Friday, August 04, 2006

No Rest for the Breastfeeding Advocate

Praise the Lord! Yesterday is finally behind me. Now I can rest quietly while exhaustion sets in. What a whirlwind of a day. I was up at 5am, after tossing and turning all night with worry. I picked up Kathi Barber from her hotel and got her to the hospitaly by 6:30 for her first presentation. Turnout (for both events) was spectacular. The rooms for both events were filled to capacity, I'm happy to report. Her talk was stellar. She'll be creating quite a buzz around town for some time to come. She spoke about breaking down barriers for African-American women to breastfeeding. What she had to say was so excellent and so timely. So many folks worked hard behind the scenes to pull off yesterday's events. (Many thanks Paul, Cesar, and Anne). I can't wait to read the evaluations. The most stunning thing she talked about was the historical context of breastfeeding in the African-American community. She talked about how breastfeeding was once the norm, but how slavery, the great migration following WWII and the shift from homebirth and midwifery care to hospital birth and physician care changed things in the AA community. She reminded everyone that the AA community was once a breastfeeding culture and what happened socio-politically and economically to change that. It was so refreshing to hear. As my girls and I left her at the airport for her flight home to Baltimore, I felt profound gratitude for her message. It makes me want to double my efforts to advocate for women of color, and yet I feel the need to advocate for all women. We are all at risk.

Well, no rest for the wicked. I have to spend the morning getting ready for the ritual this weekend. I have food to cook, beads to sew on, supplies to pack. Much to do to get ready to leave by this afternoon for the Holy Land. I so look forward to turning on the OFF switch when I get there. Sweet rest, come.