeeding is…” For ten weeks, we will revisit a topic that describes breastfeeding. This series was inspired specifically by our 2013 piece Breastfeeding is… where Healthy Children Project faculty emeritus Barbara O’Connor, RN, BSN, IBCLC, ANLC discusses what breastfeeding can be and the cultural forces at odds with positive health outcomes.
Join us in celebrating and honoring healthy infant feeding by sharing what breastfeeding means to you. You can post in the comments below, find us on social media @centerforbreastfeeding, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What’s more, I am so pleased to announce that we will be giving away an online learning module with contact hours each week of our 10 week celebration. Here’s how to enter into the drawings:
Email email@example.com with your name and “OMW is 10” in the subject line.
This week, in the body of the email, tell us what breastfeeding means to you. Subsequent weeks will have a different prompt in the blog post.
We will conduct a new drawing each week over the 10-week period. Please email separately each week to be entered in the drawing. You may only win once. If your name is drawn, we will email a link with access to the learning module. The winner of the final week will score a grand finale swag bag.