MIBFN proudly announces three new board members who began serving on our Board of Directors effective March 26, 2019. These new members, Kristine Maki, Bethany Moody and Cierra Pfotenhauer join twelve other board members whose role is to provide strategic guidance to our work. To learn more about the MIBFN Board of Directors, visit www.mibreastfeeding.org/team.

Kristine M. Maki, BS, CPST: Kristine is a Family Health Educator and an Ojibwe member of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. As a student social worker working on her IMH-E, parent-child attachments are an important focus. She has worked in community health for five years and hopes breastfeeding will become the norm again not only for her indigenous community but for all families. Breastfeeding has always played an important role in her life and she is excited to be a part of MIBFN to help with system change and the continuation of the normalization of breastfeeding. She has four sons at home in a supportive partnership and is currently breastfeeding her youngest who is seven months old. To build breastfeeding support within her local community, and with the help of the WIC Program, Kristine began a local Breastfeeding Support Circle with monthly face-to-face gatherings in hopes to create local breastfeeding support policies. Kristine’s other interests include crafting of any kind, quilting, outdoor activities, and the occasional video game with a chai latte.

Bethany Moody, RN, MSN, CNM: Bethany is a traditional woman of the Eagle Clan. She is both Shawnee and Potawatomi Descendent. She is an indigenous midwife and has caught 1326 new little ones in their arrival into their physical journey. She is Kokumtha/Nokomis/Grandmother of 6 grandchildren. She was one of two Native American Consultants for Boston Medical College for the CHAMPS Project and the Breastfeeding in Indian Country Coalition. She currently is the traditional birthways and breastfeeding consultant for Inter-tribal Council of Michigan Healthy Start program as well as a part of the Asabike Coalition to advanced indigenous prenatal health care in Michigan. Beth was instrumental in setting the stage for Breastfeeding Tents at local powwow, which provide light, nutritious snacks and water to mommas in a quiet and relaxing space. This was the start of state wide tents happening at indigenous community events. Along with that she wrote the policies and procedures for breastfeeding breaks at local casinos and reservation governments which spearheaded lactation areas as well. She has worked tirelessly with Elder grandmothers and grandfathers around the Great Lakes area learning all she can regarding teachings and lifeways of our mommas and babies. She has given workshops on cradleboards and mossbags from Detroit to Minnesota. Her interests focus on providing cultural, nutritional, breastfeeding, and traditional parenting lifeways to all Anishnaabek communities. “I breastfed all three of my children in the 80s when it still was not “popular”.  They are now all parents and even my sons encourage and support their wives during the breastfeeding stages.” Along with this on a very personal note, Beth was gifted a dream about the interconnectedness of breastfeeding, breast cancer, and domestic violence. This dream was freely given and is the foundation used at all Safe Sleep presentations on reservations throughout Michigan. Within these workshop presentations, women are able to make Breastfeeding Awareness shawls which are a beautiful colostrum yellow color. “The work is vital to restoring our indigenous cultural life ways of feeding our babies their first traditional foods and the foundation for food sovereignty.”

Cierra Pfotenhauer, MS, RD, IBCLC: Cierra’s passion for breastfeeding was born from her work with the WIC program. Her desire to support breastfeeding mothers inspired her to become an IBCLC. She is passionate about eliminating barriers to breastfeeding, particularly for mothers of color. She is an active member in the Berrien County Breastfeeding Coalition. She is a wife and mother to a son who she is currently breastfeeding. In her spare, time Cierra enjoys food and travel.