Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Interactive Breastfeeding Documentary

A Documentary project in Chicago, IL by Ryan Comfort & Laura Zinger

About this Project:

We are Ryan & Laura, part of a 5-person crew traveling across the country in a 40-foot pink bus to learn about the landscape of breastfeeding across America. Within two weeks, we have already heard hundreds of moving personal stories and met many organizations that are taking action to empower breastfeeding moms.

We are seeking funding to turn the amazing footage we are capturing into a feature-length documentary that will challenge the way America thinks about and supports breastfeeding moms.

What are two single people with no kids doing promoting breastfeeding?

Independently, we had both stumbled onto the topic of breastfeeding and began to develop projects around it: Laura as a documentary filmmaker, Ryan as a social entrepreneur. Since then, we have both been active observers, delving deeply into the world of being a breastfeeding parent and the challenges that new moms face. We are both determined to use our respective skill sets to help the breastfeeding movement further empower moms to reach their personal breastfeeding goals.

Interactive Documentary? What does that mean?

The world knows that the best documentaries cause people to think, ask questions and feel something strongly. Well, we want to take it one step further and cause people to take action.  The documentary will be accompanied by a website that documentary watchers will be able to visit to learn how they can help empower moms, based on what we learn during our cross-country road trip.

You really think a documentary and website can create social change?

As outsiders with big, crazy ideas (40 feet big!), we’ve been able to engage with national leadership and learn how prominent organizations are working tirelessly to empower moms to reach their breastfeeding goals. And through the bus tour, we will be spending time with thousands and thousands of people in over 30 cities on a grassroots level. Piecing together these stories and everyone’s energy in a collaborative way, via a fun, engaging, nonjudgmental website that will further mobilize the breastfeeding community and increase its impact. Once we get the support community in one place, new moms will never have to feel alone nor unsupported ever again!  The documentary will play a key role in raising awareness about breastfeeding and all the support that is available.

It’s working already!

A highlight of the bus trip, after only one week, came when we were in Portland parked outside a grocery store.  A dad saw the 40-foot bus and came up to ask how much longer we would be there. Within an hour, he returned with his wife and their newborn. While they had had a positive start with breastfeeding, the past few days had been challenging and the mother was becoming very frustrated. The mom was able to receive help from a Board-Certified Lactation Consultant on the spot, as well as learn about all the local (and many of which were free) resources in her area that could help her succeed. We could see her body language go from stressed to feeling relaxed as she felt supported. By creating a community where everyone comes together, these kinds of interactions can happen thousands of times a day. We want to put an end to mothers feeling alone and unsupported during their breastfeeding journeys, — there is no need for that, because the breastfeeding community is passionate, large, and ready to provide love and support to anyone who needs it!

Click here back this project.

The Milk for Thought Bus is ending its Tour with The Pump Station & Nurtury! Stay tuned for exact dates. Help us spread the word about breastfeeding. Support is available.