The Spotlight Series: Anjelica Malone
Bathing Beauteas empowers high-impact women to be their best. Our products are inspired by stories of women in history. We can’t meet them over a cup of tea, so we met up with modern-day community leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators whose lives are stories worth making history.
Impact: Writer, Blogger, Certified Lactation Counselor
Cultural Identity: African American who grew living as an expat in Asia and Europe
This is her story:
Unintentional networking often brings the best new friendships. We first got acquainted with Anjelica through her beautiful blog after a new connection referred her to us as an expert in helping postpartum women. Soon we were meeting for tea (she suggested it!) to get the down low on her excellent fashion sense, fascinating cultural background, and very relevant writings for moms.
Anjelica is a blogger, author, and certified lactation counselor. She grew up on 4 different continents and her two little girls already boast a well worn passport. Anjelica is passionate about helping women make a sustainable commitment to breastfeeding through tribe building, sufficient preparation, and self care. She leads workshops for couples looking towards pregnancy and recently published her own book Milk Boss 101: The Modern Breastfeeding Journal & Guide. Unlike any other breastfeeding book on the market, Anjelica fills the pages with science-backed truth, interactive elements, and healthy recipes - all in a stunning full-color Anthropologie-worthy design. This book is designed for women who are pregnant or preparing for pregnancy. See the reviews and purchase the book HERE. You’ll also find her inspiring blog HERE.
You’re a mom to two beautiful girls. What are the top 3 things women should know about motherhood?
- Be your own kind of mother. Own the fact that your motherhood is not going to look like anyone else’s and that’s okay. I call it a “mosaic motherhood”.
- Find girlfriends who are confident and support your idea of motherhood. Ex: If travel is important to you, your friends are not gonna make you feel bad that you want to travel with your kids.
- Embracing the seasons. Maybe one season is for homeschooling, one is for eating out more than eating at home, one season where money is a struggle - in seasons good and bad, realize that nothing is going to stay that same way forever.
Milk Boss 101 is about empowering women to choose the way they’d like to feed their babies, while helping them stay connected to what gives them life. How did you enter the world of breastfeeding coaching?
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my first daughter, but never expected to run into any challenges. I started seeing that women who made this commitment were all going through the same difficulties, even ones who were “prepared”. Typically preparation looks like attending a class while pregnant. Women are then advised to call a lactation professional only if something comes up.
Even for women who found breastfeeding very simple for several months could suddenly experience difficulty down the road. Waiting until a crisis is too late to ask for adequate help. Your partner, friend, or even medical professional won’t have the same knowledge from the classes you took or the awareness of your particular lifestyle. It’s important that the lactation professional knows your lifestyle and your family. Just like the process of finding a personal trainer, a bodybuilder is not going to hire a pilates instructor. A stay at home mom and working mom have a totally different lifestyle and thus different needs.
The solution is building a prenatal breastfeeding tribe that will be there postpartum too. That tribe includes her partner, girlfriends, coworkers, OBGYN, midwife, provider - basically anyone she interacts with on a regular basis in the postpartum stage. Breastfeeding is not just something a woman does at home. It also happens at work, while working out, or out with friends. The more understanding and support she has in those places, the more she will thrive and sustainably breastfeed.
How important is it to educate men on natural mothering methods?
It’s extremely important. A partner can often feel hesitant because they do not feel knowledgeable about what is happening. In reality, both parents can make a plan for what they want the postpartum period to look like.
The partner should be just as informed about birth and breastfeeding if not more than the mom. In the case of a crisis, the person helping should know all the same things that the woman knows. Otherwise, it’s like a first aid professional asking the person who is hurt what to do. This learning should happen way before they have the child, before they are even pregnant - when they are hoping to have kids.
Most people would be surprised to find out that you lived in Guam for 3 years and just recently moved to Seattle. What would you say to women who are going through big life transitions having just gone through one yourself?
What I’m about to say translates to pregnancy and having kids. It’s the importance of knowing what you need. Perhaps it’s a walk in nature to help calm down or cooking a particular dish. When you’re in a stressful season, you’re going to forget what you really need and how to get it. That’s why it’s important to take note of what those things are while you’re doing well and how to make it available. Also, give yourself the grace to change, also known as rebranding to entrepreneurs. Remember that it’s perfectly okay to change. Give yourself grace and an expectation that there’s no need to always stay the exact same.
To those who don’t know what a Third Culture Kid is, how would you define it? What do people need to know about TCKs?
A third culture kid or TCK is someone who grew up in a culture outside their parent’s culture. In my case for example, my parents grew up in a particular region of the USA. I grew up all over the US, lived in Guam, Japan, and Italy.
Others need to know that TCKs can’t be stereotyped. A TCK doesn’t have the same awareness of certain current cultural things, like pop culture/media. They have their own sense of community and pop culture, certain things were “normal to me” from growing up in Japan and Italy. That was my pop culture, which is not true of many American or Black American girls. You might expect a TCK to know certain things based on the way they look, but because of how they grew up they don’t. I’ve come to see it as a blessing. Because of my international upbringing, I am more flexible, adaptable, and open-minded. I can read people better, and quickly understand a wide range of people in the room. My conversations can go deeper very quickly. Even if I cannot relate my own story, I can think of the wide range of people I’ve come in contact with in order to relate to anyone’s story.