This week, we present two stories of learning experiences connected to early childhood, from an expert in maternal and infant health discovering the reality behind her research to a first-grader striving to be one of the "smart kids." Part 1: Psychologist Amy Brown researches maternal and infant health, but when she has a child of her own, she’s confronted with the reality behind the research. Part 2: As a first-grader, Cassie Soliday finds her coveted spot in the gifted class is at risk. Dr. Amy Brown is an Associate Professor in Child Public Health at Swansea University where she researches experiences of becoming a mother, particularly around how babies are fed. She has published widely in how social, cultural and psychological barriers can damage breastfeeding and subsequently maternal wellbeing. Amy is fascinated by how culture defines motherhood, through pressurising mothers to have it all and enjoy ‘every precious moment’, whilst simultaneously devaluing their role. She also has three children of her own and switches between hearing women’s tales about becoming a mother and experiencing it first hand herself. Sometimes life feels like one long never ending ethnographic research project but offers her insight into these complex issues. Cassie Soliday is The Story Collider's LA-based producer. In addition to being a producer, she is a writer, comic artist, and the love child of a poet and a parrot head. She's an advocate for women in the arts and produces two podcasts, 'Ink and Paint Girls' and 'Jammiest Bits of Jam'. Afflicted with wanderlust and the desire to run away with the cat circus, she has three great and terrible ideas that could get her fired so she could do so. She lives and works in California making cartoons. She is @cassiesoli and email@example.com.
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