The final question in this four-part series focuses on celebrations. In the first question, we learned about two pressing challenges – COVID-19 and Time. Question two was about current projects and lessons learned. For the third question, Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities shared their short-term goals. Finally, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, the communities were asked: “What Are You Celebrating?” Sometimes it is too easy to only see the work ahead or the work undone. This question provided an opportunity to reflect on all the work already completed and how our communities are carrying on and working through challenges and lessons learned. The communities responded with a recognition of how far they have come, despite or maybe because of the challenges and lessons learned.
We started this four-part series with a question about challenges, and the COVID-19 pandemic was topmost in the responses. The COVID-19 pandemic also was present in these celebration responses.
“We started this work during the pandemic and have been able to pull together [breastfeeding friendly] trainings, both statewide and local, and support for local child care centers!”
“We have lots to celebrate – what we were able to accomplish during COVID-19 and still focus on what more we can do.”
Communities celebrated collaborations and partnerships with local agencies and organizations, including an unexpected local organization. Communities also received support from within their organizations to get the work done. One community’s successful partnership with a local sports team illustrates the importance of searching out community connections in all the places where families shop, work, and, in this case, play.
“We were able to collaborate with other nearby communities and advocates on programs and events and take advantage of our State coalition’s resources and programs for breastfeeding friendly awards and designations.”
“Thanks to our techy breastfeeding peer counselor, our website is always up to date.”
“We are making some fantastic headway on our breastfeeding friendly community initiative. A longtime Chapter colleague and breastfeeding program consultant is spearheading the initiative in the community.”
“Our State WIC office partnered with the local Minor League baseball team to get a Mamava POD at the stadium.”
Finally, communities are lifting up the work already happening within the community.
“We want to celebrate and recognize all the work that others are doing in our July and August newsletters in celebration of breastfeeding month.”
We hope that you have found inspiration and motivation to begin the Breastfeeding Family Friendly Community journey in your local community. It is an exciting journey. These communities are facing the challenges head on; continuing the work and learning lessons; developing both big and modest short-term goals; and celebrating the work that has been completed. Through it all, the Breastfeeding Family Friendly Communities are focused on Shared Responsibility to support families Every Step of the Way.