A Family-Friendly NICU Program
This is a movement to bring the mother and premature baby together for the improved health of both mother and child. It is common practice in America to keep premature babies isolated in incubators, denying them the skin-to-skin contact that is so crucial for them to thrive, rather than to merely survive. We seek to implement round-the-clock kangaroo care and breastmilk instead of formula, since formula is shown to cause often-fatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis in preemies.
We need to normalize milksharing as the alternative when breastfeeding is difficult or not possible. MilkCall is a milksharing program that helps connect mothers who need milk to mothers who have milk to give. For millennia, we have nursed each other’s children. It is time to return to our roots in sisterhood and bring back the village. We will utilize MilkCall as a resource for connection and education.
Maternity & Family Leave in the United States
It is a proven fact that mothers need adequate time to nurse their babies, not just to provide necessary nourishment, but to establish positive bonding that leads to proper development. The US is one of only three countries in the world that does not have national paid family leave policies. We are collaborating with other organizations to establish better policies for working families, utilizing social media, online petitions, and unique campaigns to create positive change on this critical issue. We are proud to be a member of the coalition organized by the National Partnership for Women and Families to get the Family Leave Act passed. We hope you join us in the good fight!
Art of Breastfeeding
The development of art programs is crucial to establishing a better acceptance of the nursing mother in American culture. The Milky Way Foundation will raise necessary funds to commission art works, while securing public venues across the nation to exhibit these artistic contributions. Studies demonstrate that if cultures see and experience these images and representations, the practice will be more universally embraced.
Workplace Lactation Support
Workplace Lactation Support Employers in the United States must develop a better support system for nursing mothers returning to work. While there are laws in place to accommodate workplace lactation, they must be expanded upon and enforced. Breastfeeding mothers require more comfortable nursing facilities at the workplace that are close to their work area, and must be given appropriate support from their employers, such as long breaks to pump milk. The Milky Way Foundation is joining other organizations to support the expansion of these laws and to educate businesses about the economic and social benefits to supporting breastfeeding mothers in the workplace.
The Milky Way Movie
The Milky Way is a documentary exposé about breastfeeding in the United States. We show how women can reclaim their birthright and restore the nursing mother archetype. More than a breastfeeding promotion film, this is a film by, for, and about women. It is about the knowledge that inherently resides in every woman, how to access that knowledge and how to trust what we already know. It is a film that inspires women to say, “I can do that! I want to do that!”
Chantal Molnar, RN, IBCLC, worked at University of California, Irvine Medical Center for over 20 years. During those years she saw how damaging medical practices are to breastfeeding, and realized how drastically the culture must change in order for more moms to succeed. She holds a master’s degree in human development.
Jennifer Davidson, RN, IBCLC, is a pediatric nurse and lactation consultant at the progressive pediatric practice of Dr. Jay Gordon MD in Santa Monica, CA. After years of working with mothers and babies Jennifer recognized a consistent need to provide her clients with essential tools to enable them to trust their bodies, trust their babies, and trust themselves, especially during the early days of new motherhood.
Jon Fitzgerald has over 20 years of experience in the motion picture business. He co-founded the Slamdance Film Festival in 1995 and went on to direct the AFI Los Angeles Film Festival, Santa Barbara and Abu Dhabi International Film Festivals. After consulting to film festivals and indie filmmakers for many years, he transitioned back into producing, with socially relevant projects, such as THE BACK NINE, THE HIGHEST PASS and DANCE OF LIBERATION and now THE MILKY WAY. In 2011, he launched CineCause, an online portal connecting socially relevant films to related causes. In 2012, he authored Filmmaking For Change: Make Films That Transform the World.
Eve is a military veteran, breastfeeding mother, and our fearless leader. She has been with us since the early Kickstarter days and has been involved in every facet of the campaign since. She is a social media master, skilled content creator, and financial genius. Eve is also the founder of MoveOverMen.org, one of our partners working toward family-friendly legislation, including paid leave. We are elated to have her leading our Foundation team.
John is a PMI certified Project Manager and a huge asset to our team. He has extensive experience with team building and management across myriad industries, and he is known for his skill under pressure. His ability to see the big picture and effectively diagram programs is vital to our mission. John is also an IT professional with 20 years experience across multiple platforms.
Jennifer has served on the Ecology Center’s children’s health, first food and environmental health campaigns since 2010. She completed UCSF’s Reach the Decision Makers Fellowship program in 2011, with a focus on reform of our national chemicals law. In 2014, Jennifer founded the NEC Society, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting fragile infants, after losing her son, Micah, to necrotizing enterocolitis. Jennifer completed her undergraduate studies at U.C.L.A. and earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a focus on community organizing.