So Grateful Sundays: The Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington


OK, so the alliteration of So Grateful Sundays is not as good as Thankful Thursdays but we’re gonna go with it anyway.

Today I want to highlight a place that will make my DC area sisters smile and everyone else grow green with envy.  Because this place is the Happiest Place on Earth.  No, not Disneyworld.  The Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington.

I think C. was six weeks old the first day I walked into the new mothers’ class at the BFC. I don’t know what I had been expecting but it wasn’t a small storefront in the first floor of a building populated by medical offices that led back to a storeroom on one side and a tiny, crowded classroom on the other.  To tell the truth, I almost turned right around because claustrophobia wasn’t really on my list of things to do that day but my husband had gone back to work the previous week and my mother had gone back home and I did not want to be at home alone with the baby all day because I was still a little afraid of him.  So, I sat my butt down and prepared to sit through the class only because that was better than leaving.

I’m so glad I didn’t leave.

The woman who runs the BFC and leads the new mothers’ class is an RN and certified lactation consultant named Pat Shelley who is known around these parts as the Breast Whisperer.  Seriously, that’s what the Washington Post once called her.  She combines all the best qualities of your mom, a pediatrician, an ob/gyn, and your fairy godmother.  There is no nursing question she can’t answer, either in the free weekly classes for moms or in one-on-one appointments to deal with all sorts of feeding issues.  AND she makes housecalls.  For moms with feeding issues, she has been described as a total godsend and her name is passed from mother to mother with reverence and admonitions to call her RIGHT NOW because she will turn nursing into a positive experience for any mom.

The best thing she ever did for me was get me into a room with the women who would become some of my best mom friends. On the first day I was in there Pat said we would all find our best playgroups through that class and she was right. I would not have made it through my first year as a mother without them and being a mom would be a lot less funny now if they weren’t there.

The BFC gets money through sales in its store, which carries nursing supplies, bras, pumps, slings, books and all kinds of other goodies, as well as from admission fees for some of their classes and the fees for one-on-one consultations.  They are also a non-profit and depend on donations. If you’re a DC mom and ever took advantage of this amazing service, consider a donation.  Or if you’re shopping for a shower gift and want to buy a book or a sling or a nursing cover, go to their store.  This resource is too good to take for granted.

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7 comments for “So Grateful Sundays: The Breastfeeding Center of Greater Washington

  1. March 21, 2010 at 6:26 am

    OMG I'm totally green. I wish we had something like that here!

  2. March 21, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Very cool.

  3. Sarah
    March 21, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    Thank you for highlighting the Breastfeeding Center! I will soon be a first-time mom, and love to hear that this service is available!

  4. May 14, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    I would like to express my appreciation for your post. That’s really great to know that there are such people like you who do their job very well and with such enthusiasm.

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