Are you one of the 81? Help mothers by making a donation.
I am teaming up with the Breastfeeding USA Board of Directors, all donors themselves, to ask you to become a monthly donor to Breastfeeding USA. Read on to learn why mothers like Jessica urgently need you to Donate today!
I will never forget Jessica and her husband Nick. I was setting up for one of my very first breastfeeding support meetings when in walked Jessica, a fine-boned blonde, carrying a sweet little white-haired bundle, trailed by Nick—noticeably tattooed and pierced, with a full beard—carrying an overstuffed diaper bag. Jessica looked exhausted, and Nick, at odds with his tough exterior, expressed only concern in his cool blue eyes.
Nick set the bag on a nearby table and started to lay out a changing pad, and Jessica handed their 4-day-old baby to him for a diaper change and turned to me. “I just don’t know if I can do this anymore,” she said. “My nipples are raw and it hurts so much!” Her eyes reddened, and she started to cry. This is when I started to panic. It was my first one-on-one helping situation. Would I be able to help her? Nick gently handed the freshly-diapered, now-crying baby back to Jessica, who sat down and began to feed. Baby Alice latched, Jessica winced, and I held my breath.
I collected myself. I had gone through training, had observed well-experienced colleagues, and now it was my turn. I started with affirming Jessica’s discomfort, and her tears eased a bit. I then showed her some of the basics of laid-back breastfeeding so that baby Alice could get a deeper asymmetrical latch. With Jessica in a new position and Alice rooting around for the breast, I again held my breath. When Alice latched again Jessica’s face softened and her relief was immediate—as was mine. Jessica says this moment changed everything for her family.
Jessica returned to meetings throughout Alice’s first and second year. A year later, Jessica came back with baby number two, another little girl, but this time I saw her transform into a mother-to-mother supporter herself.
Each time I run into Jessica, Nick, and their two little girls (pictured above, I am reminded of all that I learned from them—that I have the knowledge it takes to help mothers and babies breastfeed, that I can affect change in families, and most of all, that breastfeeding support is ongoing.
Jessica is only one of the 70,000 mothers that have been helped by Breastfeeding USA Counselors over the past six years. Without the comprehensive education Breastfeeding USA provides to our Breastfeeding Counselors (BCs), the mentoring from other BCs, and the web and rapidly growing social media presence, moms like Jessica are left without the support they need to meet their breastfeeding goals.
Nearly all new moms like Jessica run into some breastfeeding challenge or another: according to the Center for Disease Control’s Breastfeeding Report Card, out of 100 new moms, 81 initiate breastfeeding, but 29 never even make it to the 6 month mark. Breastfeeding USA is changing that reality, but we need your ongoing support to ensure that future moms will benefit as Jessica did. In honor of those 81 moms who initiate breastfeeding, our goal is to get 81 donors to help us kick off our website’s new monthly giving option. With your support we can continue to accredit Breastfeeding Counselors, expanding our work in places where little breastfeeding support exists. We can continue providing new, evidence-based articles on our website, and continue to work toward achieving our shared mission.
Will you donate today and become a monthly donor of at least $5 per month? A Breastfeeding USA supporter has challenged us to add 81 new monthly donors - and has pledged to donate $1,000 if we achieve this goal by Wednesday, May 31. We need your urgent help today so that we can unlock this generous gift and help even more families like Jessica’s.
Breastfeeding USA Counselor
Funding and Development Chair
P.S. If you received this letter, chances are high that you are one of the 81 mothers who initiated breastfeeding, or you have supported a friend, family member, or other mother who has. As one of Breastfeeding USA’s 81 monthly donors, together we can ensure that all 81 mothers who initiate breastfeeding can continue with evidence-based information and support. Are you one of 81?
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