When we first heard that SHAPE magazine wanted to honor Best for Babes Co-Founder Danielle Rigg in their annual list of “Women Who Shape the World”, we were overjoyed . . . when the issue hit the newstands today, and we saw that Danielle was included in an incredible group of 10 movers and shakers, headed up by Michelle Obama, we were truly humbled and, well, blown away!
We are so grateful to SHAPE for shining the spotlight on the Best for Babes Foundation. Best for Babes is the first and only non-profit that is giving breastfeeding a makeover and bringing together celebrities, corporations, foundations, non-profits, fashion, advertising, the media and the medical community to “Beat the Booby Traps™” –the cultural and institutional barriers that keep moms from making an informed decision and from achieving their personal breastfeeding goals! Best for Babes believes that ALL women deserve to be cheered on, coached andcelebrated without pressure, judgment and guilt, and is catalyzing a positive culture change.
Bravo to SHAPE for including an awesome photograph of a nursing mom, which helps normalize breastfeeding (many women have never seen another mother nursing) and puts breastfeeding squarely in the camp of fitness, health and HOT! It sends a strong message to expecting and new mothers that “we’ve got your back, babe and you can do it!”
Thank you SHAPE for sharing Danielle’s story, which is especially poignant this month as Danielle is also a recent breast cancer survivor. A diagnosis at age 37, grueling chemotherapy and a double mastectomy only renewed Danielle’s commitment to preventing breast cancer and helping more mothers reap the protective benefits of breastfeeding for themselves and for their daughters. New studies suggest that women with an immediate family history of breast cancer who breastfeed have a 59% lower risk of developing the disease themselves, and breastfed baby girls have a 25% lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. Every woman that is not prevented from succeeding at breastfeeding is potentially another life saved. Every woman that shares her positive breastfeeding experience without pressure, judgment or guilt mends the broken cycle of intergenerational support and leads the way for her peers and future generations.
Being honored by SHAPE is a perfect fit (pun intended)! because breastfeeding is a lot like working out or riding a bike; there is a learning curve but if you stick with it, and get inspired, prepared and empowered you will be amazed at what you and your body can do (and your baby will thrive and love it!). SHAPE magazine has over 1 million readers, and is an extremely popular magazine for women’s health and fitness, motivating women to eat better, exercise, and take the actions to become healthier and feel great about themselves. SHAPE and Best for Babes use everyday and celebrity success stories to encourage women to achieve their personal goals and feel fabulous. (I turned to SHAPE when I was desperate about my post-pregnancy bod. You can’t pick up the magazine without immediately wanting to eat a delicious salad and head to the gym, and best of all, you will be pumped up to actually enjoy it!) So it is a magazine that we respect and admire because it is doing something good for women and for the planet. Healthier, stronger, more empowered women are what our world needs!
We congratulate the other honorees! It is profoundly humbling to be included with 10 other leaders who are making a difference in women’s health and wellness. Honorees include Michelle Obama who is leading a national trend back to homegrown produce; Robyn O’Brien, founder of Allergy Kids, who is urging healthier eating of organic, unprocessed, non-GMO foods to curb the allergy epidemic, Karen Durkin, CEO of the Women’s Sport Foundation, who is helping inner city girls participate in team sports and thereby achieve greater health, self-esteem and academic achievement, and Suzanne Jones, founder of YogaHope, who is teaching yoga, stress reduction and addiction coping skills to women recovering from alcohol or drug addiction.
On a final note, I want to acknowledge Danielle personally. Danielle is not only my best friend and business partner, she is also my hero. Throughout her devastating battle with cancer, and despite her recurring health issues, she has been my source of strength and inspiration. Starting a breastfeeding non-profit is not easy, and we have faced many adversities and have often figured things out by the seat of our pants. Danielle’s faith in me, in Best for Babes, and our mission of helping mothers and babies has been unshakeable, through thick and thin, and has been the glue that has held us together! I am proud to be part of this venture with her!
To get involved or donate, go to www.bestforbabes.org. Best for Babes is a non-profit 501c3. All donations go directly to raising awareness, changing the cultural perception, bringing more evidence-based information and our comprehensive strategy into the hands of moms and key influencers, catalyzing positive change, cheering on moms and those that support them, and “beating the booby traps”–the cultural and institutional barriers to breastfeeding success. Whew!