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<b>I need help getting focused.</b> I posted this in another section of MDC a while ago but no one responded. Here's another try:<br><br><b>I'm trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.</b> I still have a few years before I'll be ready to go back to work full time, but I want start finding my Ideal Job now so I can head in the right direction.<br><br>
Here's my background: I received an MS degree in zoology in 1994 where I studied the behavioral ecology and life history of animals. Since then, my jobs have been working as a veterinary assistant, teaching children in a nature center, and staying home with my own children, ages 5 and 2. I just became a LLL Leader.<br><br>
As a parent I am very enthusiastic about breastfeeding, natural childbirth and attachment parenting. Now I am wondering if I can turn these passions into a paying career?<br><br>
Most of my favorite breastfeeding experts write from an anthropological point of view (Katherine Dettwyler, Meredith Small). They write about how biology and culture interact to shape the way humans birth and parent children, and how various parenting styles affect the health of children and mothers.<br><br>
I'm most interested in studying or relating to <b>populations</b> rather than individuals. That is, rather than becoming a lactation consultant or pediatrician or doula and helping one person at a time, I would like to study or reach larger groups of people.<br><br>
Writing? Teaching? Could I help conduct an existing research program? Could I help fill those gaps about the benefits of BFing beyond 1 or 2 years? Could I be a liason between anthropologists and pediatricians? Is there a public health position where I could promote breastfeeding, attachment parenting, natural childbirth and the like?<br><br>
I think I need to do some informational interviews, but I hardly know where to start. I need to know what kinds of jobs are out there. Any ideas?
 

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Have you checked with LLL? Other breastfeeding organizations? They may know what's out there better than us moms? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"> I'd look around the advocacy websites out there and see what job listings area available. Also look into government programs promoting breastfeeding - they might have something???
 

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Are you interested in getting higher education - ie a masters or PHD. I don't have one, but it seems that alot of people around me are going this route, and trying to do their thesis on bfing related topic. Then you get a job in academia or gov't.<br><br>
For example, one person I know is Pat XXX (I'm not sure if I should use her name on an open forum). She was LLL leader, (I don't know what her undergraduate degree was). She raised her kids, and now has a PHD. Somewhere along the line she has done research on diabetes and our aboriginal Cdn population. She has a research assistant who actually does the counselling, runs the program etc. Pat has now managed to move upwards to be a manager of Public Health Policy with her provincial gov't. Of course her job now entails a lot of aspects other than bfing, but she can keep pushing the bfing agenda from a high level. It is great to see a LLL leader move up to a position of power in the mainstream system. When she lectures to undergrads on population health, all her examples she uses are bfing stats, so they get an educate on bfing whether they want it or not.<br><br>
Another friend of mine, who was a journalist, is now doing her masters in social work, and her thesis is on divorce and bfing. She hopes to get a job where she can support families to bf. (She's a divorced mom now).<br><br>
I would think if you when and got a master's in public health you could do what you are talking about?<br><br>
Just some thoughts.<br>
Janice<br><br>
Oh yah, I think it would be appropriate for you to email someone like Kathy D or my friend Pat and ask them for career guidance. I also know a couple of people who have worked on the National bfing awareness campaign, and for the US gov't at the CDC, who might be willing to give guidance. You could even post your question on Lactnet, the list for lactation professionals. PM me for addresses.
 

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I second Janice in Canada's suggestion to contact Katheryn (sp?) Dettwyler or others whose research you admire. I spoke to her at a LLL conference when I was trying to figure out how to combine my psychology degree with my interest in breastfeeding, and she was really wonderful. She sat down with me for a while and wrote out two pages of organizations and people to contact or research. I've also spoken with Dia Michaels on the phone and she was great as well.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Janice in Canada</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">When she lectures to undergrads on population health, all her examples she uses are bfing stats, so they get an educate on bfing whether they want it or not.<br></div>
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Heh heh. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbsup">
 
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