Breastfeeding Center produces “Nourish, Flourish, Connect” events August 1-7

The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington is putting on a full week of classes and workshops called “Nourish, Flourish, Connect” during World Breastfeeding Week, August 1-7.

Update August 5, 3:45 p.m.: Due to a last-minute technical glitch, tonight’s film screening party is being postponed. A new date will be announced for the fall.
Saturday morning workshops are going on as scheduled.
I had the chance to chat with deputy director Gina Caruso about the goals of the week of events and about the future of the Center, which executive director Pat Shelly founded in 1998.  The Center offers a wide variety of classes in addition to one-on-one consultations, and it also houses a shop with pumps and nursing clothing and a vast array of baby and parenting products.
Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington moms group
Jessica of Mindful Healthy Life: What is the idea behind “Nourish, Flourish, Connect?”
Gina of the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington: We want to make a point of bringing the community together more intentionally, and World Breastfeeding Week seemed like a great time to do it! We also want to give our clients the opportunity to take classes that aren’t typically offered, while giving other practitioners in the community the chance to get their name out to a huge number of DC area parents.
Additionally, it’s a great time to fundraise for our Building a Better Nest Campaign (new space coming July 2017!) and to premiere our fantastic Stone Soup Film!
Jessica: What is the Stone Soup Film?

Gina: Stone Soup Films is a fantastic local organization that works with other local nonprofits to tell their stories in short films. The Breastfeeding Center was lucky enough to selected as a partner last year, and over the past year the amazing Stone Soup Films producers and volunteers have captured every aspect of what we do on film. They’ve since edited all that footage into an incredible 7-minute film that so perfectly encapsulates what we hope all of our clients feel when they come to the Center. We are so, so excited to share the finished product with all of our supporters! After we premiere it during Nourish, Flourish, Connect, we’ll start to disseminate the film throughout the city so that more people can learn about what we do and how we can help their family.

We’ll be showing the film at 7 p.m. on Friday, August 5, after a World Breastfeeding Week party that afternoon and ahead of a screening of the documentary film. Update August 5, 3:45 p.m.: Due to a last-minute technical glitch, tonight’s film screening party is being postponed. A new date will be announced for the fall. Saturday morning workshops are going on as scheduled.
Jessica: Tell us more about your plans for move/expansion. Did you just expand a few years ago?
Gina: Yes, we did, but we’re absolutely bursting at the seams. Since our lease is up in 2017, we’ve decided that it’s time for an expansion and possible move!
relocation pic
We’ve been looking in the Dupont/Foggy Bottom/Farragut areas and Capitol Hill, and have found a few promising locations that have more than twice the amount of space we currently have. Imagine what we could do with that much space! It’s super exciting.
We’re looking to increase the size of our shop and classroom (and maybe even create a second!), as well as add quite a few additional private consultation rooms. We’re also looking forward to having a dedicated nursing lounge and stroller parking. But double the space means double the rent, plus moving costs. That’s why we’re fundraising for our Building a Better Nest Campaign. You can find more information about that here. And you can register for Nourish, Flourish, Connect classes here.
We just added another feature: Mini Photo Sessions at the National Cathedal with Julie Kubal Photography at the National Cathedral the weekend of 8/6 (weather permitting). Registration details coming soon!
Julie Kubal for the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington
Jessica: How does it work to buy tickets for the events?
Gina: All these classes are by-donation – a suggested donation of $25 for each workshop OR $100 for the Full Week Pass (unlimited number of workshops!). We’re offering an early bird discount of $20 off on the Full Week Pass if you register by Monday, July 25th! You can purchase the Full Week Pass here, or if you’d prefer to donate a la carte you can do that as you register for specific workshops. Here is the registration link for all the classes.
We want to make sure that anyone who wants to attend can, regardless of financial situation, so if you’re not able to contribute at this time, just select that option when registering.
Jessica: Tell us about the schedule for the week of events August 1-7. I’m super excited to be speaking on the topic of “Holistic Parenting from the Inside Out” on Saturday, August 6 at 11:30 a.m.
Gina: Yep, you’re right after “Radiant Self Care” with yoga teacher and ayurvedic health coach Kat Kuzner. It should make for a lovely morning! Here’s what we have for the full week’s schedule so far.
Nourish Flourish Connect schedule
The week’s schedule subject to change, so please go to the calendar page on the Center’s website for the most up-to-date information.
Monday 8/1
  • 10-11am Prenatal Yoga
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Ask a Lactation Consultant
  • 1-2pm Intro to the Alexander Technique
  • 5-8pm Chipotle Fundraising Event at 2000 Pennsylvania (50% of sales donated to the Center)
Tuesday 8/2
  • 10-11am Listening to the Messages of Your Body
  • 11:30am-1pm New Moms’ Group for 0-4 Months
  • 11am-3pm DC Pizza Fundraising Event at 19th and L (25% of sales donated to the Center)
  • 1:30-3pm New Moms’ Group for 0-4 Months
Wednesday 8/3
  • 10-11am Chinese Medicine at Home
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Prenatal and Postnatal Rights at Work
  • 1-2pm Ask a Lactation Consultant
  • 4-5pm Comfort Techniques for Birth
  • 5-8pm Roti Fundraising Event at Foggy Bottom (20% of sales donated to the Center)
Thursday 8/4
  • 10-11am The Brainstem and Breastfeeding
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs for Women’s Health
  • 1-2pm Can You Safely Sleep with Your Baby?
  • 2:30-3:30pm Ask a Lactation Consultant
  • 4-5pm: Dynamic Mama
  • 3-9pm: Potbelly Fundraising Event at 19th and L (25% of sales donated to the Center)
Friday 8/5
  • 1-2pm Ask a Lactation Consultant
  • 2:30-3:30pm Diastasis Recti Workshop
  • 4-7pm World Breastfeeding Week Party (at GW Hospital Auditorium)
  • 7-9pm-ish: Stone Soup Film Premiere followed by a screening of either Milk or The Milky Way
Saturday 8/6
  • 10-11am Radiant Self Care
  • 11:30am-12:30pm Holistic Parenting from the Inside Out
At the time of this post, the Center was still looking to slot in Ask a Midwife, Nutrition for the Whole Family, and Baby’s First Solid Foods. Check their calendar page for the most updated info! Descriptions are getting filled in on the calendar page too; a dialog box opens when you click on the class. Here are a few classes Gina suggested we highlight here:
Thursday 10-11am: The Brainstem and Breastfeeding

Birth can be stressful for a newborn’s spine and brainstem. This stress can affect a newborn’s ability to latch, suck, and swallow optimally for breastfeeding. Come learn about this interesting connection, how you can asses for stress on your baby’s spine, and how to get the right help if you see a misconnection with your baby.

About the presenter: Dr. Lauren Dodds is a NUCCA chiropractor and owner at the Upper Cervical Chiropractic Group in Alexandria, VA.  She gets to practice with her husband and business partner, Dr. Jake.  Lauren has been working towards living and promoting the chiropractic lifestyle since a sports injury as a high school freshman left her sidelined from life.  While trying to get healthy again, she has experienced many health care approaches and techniques.  But since receiving upper cervical chiropractic care herself and realizing the potential of true health, she has been dedicated to providing a better health care to her community in the form of NUCCA chiropractic.  When not taking care of people, Lauren enjoys cooking and baking, exploring new places in the DMV, and relaxing by the water with a good book.

Thursday 1-2pm: Can You Safely Sleep with Your Baby?

Much of the social commentary about being a good parent includes directives to never sleep with your baby. Stories abound about infants who were smothered sleeping next to an adult. Should you bedshare? Room share? We’ll explore the research, the realities, and how to handle questions about co-sleeping.

About the presenter: Dia has written and/or edited over a dozen books for adults and children. Her passions in life include promoting the concepts and practices of attachment parenting, breastfeeding and safe infant sleep. She is founder and president of two publishing houses—Platypus Media and Science, Naturally! Their books have won numerous awards and have been translated into Spanish, Dutch, Hebrew, Chinese, Russian, Turkish, French and Korean. Dia has led workshops at healthcare, education and parenting conferences across the country. She is the mother of three adult children and lives in Washington, DC.

Friday 10-11am: Nutrition for Women of Childbearing Age

Whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or postpartum, women of childbearing age have unique nutritional needs. Women and mothers often put the nutritional needs of their families above their own, neglecting to nourish their own bodies. If you are looking to improve the quality of your diet to boost your fertility or vitality, do not miss this workshop with registered dietitian, maternal, infant, and child nutrition specialist, and mother, Julie Bendix. A healthy mommy is a happy mommy.

About the presenter: Julie Bendix is an experienced Registered Dietitian passionate about helping families establish healthy habits for life. In Julie’s career, she has provided nutrition services to Veterans, individuals with HIV/AIDS, and families participating in the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program. She also has a private practice focusing on fertility nutrition, prenatal nutrition, weight management, and chronic disease management. She and her chef husband teach healthy cooking classes to individuals that want to get back to the basics of whole food homemade meals. Julie is a Certified Lactation Counselor making her knowledgeable on the science and benefits of breastfeeding. Julie earned her bachelors degree in dietetics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her graduate degree in public health, health education, and health behavior from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor.

Saturday 11:30am-12:30pm: Holistic Parenting from the Inside Out

Parenting yourself is an integral part of a holistic approach to family wellness. Learning to prioritize self-care will help you parent with empathy, intention, and thoughtfulness. In return, parenting your children that way will help you on your own path to a joyful, purposeful, meaningful life, which will position your children to pursue the same. The class will include some mindfulness practice, a little journaling and lots of discussion of strategies and ideas to care for yourself and your family in a sustainable and healthy way.

About the presenter: Local natural parenting resource writer and advocate Jessica Claire Haney founded the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network in 2009 and, in 2014, she began publishing Mindful Healthy Life, an online lifestyle magazine for natural-minded parents in Metro DC. A former high school teacher and a first-time novelist, Jessica has had to integrate a lot of self-care to overcome a family legacy of depression, to cope with several autoimmune conditions, and to live well and parent well. A mother of two, she volunteers on issues related to health and wellness in schools and blogs at

As for the Friday night party, here’s what’s known so far:

Breastfeeding Center Screening Party, Friday, August 5 postponed! 
If the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington has helped you or anyone you know establish a successful breastfeeding relationship (and if you know me, that’s at least one person!), please share the information about this week of terrific events and help the Center fund a new home and serve even more women.
small flower
Jessica Claire Haney is the founder, publisher and editor of Mindful Healthy Life. She is a writer and editor and the founder of the Arlington/Alexandria chapter of Holistic Moms Network. Her personal blog is Crunchy-Chewy Mama and her writer’s site is See the Team Mindful Healthy Life page and Jessica’s Mindful Healthy Life Q&A for more on Jessica.

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Copyright © 2015 Mindful Healthy Life. Created by MtoM Consulting.

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