Moving from Imagination to Reality – Achieving the CAPPA Vision

The CAPPA Vision

  • Imagine a world…Where women are encouraged to trust their bodies. Where myths about pregnancy, childbirth, the postpartum period, and breastfeeding are dispelled.
  • Imagine a world…Where women are given the tools they need to make informed decisions about their pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding experiences.
  • Imagine a world…Where education does not use guilt as a motivator but instead encourages families to make intuitive and informed decisions.
  • Imagine a world…Where women are surrounded by caring, compassionate support throughout the perinatal period.
  • Imagine a world…Where families are equipped to embrace parenthood with confidence.
  • Imagine a world…Where there is mutual respect amongst support professionals and medical professionals, all working together as colleagues to give the best care for families.
  • Imagine an organization…That strives every day to make this world a reality.
  • CAPPA…Reality begins with imagination.

As CAPPA professionals, we use the CAPPA Vision to guide our practices, but how do we move from imagination to reality?  It begins with brainstorming a project idea to serve a need in your community, but how can you effectively achieve its implementation?  Be ready to be amazed, because all you really need to know about project planning, can be learned from the circus and P.T. Barnum.  CAPPA educators and doulas, it is my pleasure to introduce to you the steps in project planning:

  1. Project
  2. Stakeholders
  3. Funding
  4. Publicity
  5. Reflection

So, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

1st Act: Dream Big

“A man’s station is only limited by his imagination.” – P.T. Barnum

During past World Breastfeeding Week events, I usually failed to achieve volunteer assistance and participant attendance.  With the help of a colleague, we determined a need to celebrate, educate, and support families by providing local resources, services, products, and information available in our community.  By creating a partnership, my dream became our idea to co-organize a successful mom and baby fair.  The first act included the following steps:

Project (Need and Idea)

  • Conduct needs assessment
  • Identify risk factors
  • Identify protective factors

2nd Act: Join the Circus

“No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” – P.T. Barnum

Appealing to our identified stakeholders, which included families and healthcare professionals, required a rebranding of the local breastfeeding task force to an informal mother support group.  We delivered outreach swag bags, including letters, flyers, business cards, and information to hospitals, clinics, and programs.  They were invited to convene at meetings scheduled for the mom and baby fair planning committee and mothers’ support group.  The second act included the following steps:

Stakeholders (Identification & Convention)

  • Identify key stakeholders
  • Convene stakeholder meetings
  • Develop project plan

3rd Act: Come One, Come All

“You don’t need the whole world to love you, just a few good people.” – P.T. Barnum

Project funding began small, with self-funding saved and provided by us, the co-organizers.  As our mom and baby fair planning committee grew, we solicited and were provided various sponsor funding from local individuals, organizations, and businesses.  Finally, we researched, applied for, and were awarded large grant funding by two state organizations. The third act included the following steps:

Funding (Research & Application)

  • Identify current resources
  • Develop funding budget
  • Track project spending

4th Act: Step Right Up

“Without promotion, something terrible happens…nothing!” – P.T. Barnum

We found the simplest, most effective marketing tool was word-of-mouth advertising, including inviting family, friends, colleagues, and clients.  In addition, we ordered print advertising materials, including flyers, business cards, and emails posted by individuals, businesses, and organizations.  We also participated in media advertising, including newspaper, community bulletin board, radio, and Facebook.  The fourth act included the following steps:

Publicity (Marketing & Advertising)

  • Develop marketing plan
  • Create public awareness
  • Implement project plan

Final Act: May All Your Days Be Circus Days

“The show must go on.” – P.T. Barnum

During the mom and baby fair, we used a sign-in sheet to calculate attendance and obtained verbal feedback from volunteers, sponsors, speakers, vendors, and participants to assess the event’s strengths and challenges.  The data collected was evaluated and presented in a final report to the planning committee, stakeholders, and community.  Future changes were discussed and implemented, including a moms’ night out group and an online mother support group.  The final act included the following steps:

Reflection (Assessment & Evaluation)

  • Develop evaluation plan
  • Collect data information
  • Report project results

With strategic planning, my previous “one-woman show” moved from imagination to reality as a successful community event with 25 sponsors, 50 volunteers, and 300 participants from five states, who enjoyed food, games, door prizes, shopping, networking, information, speakers, live music, and a movie screening.  You can also follow these steps to project planning to achieve your next act!  To make all your days be circus days, I challenge you to answer the questions below to help you brainstorm at least one new project idea reflecting the CAPPA vision that you can effectively implement to serve a need in your community:

  • What project idea will serve a need in your community?
  • Who can help plan and implement the project?
  • What resources are available to fund the project?
  • What strategies are available to publicize the project?
  • How will you evaluate the project upon completion?

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” – P.T. Barnum


Katrina Fuller

CAPPA Faculty Ed.D, CPBF, CPFE, CCCE, CCTE, CLE®, CAPD, CLD, CPD, CHT, BPC, IBCLC, DSIII, RMT

Katrina Fuller is the owner and manager of Natural Nesters, providing pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding education, support, and integral therapy services in Hobbs, New Mexico since 2008. She also serves as the New Mexico CAPPA Childbirth and Lactation Educator Faculty Member, New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force – Lea County Chapter Chair, and New Mexico Lead WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor. Katrina has a bachelor’s in Elementary Education, master’s in Curriculum and Instruction, and doctorate in Teacher Leadership. After attending a breastfeeding peer counselor training, she was inspired to obtain certifications as a Prenatal Bonding Facilitator; Pregnancy Fitness, Childbirth, Teen, and Lactation Educator; Antepartum, Labor, and Postpartum Doula; Lactation Consultant; Community Health Worker; Developmental Specialist; and Reiki Master. She strives to utilize her background in education to teach classes for families, facilitate trainings for professionals, and contribute to the body of current, evidence-based research. Katrina is happily married with three children, having experience as a single, teenage mother; married, stay-at-home wife; and work-at-home tandem nurser. To contact her, please visit www.naturalnesters.com or email katrina.fuller@naturalnesters.com.

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