ZipMilk National Director Juggles Five Kids and Thousands of ZIP Codes
Hi Brittany! You’re the National Director of ZipMilk. What is ZipMilk?
ZipMilk provides access to lactation support by ZIP Code. It is designed for use by families searching for help with breast and chest feeding, as well as by providers who want to give their clients access to such support. Access to all resources is free to families and always will be.
ZipMilk has a brand new website. Tell us what’s new.
Here are my top three features of the new website:
- It is aesthetically more appealing and easier to navigate for families and providers.
- An interactive map feature!
- Advanced search options (provider last name, language spoken, variable radius options, and more)
There are a few more exciting updates still to come, so stay tuned!
Right now ZipMilk covers almost 10,000 ZIP Codes in 14 states and territories. How do you keep all that data up-to-date?
The information on ZipMilk is collected and maintained by state breastfeeding coalitions and other organizations, giving families a “one-stop shop” for support near them. Our goal is for all families to have fast and accurate access to a list of the best possible resources suited to their feeding needs and goals. These organizations and their volunteers and administrators are the driving force that allows ZipMilk to continue to grow throughout the US, working towards our goal.
What kind of resources will parents find on ZipMilk?
The six categories of support listings are:
- Breastfeeding Counselors & Educators
- Free Community Breastfeeding Support Counselors (including La Leche League, Nursing Mothers’ Council, and Breastfeeding USA)
- Medical Professional
- Support Group
- WIC Breastfeeding Coordinator
How would a parent know which one to pick?
If families are unsure what type of support provider may be the best for them to reach out to, they can always access our breakdown and explanation of the different categories in our Landscape of Breastfeeding Support.
You’re a busy working mom and on top of that, you managed the ZipMilk website overhaul as a volunteer. How was that process for you?
I originally started my work as ZipMilk’s National Director (previously titled Super Admin) within two months of my son being born in 2020! It was a whirlwind due to having a toddler, an older child, and a full-time job.
While I was a part of the planning and prep for the website overhaul, I really have to give credit to and thank Jess Pimentel, Treasurer of Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, for her support in overseeing the initial development of the website that ended up starting right after my twins were born this spring. It is due to her hard work and dedication to ZipMIlk that I was able to jump back in after a few months so seamlessly.
Great teamwork! We hear you also found time to donate milk recently. How did you manage that?
I was triple feeding for the twins in the very beginning of our feeding journey. During that time, I pumped a little extra each day to save bags of milk specifically to donate. I really wanted to donate because the babies received donor milk in the hospital. Donating was a very fulfilling experience that helped me heal emotionally after an intense birth. One way that made it extra entertaining was drawing on the milk storage bags I used for donation. It was initially just so my husband could differentiate between donation bags and bags for the twins, but quickly became an additional motivation!
ZipMilk is a project of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition, and we are lucky to have you managing it! If a state wants to join ZipMilk, how would they do that?
Reach out! If your state is not on the list, email me.
A state can be supported by anyone—a single lactation provider, a state breastfeeding coalition, Department of Health, etc. There are minor monetary requirements and an admin role for each state. I provide oversight and training for all state admins and coordinate the states and website.
Our goal is to cover the United States (and eventually, beyond) as a free “one-stop shop” to find lactation support options. Help us get there today!
Brittany Regan Fisher, M.Ed., CLC, and her husband, Matt, are the parents of five children, including 7-month-old twins. She has led ZipMilk for over two years and has a passion for lactation support and breast pump education. Contributing editor: Moryn Mendoza. Interviewer/blog editor: Ann Marie Lindquist