Carey Lindeman - Welcome Baby Care
1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit. With my business education and after working and staying home with 5 daughters, I decided to take my volunteer work with senior adults to the next level. I started a company in 2005 working in home with people that couldn’t live alone any longer. In 2007 my daughter had a baby and I immediately observed that there was a growing need for mothers arriving home after having a baby. They were in and out of the hospital or birth centers and home rapidly, sometimes missing the necessary beginning bits of education needed to start life with a new baby. Knowing that many of these families with new little ones have families all over the globe with neighbors, aunts, uncles, friends that are no longer available to help with the new baby as they once were. I started Welcome Baby Care which was to be the village in the new family’s life. Welcome Baby Care consists of postpartum doulas, caring for the needs of the new mothers and are trained in mother/baby health, providing daytime and overnight help, lactation consultants, nurses, and a sleep coach with age appropriate education. We have developed a certification program to train woman looking to pursue postpartum work as a career.
2. How did you become involved in maternal and child health? What led you to become a breastfeeding advocate?
I believe if you get the breastfeeding piece right so many other things fall into place. Health and well-being of the mother and child, depend so much on feeding as does bonding between mother and child. I believe if anyone wants to breastfeed there should be the training available to do so. Breastfeeding does not come naturally, it’s a learned skill.
3. How did being a mother yourself influence your approach to breastfeeding? What challenges did you have and what support did you receive?
I remember the closeness I felt to my baby through breastfeeding. Feeding is a basic need and I liked the fact that I was able to provide that for my baby. I would like all mothers to succeed with breastfeeding if that’s what they choose to do without judgement from others. I received support in the hospital getting started and that was about it. Most of it I figured out on my own and I know it could have been so much better with resources that were not available to my knowledge. I went to La Leche League and felt a lot of judgement, especially when I decided to go back to work.
4. What do you think are the biggest challenges for mothers today in your community to breastfeeding?
Getting the help and resources they need from their medical practitioners, and pressure from other moms to be a perfect mother. We teach mothers to go with their instincts about how to raise their children.
5. Why do you think that despite the evidence, the numbers of woman breastfeeding are declining? Why do you think women often don’t get support from communities and society in general that they should?
Numbers are declining because of not enough up to date information from health care professionals, hospital staff don’t take enough time or interest in helping the new mother start breastfeeding properly, lack of employers that accommodate breastfeeding mothers, not enough opportunities to communicate with other breastfeeding mothers. A mother doesn’t have her little village of neighbors, friends and extended family to help on a daily basis to support her like people had years ago.
6. Why have you become involved in the mother baby project? What role do you think can innovation play in promoting this age-old practice?
I believe in the mission of the project and think the time is right for getting the word out to mothers about breastfeeding through innovation. This is how new moms get most of their information. I am honored to be a part of this team of professionals putting this together and looking forward to doing anything I can to push this out to as many people as possible.