In 2022, the AAIMM Community Action Teams initiated a grassroots effort to approach businesses in Los Angeles County asking them to publicly designate themselves as Safe Spaces for Black moms/birthing persons to breast/chestfeed. They were presented with Safe Space window decals, posters and tabletop tents to display. The idea was to alter the stigma around breast/chestfeeding in public and normalize moms/birthing persons feeding their babies any and everywhere.
This year, the AAIMM Black Breastfeeding Week campaign continues this effort in engaging local businesses directly, thereby growing the greater village of support for Black moms/birthing persons and their babies. We will be highlighting these businesses on social media, as well as creating a directory of LA County “Safe Space” businesses on blackinfantsandfamilies.org.
AAIMM, in conjunction with Soul Food for Your Baby, BreastfeedLA, and CinnaMoms, will also 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, #BlackBreastfeedingWeek2023 and #GrowTheVillage to share your breastfeeding journey with us and join the conversation.
You can learn more about the national Black Breastfeeding Week 2023 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!
AV AAIMM BBFW BBQ - 11AM
SGV LUNCH & LATCH - 12PM