Amy Barron Smolinski, MA, ALC, CLC

Amy is the longest running active participant in Mom2Mom history.  She became a Peer Mentor in the Kaiserslautern Military Community (KMC), Germany in 2008.  In 2010, she accepted an invitation to expand Mom2Mom KMC’s breastfeeding advocacy and outreach in the local community.  Amy was the first ever Community Outreach Director for Mom2Mom KMC, and helped to shape the organizational structure and mission. She served on the inaugural KMC Board of Directors until 2014.  In 2015, the KMC Board determined the need for a larger parent organization to support new chapters at other military communities, and Amy accepted the responsibility for creating Mom2Mom Global®, a national nonprofit network of support and advocacy for breastfeeding military families, eventually taking the position of Executive Director.  A Certified Lactation Counselor and Advanced Lactation Consultant, Amy continues to support breastfeeding mothers and babies as a volunteer in the community.  

 

Amy has been a presenter at international lactation conferences and published articles and essays on peer breastfeeding support for military families.  She is a founding member of the Military Breastfeeding Coalition working group, and the U.S. World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) working group, and serves as the Board Treasurer for the U.S. Breastfeeding Committee.  Amy is the wife of a U.S. Army Reservist stationed in Germany, and she breastfed all four of her children.

 

amy.smolinski@mom2momglobal.org

Executive Director

Felisha Brooks-Floyd, BS, CLC, IBCLC

Felisha is the wife of an Air Force retiree, and proud mother of three breastfed children whom she nursed for 18 months, 3+ years and 2+ years.  Over a decade ago, she was inspired to seek a career field to help mothers breastfeed.  While stationed at Warner Robins AFB and Charleston AFB, she often secretly suffered in silence alone struggling to overcome her own breastfeeding challenges.  Spurred by her own experiences, Felisha became a passionate advocate for equity in lactation, bringing fierce passion and a deep understanding of the intersectional challenges to breastfeeding facing both the military and African American communities. 

Fearlessly passionate about this mission, she is also affectionately known as “Blactavist!” (Black Lactation Activist).  This online community consists of approximately 38,000 supporters on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and is dedicated to empowering African American families to breastfeed.  She is also a founding member of The B.L.A.C.K. Course, a lactation education training focusing in culturally appropriate care for Black breastfeeding families.  Felisha offers infant feeding support, mentorship, and education to her local community via her private practice, Beyond Breastfeeding. She is the founder of Our Brown Baby, a community based breastfeeding support group, which serves to provide specialized culturally sensitive breastfeeding support to families of color.  She is also a Center for Social Inclusion First Food Equity Cohort member.  

Felisha is a national leader, an experienced trainer and speaker, and a consultant. Through her aforementioned roles, she has provided training programs across the US on topics of clinical breastfeeding, racial equity, first food justice, mentorship, power of collective impact and more.  Her previous experience includes national trainings for WIC and professional consultancies for WIC Loving Support Program and the Boston Medical College’s Communities and Hospitals Advancing Maternity Practices grant funded program, and she served as Lactation Coordinator for Hospital Corporations of America system in Florida.  She has served on the boards of the United States Breastfeeding Committee and the Florida State Breastfeeding Coalition, and as a founding member and President of NAPPLSC (National Association of Professional and Peer Lactation Supporters of Color), in addition to her work with Mom2Mom Global and Breastfeeding in Combat Boots.

felisha.floyd@mom2momglobal.org

Education Director

Maria Batlle, BS, Postpartum Doula, CLEC

Maria Batlle (pronounced “bat-yay”) was born in Virginia and is a Salvadoran by nationality, and the spouse of an Active Duty Coast Guardsman. She is an advocate for anything and all things related to breastfeeding, birthing, and maternal and child health. Maria breastfed both of her children, her son until 18 months and daughter until 48 months. She became interested in postpartum and breastfeeding support and certified as a Postpartum Doula and a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC). In addition, she founded Nursing Novi, an international line of nursing wear.  Maria believes in empowering women and the sisterhood that comes with motherhood. She is bilingual in Spanish and grateful to utilize that skill in order to connect with mothers in her community and beyond.  Maria worked in a WIC clinic in Oakland, CA as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor, where she was inspired by local moms who really needed support and understanding of all the benefits that come with breastfeeding.  She has also served as an ombudsman in support of USCG families.  Maria is excited to be a part of the Mom2Mom Global team to help expand breastfeeding support for all military families and servicemembers.

maria.batlle@mom2momglobal.org

Director of Development

Kay Mejias

Kay Mejias was born in the Caribbean; raised on the small sister islands of St. Kitts & Nevis. In her 20’s she met her husband and together they moved to the US. In 2017 her husband joined the military. While adjusting to military life, and after experiencing four difficult miscarriages, Kay became pregnant once again and gave birth to a son, and 14 months later a daughter. Growing up on the islands, pregnancy and breastfeeding were not discussed openly. Breastfeeding was seen as a taboo, in which a mother would do privately. With little experience on the topic of breastfeeding, Kay kept herself reserved and was unsure if breastfeeding would be the best thing for her and her first born. Soon after the birth of her son, and that first contact of breastfeeding, she realized the great bond it created . Still with very little help and no one to talk to about the difficulties she was having, she found solace on social media posts as she read about other mothers overcoming hurdles. With no local support, Kay decided to move forward and did her own research on how to self heal. After weeks of pain, she was able to nurse her baby with ease. Unfortunately, exclusively breastfeeding her son did not last as long as she had hoped, as Kay became pregnant again and the sickness that came with the pregnancy greatly affected her milk supply. However she continued to nurse her son for the entire time of pregnancy # 2 to maintain that bond so she could resume breastfeeding when her baby girl was born. Now Kay is a proud military mom of two breastfed babies which she tandem nurse on demand. With such a difficult beginning to breastfeeding, Kay’s desire is to help other mothers and families overcome their hurdles and to breakdown any cultural barriers that could hinder breastfeeding. She proudly joins Mom2Mom as the Global Chapter Director to work with other volunteers as we help mothers take on breastfeeding one boob at at time!

katherine.mejias@mom2momglobal.org

Chapter Director

Heather P. Gant, MBA

Heather Gant became involved with Mom2Mom KMC in 2012 after a difficult breastfeeding journey with her first child.  Though exclusive breastfeeding was not a possibility for Heather, she strongly shared Mom2Mom’s vision and completed the certification for CLC to help other mothers achieve their breastfeeding goals.  Heather increased her involvement with the organization by serving as Mom2Mom’s Newsletter Coordinator until she relocated stateside in late 2013.  As Finance Director for Mom2Mom Global, Heather brings years of account management experience. Heather holds an MBA from East Carolina University, specializing in health care management.

 

Heather lives in Fort Polk, Louisiana with her husband, son, and daughter.  Due to supply issues, both children were both breastfed and formula fed.  Heather is grateful for the support she received from peers, CLCs, and IBCLCs as she navigated breastfeeding relationships that required supplementing.

 

heather.gant@mom2momglobal.org

Finance Director

Selina Maldonado, BA, CLC

Selina is an Air Force spouse and mother of three boys, nursing the first until the age of 3.5 and currently tandem nursing her 3 year old and infant. She first became involved in a local breastfeeding support group founded by another spouse and friend. Inspired by the difficulties she faced in the early weeks with her first child and her friend’s knowledge, she pursued her own certification as a CLC. She continued on with the breastfeeding support group which eventually became Mom2Mom Bavaria. She initially served as the Program Director, then as the Outreach Director. Selina currently lives in Georgia, and is the Social Media Manager of the joint admin team for Mom2Mom Global, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, and the Military Breastfeeding Network.

socialmedia@mom2momglobal.org

Social Media Manager

Krystle Wallace, CLC

Krystle is a Coast Guard Academy Graduate and Coast Guard Reservist. She is married to an active duty Coastie and has two kids she proudly breastfed. Her interest in the lactation field started after the birth of her first child. Many of her friends would consult her for breastfeeding advice and she loved being able to help despite being a new mother herself. After transitioning from Active to reserve and the birth of her second child Krystle started to really contemplate what she wanted for a career outside of the Military. It did not take long for her to choose the lactation field. She started by obtaining her Masters degree in Health and Wellness with a focus in Human Lactation from Union Institute and University. She obtained her CLC while in grad school and worked for three years as a CLC with NOLA Baby Cafe and also has been a Le Leche  League leader for two years. Her love and understanding of the unique challenges to military families and breastfeeding led her to Mom2Mom Global.

 

krystle.wallace@mom2momglobal.org

Education Assistant

Toshia Lockhart, CLC

Toshia is an Army Wife and proud mother of four boys, who she nursed for varying lengths. She first became interested in human lactation after struggling to nurse her oldest son, leading to the introduction of formula. When her second son was born premature, she received care from IBCLCs that greatly impacted her and led her to pursue a career in lactation. In 2015 she became a member of Mom2Mom Fort Bragg. In 2016 she started an online breastfeeding support group for the Mid-Ohio Valley of West Virginia. She has continued offering peer lactation support to families while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Maternal Child Health: Human Lactation from Union Institute and University. Since 2019, she started Mom2Mom Fort Gordon, obtained the CLC certification, co-authored an article for military breastfeeding families, became a member of the Code Advisory Committee for ILCA, and is currently the Assistant Social Media Manager of the joint admin team for Mom2Mom Global, Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, and the Military Breastfeeding Network. Her family is currently stationed in Georgia, USA.

socialmedia@mom2momglobal.org

Assistant Social Media Manager

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