Tamara Drenttel Brand’s passion is to empower mothers to use their own breastfeeding experience and knowledge to help others. She developed, implemented and evaluated the first ever Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Training Program in Beirut, Lebanon and is currently involved in a similar training program in Sharjah, UAE. She is an accredited La Leche League leader, a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, Clinical Lactation Manager and Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC). She is the founder and blogger-in-chief of Galactablog.com, a venue for lactation specialists (and those aspiring to be).
Tamara obtained her BA in Political Science and Women’s Studies and her MA in Near Eastern Studies with a focus on Gender and Society in the Middle East, writing her thesis on the health effects of conflict on women and children. In 2009, she moved to Beirut, Lebanon where she obtained her MPH with a concentration on Health Promotion and Community Health at the American University of Beirut. While in the region, Tamara has collaborated on a variety of public health initiatives, including the protection of female migrant workers, refugee resettlement, infant feeding in emergencies, the creation of maternal and newborn hygiene kits to refugees, lactation curricula and development and peer to peer breastfeeding support. In addition, she has consulted for Médecins Sans Frontières, The Lebanese Welfare Association, The American University of Beirut Medical Center, The ACES in Arizona, Breastfeeding Friends in Sharjah, UAE and Bella Health Clinic in Dharampur, India.
She is a writer and contributing editor for La Leche League International’s Close to the Heart magazine for the Asia/Middle East region and has contributed articles to the Pan Arab family magazines LAHA and SNOB. Recently, she became a regular contributor for Doxnation – a digital platform for healthcare professionals in the Middle East and Africa. In 2014, she was selected as the annual Breastfeeding Specialist in the Middle East Region by LAHA and in 2016, her interview with Redefining Revolutions on her work with breastfeeding in the Middle East will be aired as a podcast.
Currently, she resides in Sharjah, UAE with her husband, son and a very curious cat.