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As part of our ongoing Five Questions series highlighting local maternal/infant health champions, we are honored to feature Nurture Breastfeeding Real Talk Moderator, Ebony Allen!

Got someone you’d like to nominate to be featured in this column? Send us an email at info@nurturerva.org and we’ll follow up! 

What drew you to the field you’re in?

Working with individuals, families, and organizations to help better my community is my passion. I love everything “Family!” As a certified doula and lactation educator, I support growing families through pregnancy and postpartum. As a childcare provider, I provide families with a safe space for their children to grow and learn. Growing up, one of the main principles that my family believed in and practiced was creating a safe space for anyone in need. For me, this is where my love of community developed and remains the foundation for what I do on a daily basis.

What part of your daily work inspires you the most?

My daily inspiration are my children! I love that I am able to do what I love on a daily basis, that my day allows me to help families in my community, while allowing me to be with my children. I have the opportunity to raise them, educate them, and nurture them according to their individual needs.

How can RVA keep moving forward to become a model community for childbearing families?

RVA can continue to move forward by encouraging individuals that desire to work in the community, and supporting the growth of those individuals and organizations such as Nurture and Birth In Color RVA. These two organizations are an example of those that have opened many doors to care that will benefit childbearing families.

If you could share one piece of wisdom with childbearing families or professionals who serve them, what would it be?

Seek support. Yes, it is possible to do it alone: we have all been taught we can do it alone, and we claim it as an accomplishment. But why do it alone, when the community can support you and support your family unit? To the professionals who serve the families, share information about additional support offered in the communities. Encourage childbearing persons to get proper support, doulas, lactation consultants, postpartum doulas. Personally, I never heard of having a doula for support until my fourth pregnancy. I feel cheated of what my experience could have been, had I had that type of support.

Tell us about one of your favorite accomplishments.

My most favorite accomplishment was becoming a certified doula with Birth in Color RVA. After having experienced having a doula with my fourth pregnancy, I knew that I wanted to become a doula and support others through their prenatal, postpartum and breastfeeding journeys. After becoming a doula, I had the opportunity to partner with Nurture to offer Virtual Breastfeeding Support to BIPOC in my community.

Ebony Allen is a stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of four. Her children are her passion and her inspiration. As a Birth Doula with Birth in Color RVA and a Breastfeeding Real Talk Moderator with Nurture, Ebony is dedicated to supporting and empowering birthing people and families during the childbearing journey. Click here for more information about the Breastfeeding Real Talk Program.

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