Black breast/chestfeeding is a tool available to Black mothers/birthing persons that is used to offset the negative impact of stress that racism, experienced in this country, has on our bodies and those of our babies. It helps create a healthy and joyous start to Black babies’ lives by providing optimal nutrition and a beautiful bonding experience. It is resistance. It is beautiful. It is raw. It is activism in its truest and purest form.
Last year, the African American Infant and Maternal Mortality (AAIMM) Prevention Initiative held a breast/chestfeeding photoshoot featuring Black families both inside and outside of businesses in south Los Angeles. The idea was to alter the stigma around breast/chestfeeding in public and normalize women/birthing persons feeding their babies any and everywhere. Working off of last years’ images and themes, we are taking the 2022 campaign a step further by engaging local businesses directly and asking them to publicly support “Feeding Your Baby Everywhere” — thereby joining the greater village of support for Black mothers/birthing persons and their babies. They will identify themselves as a designated “Safe Space” for Black mothers/birthing persons to breast/chestfeed by displaying window decals and tabletop tents.
AAIMM, in conjunction with Soul Food for Your Baby, BreastfeedLA, and CinnaMoms, will spend a week sharing positive and informative breast/chestfeeding messages across social media and the web, personal stories from those who work in the field of lactation support as well as breastfeeding mamas, and events. BreastfeedLA also has a resources map on its website where you can find providers and breastfeeding support in your area.
Check this page and follow @blackinfantsandfamiliesla on Instagram for updates. Use #AAIMM, #BlackBreastfeedingWeek2022, #BreastfeedingWelcomedHere, #BlackChestfeedingMatters, and #BeTheVillage to share your breastfeeding journey with us and join the conversation.
You can learn more about the national Black Breastfeeding Week 2022 campaign and find virtual events HERE.
BLACK BREAST/CHESTFEEDING WEEK
EVENTS & RESOURCES
Black Breastfeeding Week
Q & As
Kimberly Durdin, CPM, LM, IBCLC
How did you become involved in supporting Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County and why are you passionate about it?
I moved to LA 17 years ago, already an IBCLC, and looking to continue to support families in the area as I had done in the Washington, DC metro area and NYC where I moved from. I was passionate about joining other lactation professionals in this area because California seemed to be doing some amazing and innovative things to support, promote, and protect lactation and I wanted to be a part of it all!
Aqueelah Russell, MBA, IBCLC, LCCE
What is the most rewarding part of the work that you do to support Black breast/chestfeeding?
Promoting and leading by example. Illustrating that Black moms DO breastfeed and that Black women also thrive in the professional lactation space. It is vital for Black babies to receive their mama's breast milk as their optimum feeding choice.
Kirstein Smith, Breastfeeding Mama
What (or who) helped you to make the decision to breastfeed your baby and why did you decide to take that journey?
My mother was basically telling (me) how good it is to breastfeed your child it helps them a lot with their immune system and that it’s basically better to breastfeed because it helps you create a bond with your child and then not only that but breast-fed babies are way more smarter they’re way more active than other babies — they’re way more everything
Dr. Tonce, Senior Health Equity Manager, Co-Creator CinnaMoms
What do you hope to see change for the better with regard to Black breast/chestfeeding in Los Angeles County?
A diversified lactation field. More Black/African American Lactation consultants and Breastfeeding Peer Counselors. More scholarships, mentorship, tutoring for the college level courses needed to advance in the field of lactation. Continued support and services for our Black families. More imagery of families living joyous and healthy lives! Increased support for families who are not fully breastfeeding. Any breastfeeding matters, also!
SGV Community Action Team Meeting - 10AM