Our Volunteers

Babywearing International chapters are run by accredited Babywearing Educators and Chapter Support Volunteers who provide instruction at meetings and support within their local communities. All accredited babywearing educators have demonstrated proficiency in a wide variety of baby carrier types as well as babywearing safety and best practices.

Babywearing Educators

Rebecca Lewis, Co-Founder/VBE

Born and raised in New Jersey, Rebecca attended college in Florida where she worked in childcare and crisis counseling before becoming a professional Nanny. She began babywearing with her nanny kids in 2007 and continued to wear her kids since their births in 2009 and 2013. Rebecca attended The Babywearing Institute to become a trained Babywearing Educator in 2011.

Rebecca’s family relocated to Columbia in 2013, where she immediately joined the Columbia Babywearers, and then helped the group affiliate with BWI. In addition to teaching as a VBE, Rebecca served as President for the group’s first 2 ½ years.

Rebecca is BWI of Columbia’s most experienced babywearing educator. She believes babywearing is a tool every caregiver should have in their toolbox. Babies are born to be worn, and it doesn’t matter who you are or how you come to be a caregiver-everyone can benefit from and bond through babywearing.



Rachael Figueroa, ABE

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Rachael is BWI of Columbia’s first Advanced Babywearing Educator (ABE). She has been volunteering with BWI of Columbia since February 2015.

Rachael grew up in Missouri, and relocated to South Carolina with her family after graduating from the University of Missouri. Rachael and her first child, Ariadne, started attending BWI meetings regularly not long after moving here. In the past two years she has become a positive proponent of babywearing, especially when talking about the relationship it fosters between parent and child. After Ariadne passed away in 2014, Rachael decided she wanted to continue to spread the love and bond she had with Ariadne to other parents through becoming a babywearing educator. Rachael and her husband welcomed their second baby, Persephone, in September 2015. 


 

Lindsey Giglio, Treasurer/VBE

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I am mom to Jenson (8/11) and Harper (1/15). I graduated from USC (Go Gamecocks!) with my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing.  My husband and I relocated to Lexington since 2011 after a few years of military life. I started with a Moby stretchy wrap when my son was just a few weeks old, and loved every minute of wearing my sweet baby close.  As soon as he got too heavy, I thought it was over.  I had no idea what else was available.  So when I was pregnant with my daughter, I researched and found this group.

I truly believe in babywearing as it pertains to the health of mom and baby, and the bond that can be created with every family member.  I want to spread the babywearing love with every single person I can reach.  I feel so honored to be serving this community as a babywearing educator!


Jacqueline Barnes/VBE

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Jackie is a mother of two children; John (aka Bubbaloo) is 2 and baby girl Barnes is expected in September. She began wearing her son immediately after he was born, partly because she couldn’t bear to put him down and partly because she was finishing her graduate degree. Jackie is a wrapper at heart, but the toddler years have taught her to love soft structured carriers. Her passion lies in helping all caregivers find a way to keep their babies close.

Jackie is a graduate of USC’s Master of Public Administration program and Canisius College’s Psychology B.A. program. She is also a Combat Veteran of the US Army where she served as a medic.


Cathy Rosenberg Brant, President/ABE

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Cathy is the President of BWI of Columbia.  She is also the chapter’s newest Advanced Babywearing Educator (ABE). Cathy comes to Columbia from New Jersey via Columbus, Ohio (Go Buckeyes!!) She is an Assistant Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina, and is mom to son, Forest, and fur-baby Frodo. Cathy came to BWI meetings before Forest was born and has been in love ever since. She loves the connection babywearing gives her and Forest- she has even worn him to teach her college classes! With a wiggly toddler, Cathy loves the convenience of a ring sling or soft structured carrier, but Forest loves to be wrapped. They try to compromise but usually Forest wins! Cathy has been an active member of our chapter since Forest’s birth, and is excited about newest role as ABE!


Anatole Figueroa/VBE

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Anatole grew up in California, graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri, and relocated with his family to South Carolina in 2013.

His various skills, strengths and interests have been used to greatly aid the group in numerous ways and he strives to be a good example that babywearing and caregivers come in all forms.


Barbara Reggio, Secretary/VBE

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Barbara is mom to Lucie (1/12) and Asher (4/14). She is the Customs Compliance Administrator for Bomag Americas and she owns and operates TrendSetterMom LLC. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Maritime Studies from SUNY Maritime College, and she is currently studying for her Master’s Degree. Babywearing has helped her keep her kids close while she is so busy, and she loves the bond it has allowed her to create with them. She began her babywearing journey alone in New York with Lucie four and a half years ago and has been overwhelmed by the amazing community of babywearers here in Columbia, a community she is happy to call her babywearing family.


Malissa Denney/VBE

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Malissa is mom to Grady (3/13) and Bennett (1/14). She started wearing from the first week Grady was born, using a Moby and pouch sling. She was gifted a Boba (soft structured carrier) that was well loved once he was big enough for it. Wearing allowed her to continue her volunteer work in the military community and attend many military functions. With the Army relocating her family to the Columbia area, her knowledge of babywearing was expanded to include wrapping with the help of BWI. Malissa has degrees from Otero Junior College and Adams State College in Colorado in the teaching field so becoming a VBE made sense for her to continue to use her knowledge of teaching to help other caregivers learn all the benefits she has come to know and greatly appreciate.


Alexandra Lundahl/VBE

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Alexandra became interested in babywearing a few years ago when she saw how a friend wrapped and wore her daughter. When Alexandra became pregnant, she began researching babywearing and was amazed by all of the options. She’s worn her 9-month-old daughter, Kiera, since she was 5 days old. She started with a stretchy Moby wrap and quickly expanded to include an Ergo, ring slings, mei tais and woven wraps. She has even been known to rock a pouch sling. Though woven wraps are her personal favorite, Alexandra sees the wonderful benefits of all types of carriers and loves spreading the babywearing love and knowledge to other people. She loves the closeness babywearing brings to her and her daughter, how it’s Kiera’s safe place no matter where they are, how it can comfort her when she’s sick, and allows them both to experience the world together in ways that otherwise probably wouldn’t be possible.

 


Chapter Support Volunteers

Marcela Nieto

Marcela was born and raised in Mexico and moved here when he married Marcus. She started babywearing when her first daughter Layla was only 4 months old. She now gets to wear her itty bitty Sebastian.


Kalayna Nicole

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Kalayna began babywearing when her daughter was only a few weeks old, but didn’t find BWI until months later. Discovering different methods of carrying really opened a world of possibilities for Kalayna and her daughter. She soon began trying to learn as much she could about babywearing. When the possibility of taking a more active role in the organization presented itself, she jumped on the opportunity. She is thrilled to be able to help support this chapter while in training to be a VBE so that she can help pass on her passion for babywearing.


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Tricia, mom to Jackson (05/2012) and Benton (03/2016) was first introduced to babywearing by her sister when pregnant with Jackson. She began her journey with a Moby and has explored the wide world of different carriers since Benton was born. She loved the ring sling when he was a little squish but finds herself reaching for her kinderpack these days. With Jackson being special needs and requiring a lot of her attention, babywearing has helped her bond with Benton while caring for Jackson.

Tricia relocated to Columbia from Florida in 2014 and became a member of BWI in 2016. She is a recent WAHM and owns her own art glass business. She’s excited about being a chapter volunteer and helping other people in the community learn all about babywearing!