A Wildflower is a flower that grows in unexpected places. These flowers can survive in extreme conditions and situations. In spite of the environment that Wildflowers find themselves, they have the potency to bloom into exotic and beautiful flowers. The Wildflowers Breastfeeding Support Group meets weekly as a drop in clinic and monthly as a support group. The purpose of the group is to encourage, educate, support and promote breastfeeding within the Center City. Recent data shows several factors as to why African American women do not breastfeed including insufficient role models and inadequate support systems. The ultimate goal of The Wildflowers Breastfeeding Support Group is to create a fertile foundation within this community through breastfeeding education and support for our babies and to flourish. It has been such a pleasure and exciting time watching so many women and babies grow and bloom in knowledge, power, strength and self confidence. Tamera J. is a Wildflower that has exemplified this definition and has began to plant seeds of her own within this community.
Tamera was introduced to The Wildflowers via word of mouth from a friend and also by referral from the local WIC clinic. She had been breastfeeding her son Noah for 7 months at that time. While she understood the importance of breastfeeding for her son and herself, the support group added another element to her breastfeeding experience that she had never quite thought about before. “Before Wildflowers I didn’t know of any breastfeeding support groups, I didn’t know or realize there were other women who had tons of questions, felt silly ways, or who didn’t have friends or family members who could root them on in their breastfeeding goals. Wildflowers allowed me to see the breastfeeding world in a new light”, said Tamera.
The motto of the group is, “each one teach one.” When the seeds of support were planted in Tamera, it awaked a yearning in her she did not know she had. She was eager to learn as much as possible about supporting mothers through their breastfeeding experiences. She now understood that care, concern and genuine kindness were as much part of breastfeeding support as all of the other technical applications. Tamera volunteered to participate in Deaconess Women’s Hospital's Neighbor To Neighbor program. Neighbor to Neighbor teaches basic breastfeeding education to those who will then take this information back to their own communities and act as local resources. Tamera has been known to offer breastfeeding education to church members, family, friends, and multiple strangers.
She states, “The Wildflowers have been an amazing support system for me and three of my close friends. The grant funded materials have allowed us to supersede our breastfeeding goals and I want so many other mothers to experience what we have. I totally understand the need and urgency for someone to come along and help these women. Helping them helps me. There is such a healing in the power of helping and assisting others. The Wildflowers helped me learn more about myself and my love for lactation. From this experience I now strive to further my education to become an IBCLC.”