Welcome to Galactablog.
My name is Tamara. I am an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I am an accredited La Leche League International Leader and a member of the Board of Directors of Nurture Project International. My specialization is in program design and evaluation, particularly with regard to Peer Breastfeeding Support Training Programs. I have a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) from the American University of Beirut and an M.A. in Near Eastern Studies. Currently, I reside Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
I founded Galactablog when I was living in Lebanon. where I was a breastfeeding mother working as a Certified Lactation Specialist. In Lebanon, initiation rates are high and nearly all new mothers attempt to breastfeed, however, very few continue to exclusively breastfeed and even fewer persist for the WHO recommended 6 month period. Mixed feeding is not only common but a pervasive public health issue as nearly all water sources are contaminated and poverty has forced many to “stretch” and skimp on formula.
In Lebanon, I found that breastfeeding myths permeate society at all levels: health professionals, family and friends, neighbors and caregivers. Frequently, loved ones think they are helping when in fact, they are creating more obstacles. There were only a handful of Lactation Specialists in the entire country and we worked very closely and tirelessly together. Yet not everyone who wants to help breastfeeding dyads succeed is able to be (or even wants to be) a Lactation Professional. However, this does not prevent them from being breastfeeding advocates, breastfeeding supporters, peer counselors, or sympathetic members of a support network.
In Lebanon, like the rest of the Middle Eastern region, women want to breastfeed, but breastfeeding information, encouragement and support is sorely lacking. This phenomenon is not just pertinent to the Middle East, but in many other parts of the world, where Lactation Specialists and mothers have to make do with what we have, or even “MacGyver” our own breastfeeding aids in times of need – particularly when we don’t have Amazon or Target to fall back on.
This is how the idea of Galactablog was born. I know Lactation Professionals all over the world have knowledge, information and tricks of the trade to share. I created Galactablog to be a venue for Lactation Professionals and those aspiring-to-be to share their information, resources, latest evidence-based research, and their recommendations, and tricks and tips. The goal is that together we can create a wide array of breastfeeding resources that are accessible in many different capacities and to diverse populations worldwide. Through this, we can not only help each other grow as professionals, we can also form a community that will help benefit breastfeeding families across the globe.