When Best for Babes co-Founders, Danielle Rigg and Bettina Forbes approached me about helping to start Team Best for Babes, I couldn’t have been more excited. Running and breastfeeding are both passions of mine, so combining the two is perfect. Having seen the success that other non-profits have had with sports teams, I want this for BfB as well. There’s no reason why an army of Babes, focused on Beating the Breastfeeding Booby Traps can’t take the country by storm to raise awareness and funds for this pivotal issue!
I became so inspired that I decided to run three marathons in three months to support this important cause…that’s nearly 79 miles of running, not counting the training! I’ve run marathons in the past, but never three so close together, so this will certainly be a challenge for me. I figured that if I could find 79 people to sponsor me $1 per mile, we will be able to raise over $6,000 for Best for Babes through this effort alone. I’m happy to report that through the generosity of my friends and family, we’re all ready a third of the way there!
I ran the first of the three races on October 9 at Denver’s Rock ‘n Roll Marathon. It was a crisp but beautiful day, and I completed the mile-high race in 3 hours, 53 minutes…not my fastest time, but my fastest time post-kids! My second race will be the Death Valley Trail Marathon on December 3, which I’ll be running with a good friend who is joining me all the way from her home in London. Finally, I’ll take on the Disney World Marathon on January 8, 2012. My sister, a nursing mother of four, will be joining me in her first marathon.
For me, Best for Babes itself is truly inspirational. I read a news story about the organization a few years ago and was so impressed that I emailed co-Founders, Danielle Rigg and Bettina Forbes, to see if there were ways I could get involved. From that point forward, I was hooked, making the journey from being a casual adviser on certain issues to becoming a member of their Board of Directors this June.
I’ve been amazed at what this organization has been able to accomplish in such a short amount of time, with just a few people, on a small budget. I get chills just thinking about what we could do if we had more money to work with, which is why Team BfB is so important. It’s a way for me, and for you, to contribute to the “Mother of all Causes”, with the potential for a multiplier effect that goes far beyond what each of us can contribute on our own. In addition to the funds we raise, we can generate press and notoriety for BfB which, in turn, can help focus attention on the Cause and help BfB to fund-raise in the future…a virtuous circle. It’s a no-lose situation!
As a nursing mother of two, breastfeeding has become one of my most important passions. The birth of my son five years ago changed my life in the most wonderful way, and I suddenly realized why my mom, who has been a La Leche League Leader and lactation consultant for years, has always spent so much of her time helping other moms
to breastfeed. Being able to nourish my babies with my own milk is not only what’s best for them, but it has been the most empowering and rewarding thing I have ever done.
Up until earlier this year, I also worked full-time at a high-pressure job in New York City, so I was faced with the challenges of nursing while working. Fortunately, my company was supportive of breastfeeding mothers, and I was able to pump regularly, keep up my milk supply, and continue to breastfeed successfully. It took a lot of work (both for me and for my husband who diligently washed and sterilized pump parts every night), but being able to continue to nurse my babies was the one thing that kept me going through what was a tough separation each day.
As I worked through the challenges, I was able to help many other moms who were going through similar issues, which was extremely rewarding for me, and I learned about some of the struggles other moms face in workplaces that are not supportive of breastfeeding. All of this underscores how important it is to put pressure on this and other key Booby Traps that prevent moms from successfully nursing their babies. Lack of workplace support and lack of adequate maternity leave are two Booby Traps that I’m particularly interested in working with BfB to eliminate.
I’m more than thrilled to be representing Team BfB at these upcoming races, and I hope you will join me, either at these events or at other events that inspire you. Start a team or join an existing team; we are hoping to have new teams pop up all over the country! Please see the Team BfB website at: http://www.bestforbabes.org/team-bfb for more information on how you can join us in our races to beat the Booby Traps!
Maria Grant is a member of the Best for Babes Board of Directors and a mother of two young children. She was formerly a Managing Director and head of Cross-Product and Options Research at Goldman Sachs before leaving the firm earlier this year to spend more time with her family.
If you would like to support Maria as she runs three marathons in 3 months, please see her fundraising page at: http://wishes.causes.com/wishes/356766.