Sunday, March 04, 2007
The Spoken Word
Josiah and I just returned from San Francisco, where I presented on increasing breastfeeding rates among African-Americans. It was a good experience and I did an okay job. (I should have invested more time in preparation). During one of my three presentations, I received a question that I'm still pondering the answer to. How did I become so committed to breastfeeding when at 15, I knew no one who was actually doing it? The answer later came to me back home. I became engaged with the idea of breastfeeding and homebirth in books. I was a voracious reader and read everything in the library I could get my hands on about childbirth. Since the year was 1978, there was a fair amount of material on homebirth and breastfeeding. I found the ideas appealing, they seemed right and reasonable to me. I knew that homebirth awaited me in my future, but the breastfeeding was immediately possible. Of course, I went on to fail spectacularly. A few years later, I (just happened?) to join a church where almost everyone did homebirth. I had found my birthing community! I also discovered La Leche League and found my breastfeeding community. Though the seeds were planted long before, success only came to me when I had backup and support. The same is true for others today. That's why I'll continue to speak out on these topics. No sooner had I returned from the San Francisco conference, did I find an invitation in my email to speak at a conference in Tampa in May. I'll take that as a sign that I'm on the right track (and to invest more time in preparation).