Bettina: “I didn’t really want to breastfeed, and by the time I changed my mind, I was having difficulties that could easily have been avoided. When I realized how close I had come to not breastfeeding, I started wondering, why were women like me getting turned off or throwing in the towel? What were the cultural and institutional barriers that were tripping moms up? What could be done to motivate, inspire and prepare women to breastfeed, without pressure, judgment or guilt?”
Danielle: “I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed, but found myself unprepared and unsupported by my hospital and my pediatrician. I was Booby Trapped by the institutional barriers and became a Certified Lactation Counselor because I didn’t want to see more moms with the best intentions to breastfeed set up to fail. I made it my personal mission to teach and support expecting parents to be inspired, prepared and empowered to breastfeed successfully. When I lost both breasts to breast cancer in 2005, it strengthened my resolve to beat the Booby Traps™ so that other moms and their daughters could benefit from the protection breastfeeding provides against this and so many other illnesses.”
Bettina Lauf Forbes is a co-founder of the Best for Babes Foundation. Because of her personal struggles with breastfeeding, Bettina became a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). She was motivated to develop a cutting-edge social & business entrepreneurship hybrid to act as a catalyst in raising breastfeeding rates through a top-down marketing effort among partners with a vested interest.
Bettina has a 10-year background in marketing and communications for Merrill Lynch, where she rescued, developed and managed a highly successful scholarship program for inner-city youth in ten major U.S. cities. Ninety percent of the students randomly selected in the first grade graduated from high school, and the program received numerous awards, including this nation’s highest honor, the President’s “Points of Light” Service Award, in 1999.
Previously, she held Development and Finance department positions at Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Bettina received her B.A. from Swarthmore College in Biology. A former Manhattanite, she is married with two young children, and lives in New Jersey. Read Bettina’s Story »
Danielle Rigg is a co-founder the Best for Babes Foundation. She is a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), a former employment attorney, and a breast cancer “thriver.” In 2002, after a difficult experience breastfeeding her son, she became a CLC to set new parents up for breastfeeding success through her own brand of breastfeeding classes, support groups, and private consultations. In 2003, recognizing the larger issue of a broad lack of social and institutional support for breastfeeding, she created Milk ‘n Cookies, a community-based, multidisciplinary networking group for all professionals and businesses catering to new and expectant mothers in Montclair, New Jersey.
At age 37, just prior to formally launching Best for Babes, Danielle was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer. Losing her breasts made her more committed than ever to ensuring that breastfeeding is included in the mainstream PREVENTION dialogue and that the Mother of All Causes be embraced as one for us all to get behind.
Danielle was was featured in SHAPE magazine as one of ten “Women Who Shape the World” (alongside Michelle Obama) because of her work with the Best for Babes Foundation. She received her B.A. from Barnard College and her J.D. from St. John’s University. A former Manhattanite, she currently resides in Georgia with her musician/physician husband and two children. Read Danielle’s Story.
The Best for Babes Foundation has launched a ground-breaking ad campaign, enrolled celebrities such as Kelly Preston, Jenna Elfman, Laila Ali, Kelly Rutherford and Gabrielle Reece, spurred corporate sponsors to invest in change, acted as a catalyst within the breastfeeding movement, and put positive pressure on the media to tell the story of moms who are being prevented from succeeding.
Bettina and Danielle have been featured in SHAPE magazine, Fit Pregnancy magazine, and have been quoted in myriad traditional and social media publications including USA Today, People magazine, Time magazine, Time.com, Washington Post, Huff Po, CBS.com, AOL.com. For a full list of Press click here.
Watch this slideshow by author Laura Keegan, RN, FNP about our nomination to the Michelle Obama “Let’s Move” campaign: