Our Staff

Jane Bradshaw

Founder of Best Start Parenting Center, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Registered Lactation Consultant, Registered Nurse, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Vermont, Childbirth Educator, HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator

Jane Bradshaw is the founder of Best Start Parenting Center. She began her career in the medical field in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Vermont. Jane worked as a medical/surgical nurse at Providence Hospital and then as a Public Health Nurse at the Visiting Nurses Association, both in Washington, D. C. When she had difficulties trying to breastfeed her first baby in 1975, she started searching for help and solutions to her problems. At that point, health professionals gave her no help and told her to feed her baby formula without attempting to understand her problem. She searched and finally found the help she needed through the wonderful counselors of La Leche League. Within days, her baby who had been losing weight began gaining beautifully, and they fell in love with breastfeeding. While she stayed home with her three children, she learned more about breastfeeding through La Leche League and became a volunteer La Leche League Leader in 1980, helping hundreds of new mothers as they learned the techniques and secrets to make breastfeeding a successful and pleasurable experience.

Desiring to use her experience, education and nursing experience to help breastfeeding mothers, Jane studied and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 1986, in only the 2nd year that the exam and certification was offered. She began her practice with two electric breastpumps to rent and provided home visits when mothers needed help. In 1993, Best Start Parenting Center moved into it's first real office home on Waterlick Road and was open for mothers to stop by to weigh their babies, come to classes and get good information six days a week. Jane began teaching in lactation programs in Virginia and North Carolina to help other medical professionals who were now recognizing lactation consultants as part of the health care team. She began teaching for Georgetown University Hospital in 1989 for the Lactation Consultant Training Program. The program, now has it's home with Lactation Education Resources (www.lerono-line.com) and trains doctors, nurses, nutritionists and others in the skils to become an IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She is also a frequent speaker at breastfeeding conferences including the annual conference for the International Lactation Consultant Association and was the speaker on breastfeeding for the American College of Nurse Midwives annual meeting, June 2010. Jane also worked at both Bedford Memorial Hospital and Carilion Community Hospital in Roanoke as a Lactation Consultant while developing her private practice here in Lynchburg. Best Start Parenting Center has grown steadily and now has a staff of dedicated mothers and  professionals who love helping others and a wonderful collection of excellent classes to offer to expectant and new parents.


“My goal was for there to be a place mothers could come, between doctor visits and support group meetings to get what they needed; support and good accurate information about childbirth, breastfeeding and good parenting. They needed solutions to their problems, and since many must return to work, they need good quality breastpumps that really work.Our society does not support breastfeeding, and many young women have no role models to help them through the learning process. Since about half of the mothers who begin breastfeeding their babies have quit by 6 weeks, mothers need more help to reclaim this wonderful and important process.” – Jane Bradshaw

"If I had to write a list of the people who have been most influential in my life Jane would find her name on that list. Her desire to help families succeed has led her to accumulate the perfect tools for the job and put them into Best Start Parenting Center. Behind the classes and the products, the books and the consultations is the love and support of a woman who truly wishes the best for mothers and babies. She taught my childbirth class, my breastfeeding class, gave me sources and references to get answers to my questions. My husband and I took our son to see Jane for a breastfeeding checkup when he was just three days old and she was there to celebrate with us, encourage us and give us tips that will keep our breastfeeding relationship going. Every time I am going to stop by the store I tell my two-month-old son, "We're going to go see Jane. We love Jane," because without Jane we may not have had the beautiful birth, ease of breastfeeding and source of quality mother-baby products that have made these last few months the most joyful of my life." -- Melody Lauer


Jennifer Bradshaw

with Mark & Maggie

My family is intimately connected to Best Start Parenting Center and the surrounding areas. My husband and I grew up here, went away to college at Virginia Tech, and, after a minor detour in Northern Virginia, moved home to be closer to family. My son, Mark, was born in November 2001 and his sister arrived in May 2004.

My love for Best Start and it's mission really began once we moved back to the Lynchburg area. My positive childbirth and breastfeeding experiences lent themselves to Best Start’s work by enabling me to provide support and understanding to families going through a powerful and transitional time. Additionally, the information, compassion, and fellowship available at Best Start were just what I needed as a new mom to help build confidence as a new mother.


Joy Rhodes

with (husband)Tom, Caleb & Hanan
Virtual Assistant

I first came in contact with Best Start with the birth of my oldest son Caleb.  Like most women, I had a difficult time learning to breastfeed with Caleb.  Jane helped us get on track and have a nice long breastfeeding experience.  In 2006, I began working for Best Start as a Virtual Assistant, helping with marketing and website administration.  A few years later, I had a completely different, wonderful birth with my second son, Hanan.  I know all the information I had learned over the years of working for Best Start and Jane gave me the birth experience that my doula appropriately described as a "dream birth."