More about the sessions I attended last week at the conference:
Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney took an ass-kicking at this conference. There were two (2) sessions that blasted him on Ban the Bags campaigns! Apparently he blocked BF coalition members in Massachusetts from making legislative change via perinatal regulations. It seems ol' Mitt was courting Big Pharm at the time to bring jobs to his state. This of course, only made them take the campaign national. Our committee is now considering what role we will take in Ban the Bags in our city. (For those who aren't familiar with Ban the Bags, its an effort to stop hospitals from their long held practice of giving free diaper bags to the women who birth there with lots of formula in them- even to breastfeeding moms. Research shows this practice can undermine breastfeeding.)
I attending a couple of sessions that gave me great ideas for two of our committee projects:
One session called the Breastfeeding Cafe, gave me ideas to enhance our annual World Breastfeeding Week event. We are planning another breastfeeding fair and I'm excited to borrow some of the ideas I learned from the cafe, such as adding infant CPR and infant massage to attract folks to our event. Thanks, ladies from Utah.
Another session focused on awards for workplaces that support lactation. I got lots of food for thought on our own annual lactation support awards. We give one to an organization, and one to a community member. Good ideas on setting criteria, and what the actual award should be and in what setting it should be awarded. Also some good ideas on getting press.
The best part of the conference was the sharing room. This is where each coalition could set up a booth to showcase what thier state was doing. So many great ideas. I'm really excited to share all this great stuff with my committee when next we meet. I'm so glad I was able to attend.
Next year, I'll put in a proposal to present! So much is happening in KS and MO on the breastfeeding front and our little committee has worked so hard.
Speaking of presenting, I made some great contacts for CIMS (Coalition for the Improvement of Maternity Services). I'm hoping to speak at their 2009 conference. I got in a couple of proposals for MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) and ADA (American Dietitic Association), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for those. I also put out a proposal to my nursing school, to speak at their annual Scholarship Day, about healthcare and blogging. We'll see how that one goes. I'd love to share about the role blogging has in healthcare and how blogging builds community and shapes healthcare culture.
If anyone knows of other upcoming conferences in 2008 and 2009 that focus on birth, laction, or healthcare consumer advocacy, I'd love to hear about them.