Graduate Highlight: Meet Amber KozakJul 14, 2016
Amber is a CBWS Babywearing Consultant, and works under her business' name Babywearing Unicorn. She works at a natural parenting store in Philadelphia called CLOTH where she does in store Babywearing consultations for customers and teaches a class on early infant bonding. She also volunteers with, and is one of the founders of, Philly Babywearing Group.
Amber has a new Zine coming out in August called "Mom Punx" her first issue is called "Mommy Group Misfits" It can be a struggle to be accepted by other parents when you have dyed hair and tattoos or you don't fit the mold. In this issue Amber will be talking about body modifications such as tattoos and piercings in regards to pregnancy and parenting. There will also be an interview with a really awesome LGBT couple Shalee and Mallory Ellis.
Amber offers home consultations in, and up to a one hour drive of, Philadelphia PA.
You can contact Amber [email protected]
Please like Amber's page on Facebook
I met Amber at Bond Conference in April, when she posted about her recent volunteer work at a women shelter in Philly I asked her if she can write a blog post about her experience. Please read her post below and lets keep on spreading the babywearing love. - Bianca
When I attended the BOND conference in April I was really inspired, not only by the speakers but, by all of the individual work done by all of the folks in the industry, from educators to brand reps. This industry is making big strides to change the way people view early infant development and creating lasting bonds between caregivers and their children. It really inspired me to do more.
At Bond there was a lot of talk about bringing the information back to our individual communities, and I took that to heart. With the wealth of knowledge I received at BOND, the confidence and inspiration from my peers, along with my background in Babywearing I was able to create a full early infant attachment, kangaroo care, safe sleep (including Breastsleeping), and Babywearing class and teach it at my local shelter for new and expectant moms, as well as provide carriers with donations from two different companies whose reps I first met at BOND. BabyloniaUSA donated BB Tais and MOBY donated their original stretchy wraps, words can not express how much I appreciate their generosity.
I enlisted the help of Erica Desper of Confident Parenting to assist with fit checks. An active member of Philly Babywearing Group named Kita Wolfe also volunteered to come and take photos. I really appreciate them taking their time to assist me with this project. Many of my peers in the Babywearing community also assisted me by helping me make sure my class presented as gently as possible and I really appreciate their support.
After my general presentation I spoke a bit about spinal development and Erica held up a visual while I used my beaded spine prop to explain progression of the developing spine, before going into general Babywearing.
I announced they would be receiving 2 carriers and the 3 of us handed out gift bags. Everyone seemed really excited! I also did a demonstration of each carrier.
After each demo the girls got into groups of two and I walked them through each step. Erica and I made sure everyone tried on each carrier with a demo doll and had it fitted properly. Some of the women started talking about their due due dates, their baby's genders, and how the anticipation of waiting for the baby to come can seem like a lifetime. For a moment it didn't feel like we were in a shelter. We were just a bunch of empowered women in a room talking about Babywearing.
When we first arrived at the shelter I must say that my audience was less than impressed, many were uninterested in introductions, going in and out of the room and there was a general vibe of disinterest. Feeling a little disheartened I started presenting anyway and began my talk on attachment. About 1/3 of the way through that first portion, the women began participating a bit and asking questions. This was a big win! I thought deeply about how these women are lacking support that I take for granted every day and how they don't even have a home to go to. I also thought about how I would feel in that situation. Assessing my own privilege and trying to look at things from their perspective helped me understand why it took them a bit longer to warm up and engage. It is important to actively try to look at things from your Audiences perspective, if you are planning to do this type of work, you really need to put a lot of effort into being sensitive to your audience. You never know just what someone may have been through before coming into a space with you.
After class I stayed behind to help the 3 women who already had their babies get comfortable in their carriers. Helping women create stronger bonds with their babies is what my work is all about. Naturally this was my favorite part the end result, happy parents with snuggly babies.
A special thanks to Moby, BabyloniaUSA and Nova Natural for providing the carriers.