"It's very important that people realize they have a voice and that people will listen to that voice - and you don't have to have a lot of letters after your name," said Dr. Laura Wilwerding, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM, a pediatrician in Plattsmouth, Nebraska USA, and a pediatrics professor at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, where she lectures on breastfeeding medicine, child advocacy, antibiotic overusage, and obesity prevention.
In addition to being a fellow of the International Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, Wilwerding is involved in the Nebraska chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics as the breastfeeding coordinator, the Nebraska Breastfeeding Coalition on the leadership team, and as a member of the Nebraska Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Advisory Board.
spoke during the La Leche League of Nebraska Annual Breastfeeding and Parenting Conference
in May 2011 in Omaha, Nebraska USA.
"Particularly locally, you do have power, and not just with elected officials but also hospital administrators and human services program directors," she
It's all in your approach.
"You have to figure out a way to educate without preaching and to bring people to the table," Wilwerding
And along the way, you need to work on building a network of supporters among different facets of society, so that those in charge of policy- and law-making are influenced by others who also support your agenda.
remembered when she
first began talking to Nebraska lawmakers about changing public breastfeeding laws, 10 years ago.
"At first, there were lawmakers in the room who would visibly cringe every time I said the word, 'breast.'" Finally, after several [legislative] sessions, there was a young woman lawmaker who stood up and said, 'All of my friends are breastfeeding, so obviously we need to support this,'" Wilwerding