“I dream of the day when corporate lactation programs are a given at every place of employment, and working parents feel equipped with the tools they need to achieve both professional and personal success, however they may define it. It’s what drives us. We know we are making a difference in the lives of working parents and families, while contributing to the corporate growth of their employers.”
Debi Yadegari is the Founder and CEO of MommaWork, which represents the merging of her life’s paths and passions: a demanding legal career; the birth of 4 children within 5 years (and another child 6 years later); a personal struggle with breastfeeding; and the realization that it takes an employer’s support to achieve both professional and personal success. Her experience juggling work and breastfeeding was the muse for MommaWork, and why Debi is so dedicated to providing parents with the workplace support they need to pursue their professional goals while also balancing the responsibilities of new parenthood.
Prior to joining the esteemed ranks of motherhood, Debi had developed a distinguished legal career and securities law practice. She began her career as a Corporate Associate at Fried Frank, a leading wall street law firm, where she specialized in security offerings within the capital markets. Subsequently, she served as Counsel to the Investment Banking Division of Lehman Brothers, a former global financial services firm that once ranked as the fourth largest investment bank in the United States. In addition to practicing securities’ law, Debi offered pro bono legal assistance to the New York Legal Assistance Group and litigated family law matters.
In 2005, however, she traded her brief case for a diaper bag and has been supporting breastfeeding mothers and working parents ever since. After her own tumultuous start with breastfeeding, Debi went on to successfully breastfeed each of her five children. Debi credits her success with having immediate access to a reliable lactation consultant who was able to offer her quality breastfeeding support. Unfortunately, her employer was less supportive. And she did not have the legal protections working women have today. In the end, she walked away and MommaWork soon followed.
Debi received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College of Columbia University, where she double majored in economics and political science, and her Juris Doctor from George Washington University. Debi is also a Certified Lactation Counselor with the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice. Debi lives on Long Island, with her very supportive husband and five children, ages 13, 12, 10, 7 and 1.