Introducing Meet our Members, a series where we sit down with the individuals and organizations that make up our devoted Alliance. Each week we’ll share a Q&A interview with one of our members to highlight their work in this field, connection to the cause and reasoning for joining BFIDSA.

We’re kicking off this series with BFIDSA member, Ashley Blankenship of Supported Season!

1. Tell us a little bit about you. Please feel free to share details about your work, initiatives or projects you are involved in, and why you decided to join BFIDSA.

My name is Ashley Blankenship. I’m a birth doula, postpartum doula, breastfeeding counselor, and childbirth educator. I’m the creator of Supported Season, an educational database for becoming a parent, and co-host of Doula Dang Thing podcast. I joined BFIDSA because I know what new parents are facing the second they find out they’re expecting. It’s a big undertaking for anyone and support during this time is of the utmost importance. I’m in the business of supporting them in any way I can.

2.  What do nursing pillows mean to you? What is your personal experience with these products?
What have you observed of the importance of these products for mothers and caregivers

A feeding support product is more than just a sack of fluff for new parents. It’s comfort in a time when nothing is comfortable. It’s ease when nothing seems easy. So many changes are occurring in that first year of life for both children and their caregivers. Having a stable product that makes the constant feeding easier is life-changing. It sounds a little dramatic, perhaps, to call a “pillow” life-changing. I’ve seen with my own eyes the smile of a mom who just needed a little extra support to get a great latch. That sigh of relief that they’ll actually be able to care for their baby, when it feels impossible and so very hard, speaks volumes to the importance of these products. Breastfeeding is hard enough and often filled with challenge after challenge. Without the ease and usability of these products, there is no doubt in my mind breastfeeding rates will drop and moms and babies everywhere will suffer for it.

3. What do you want to the CPSC to know and remember about the importance of infant feeding

Support is the key word here. Parents are desperate for support. They receive very little medical support, little emotional support, little physical support. They will find what they need by whatever means necessary. Removing helpful and reliable products will not prevent accidents in this case. What can we GIVE new parents to cater to where they are in their journey. How can we give them what they truly need to make real and lasting change? How can we come to a place of parenting out of abundance as opposed to desperation?

Follow along on our blog and social platforms to meet all the BFIDSA members!