Welcome to Galactablog.
My name is Tamara. I work as a Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a volunteer Breastfeeding Counselor, Peer Counselor Trainer and Program Developer and on the Board of Directors of Nurture Project International. I have a Master’s in Public Health (MPH) and an MA in Near Eastern Studies. I am also a mama to 1 little boy and a rescued Arabian Mau. Currently, I reside Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
I founded Galactablog when I was living in Beirut, Lebanon where I was a breastfeeding mother myself and working as a 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. The refugee crisis has only highlighted the importance of breastfeeding during emergencies. 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.
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 recommendations, and tricks and tips – so that we together 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 in our professional development, but we can also form a community that will help benefit breastfeeding families across the globe.